The SPCA is reminding the public yet again about the dangers of hot cars after bystanders were forced to rescue a distressed dog from a Humvee in Maple Ridge.

Witnesses said the animal was drooling, panting and barking when they found it trapped in a Save-on-Foods parking lot Thursday afternoon.

The Humvee’s windows were partially open so a store employee reached in to unlock the door and free the dog. The crowd brought the animal, which looked like a black Rottweiler, to some shade and gave it water until the owner came outside.

The man appeared irate and rushed off with the dog, witnesses said.

SPCA spokeswoman Lorie Chortyk said it can take less than 10 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car, even if it’s parked in the shade with the windows cracked.

“Because dogs don’t have the ability to perspire the way humans do, the only way they can release heat from their bodies is by panting and their paws,” Chortyk said.

“Unfortunately, in a matter of minutes they can die.”

Despite repeated warnings, many people don’t seem to be getting the message. The SPCA said it’s responded to 228 calls about dogs locked in hot cars in the last month alone.

Chortyk said the safest thing for people to do is leave their pets at home.

“That’s where they’re safe,” she said. “Even if you’re running in to grab some groceries, you know, one little errand is all it takes to kill your pet.”

Anyone who sees a dog in a hot car should know it’s illegal to break the windows, Chortyk said. She recommended that people call 911 or the SPCA, and if a window is partially open to try and give the animal water.

Watch video of the rescue posted to Facebook: