New app reminds pet owners not to forget their pets in the car

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The Ontario SPCA has partnered with Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic navigation app, to bring helpful reminders to pet owners driving with their four-legged friends.

“It might seem incomprehensible that someone could forget their pet in the car, but it happens,” says Connie Mallory, Chief Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “We hope this feature serves as a reminder to be present and remember our furry friends who cannot speak up when it’s time to get out of the car.”

After navigating to any destination, the customizable, opt-in Waze Child/Pet Reminder alert appears at the end of your ride and reminds you to check your car before you leave. The goal is to prevent drivers from forgetting their children or pets in the vehicle when they arrive at their destination.

“We’re constantly listening to our users’ requests and concerns, as well as paying attention to the news and looking into issues drivers face,” says Mike Wilson, Waze Canada Country Manager. “Just as drivers sometimes forget to turn off their headlights, they sometimes forget things in the car, too. This feature helps keep people present in the vehicle and gives them an important – possibly life-saving reminder – that drivers sometimes need.”

To set up the reminder alerts, make sure you have the most recent version of Waze downloaded from your App Store or Google Play and go to Menu > Settings > General > Child Reminder > Turn on “Allow Reminders.” You can also customize your message to include the names of your children or pets.

The Waze Child/Pet Reminder alert comes during the Ontario SPCA’s annual No Hot Pets Campaign. Through the No Hot Pets online forum, people are asked to share the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles using the hashtag #nohotpets. Pet owners are also asked to go online to nohotpets.ca and pledge to never leave their pets in their vehicles. Those who pledge will receive a free No Hot Pets window decal for their vehicles, while supplies last.

If you observe an animal suffering in the heat, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police.

For more safety tips, and to take the No Hot Pets pledge, visit nohotpets.ca