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Hot dogs won't roast with owner-texting collar

In these dog days of summer, dulled minds may do the unimaginable and leave a furry friend unattended in the car or apartment where it'll bake in the heat. Fortunately, pooches may soon wear special collars that can send their BFFs a text message when they get uncomfortably hot.

The Dog Caller (get it?) is fitted with a heat sensor,  cellular circuitry and a SIM card. It is programmed to send out an alert when the temperature approaches 79 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered the tipping point.

The gadget was dreamed up by Rethink Canada, a Toronto-based ad agency, to “actually do something to save dogs’ lives,” Aaron Starkman, a partner and creative director at the agency, told the Toronto Star

Starkman came up with the idea after he came close to overheating his own golden retriever in a car whilst out running an errand.

Rethink also partnered with the Toronto Humane Society to create the #DogFriendly campaign that encourages people to find and share places around town that offer shady spots to tie up dogs, water bowls, off-leash space and other things that make a tail wag.

The idea, which hopefully will spread to other cities soon, is make it easier for people to run errands with their dogs in tow instead of leaving them in a car. It takes 15 minutes for a pooch to overheat, the time a shopper could easily kill by getting in line behind the wrong person at the checkout stand.

To hammer home the point, the animal welfare advocacy group prepared the video below reminding you not to leave your dog in the car.

The Dog Caller itself is currently in prototype stage. Rethink plans to crowd-fund the final product. It could hit store shelves in 2013 and retail for about $20, though cellular service may cost extra. 

— via The Verge and Toronto Star 

John Roach is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. To learn more about him, check out his website. For more of our Future of Technology series, watch the featured video below.