KITCHENER -- "Don't let your pet become a victim."

That's the message from the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and Stratford Perth as the agency is responding to more calls to help dogs in hot cars.

The call comes a week after a dog died in a parked car in Simcoe, Ont., after its owner reportedly forgot it in the back seat.

The humane society says that even a car parked in the shade with the windows down on a fairly mild day can reach deadly temperatures because of a dog's limited ability to sweat.

According to a media release, a dog's normal body temperature sits at about 31 degrees Celsius. They can only handle temperatures a couple degrees hotter for a short time before they suffer irreparable brain damage or death.

"Leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle is not only one of the most irresponsible things that a pet owner can do, it’s also illegal," Executive Director Kathrin Delutis is quoted in the release.

"Pet owners are subject to fines and charges under The Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act and under local bylaws."

The humane society says signs of heat stroke include excessive panting, drooling, listlessness or unconsciousness.

If you see these signs, getting veterinary medical treatment fast is important.

The agency says that you can help by wetting the animal's fur with lukewarm or cool water, putting the dog in the shade and offering it drinking water.

If you see a pet left in a vehicle, you can call 911 or your local humane society.