WATCH: A PSA reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars is making rounds online. WARNING: Offensive language. Courtesy: bchizzle, YouTube.
The creators of a tongue-in-cheek video reminding people to not leave their dogs in hot cars are hoping to spread the important message.
The two-minute video that features local YouTube celebrity Peter Chao shows men clad in balaclavas and black sunglasses, smashing out the window of a car, with a dog trapped inside.
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“We are everywhere. We see everything,” says one man wielding a hammer. “We see your dog in distress and you are not around to open the door, we are going to let the hammers fly.”
“We’d like to remind you that a broken window is nothing compared to an animal’s life,” he adds.
However, the video ends with a disclaimer, saying anyone who sees a dog in distress in a hot car should try to locate the owner or contact their local authorities for assistance.
“Breaking a window can be seen as a last resort in an urgent situation,” it says. “Remember, we are just a YouTube channel, not legal advice.”
One of the people behind the video, Brian Cheung of Vancouver, says it was always meant as a joke.
“We were playing with the concept of disheveled dog owners who would go all out and start smashing car windows,” says Cheung. “We thought that would be terrifying. But then we thought we could maybe sugar coat it and make it entertaining to create the discussion.”
Cheung says he and his friends have personally witnessed a lot of cases of dogs stuck in hot cars and wanted to raise awareness about the problem. But before doing that, they wanted to make sure they get the right message across.
“It is a very strong message, so we did not want to promote the wrong one, which is to go out and smash windows,” he says. “It is just to make people talk about it, that’s all.”
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Randy Fincham, a media relations officer with Vancouver police, told Global News the video is “an interesting and dramatic approach” to educating the public about the dangers of leaving pets in a hot car.
He says in the event that someone comes across an animal in distress inside a car in the city of Vancouver, they should call 9-1-1 and the VPD will dispatch one of their officers to the scene to assess the need to gain access to the vehicle and determine the associated liability involved in intentionally damaging another person’s property.
For their part, Lorie Chortyk with the BC SPCA says they admire the creativity that went into making the video and getting the message out.
“Anything that draws attention to the issue of dogs in hot cars, we are certainly all for that,” says Chortyk. “We obviously can’t condone people breaking the law and taking matters into their own hands.”
Anyone who sees a distressed animal inside a hot car is asked to call the Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1(855)6BC SPCA (1-855-622-7722) and the BC SPCA will send an officer to investigate.
Since the beginning of this year, the BC SPCA have recorded 1,201 calls about animals trapped in hot cars province-wide.