VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – A pet project for one dog owner – mapping pet-friendly businesses in Victoria – is now well beyond the borders of B.C. The data-scientist behind it doesn’t understand people leaving pets in cars, especially in summer – and hopes this can help.
“I can’t fix the way they think but I can give them the tools to find a way to take their dog,” says Olga Gould.
She created a map of dog-friendly businesses in her neighbourhood so she would know where she could shop without leaving her dog in the car. Gould used the map as a project in a data-science class she was teaching to new immigrants, and then it went viral.
In the weeks since the map was shared, she says thousands of pins have been requested from South America to northern B.C.
“It was just a test but then the media were calling me, many people were calling me – ‘Please add my office, my office has been dog-friendly – we prefer dogs [to] people,'” she says.
The project is now taking hours, Gould says, including time away from her Masters program, but if even one dog is saved from a hot car, it’s worth it for her.
“People will not have an excuse to leave your dog in the car because anything you need to buy – anything – there is one place at least that you can go and take your dog inside,” she says. “If one dog is saved because of that map it will be worth it.”