It happens every summer.

The Ottawa Humane Society will inevitably get a few calls regarding dogs left in cars in hot weather, said OHS inspector Miriam Smith.

Yesterday, the OHS launched a public awareness campaign to address the problem of dogs left in cars in hot weather — targeted at the places they are most likely to see it happen.

The OHS is putting up stickers on the doors of local shopping malls, hospitals and big box stores in the city, reminding people to leave their pets at home, and letting people know what to do if they spot a pet in a vehicle.

The stickers feature the image of a dog, with the slogan “dogs die in hot cars” and the OHS emergency phone number.

“We receive about 200 calls a summer,” said Smith. “It’s definitely a problem. We’re trying to get people to leave their pets at home.”

Every year, customers come into the shopping centre to report animals in cars, said Leah Dixon, marketing co-ordinator for the Westgate Shopping Centre.

The stickers, which offer a phone number to call, will help, Dixon said.

A lot of people don’t know that even if they leave their car windows down, temperatures in the car quickly rise, Smith said.

The OHS has the authority to do anything within their means, including breaking car windows, to rescue an animal they believe to be in distress, Smith said. Charges can include both provincial and Criminal Code offences, she said, and a person can be prohibited from owning an animal for life.