A southern Ontario volunteer group is raising awareness about the dangers of leaving pets inside hot cars.

Pet Patrol, a not-for-profit group based in Windsor, Ont., drives through city parking lots looking for distressed animals.

Founder Rose Owens says the relatively new group has already found nearly 70 pets left in vehicles.

In a demonstration at an event on Saturday, Owens donned a mink coat and sat in a parked vehicle.

After only 15 minutes, Owens’ thermometer showed a temperature of 54 C.

“Your pet has a fur coat on, we have skin,” said Owens. “The temperature just doubles for them.”

“You’re not going to leave your child in the car,” Owens added. “Don’t leave your pet in the car.”

Earlier this week, local resident Madisen Gingras posted photos on social media that showed a dog left in a hot car for more than 30 minutes. According to Gingras, she could hear the dog crying from the one window that was only partially open.

It is illegal in Ontario to leave an animal in a parked vehicle in a way that endangers the health or safety of the animal.

Windsor Police say they encourage people to keep an eye out for distressed animals and to call police if they see one.

With a report from CTV Windsor