There has been much debate in the Uber community over allowing dogs in the vehicle for Uber rides. Many are on the ‘absolutely not’ column, and generally are not open to seeing reason with this. These are often the same who seem to question therapy animals and being able to deny them access regardless. I am an Uber driver who actually has a therapy animal and I wish more people would be more understanding of this.
Let’s start with service or therapy dogs. Legally we should not be refusing service to anyone with a therapy or service animal. Many drivers say that they just think its fake and that there is no real need for these “service” animals, but here is the thing…the legal ramifications for denying service or questioning these animals could be exponential. Service and therapy animals are fiercely guarded under numerous federal guidelines and there are many organizations willing to help owners fight discrimination should they encounter it.
Customers wishing to travel with their pets (mostly dogs) is increasing in numbers as time goes on. Considering that the highest concentration of Uber rides are picked up in highly urban areas (where most people do not own cars but DO own dogs) it seems that most drivers should assume that a percentage of their rides WILL have an animal companion with them that also needs transport. It seems to go with the times that more people are discarding their own cars as well as waiting to have kids or not having them at all. In lieu of kids…people are getting pets! So common sense would say that to gain more fares with a ride sharing service in this day and age you would and should accept rides with pets.
The easiest solution to the argument of whether or not Uber drivers should accept patrons with animals is to just make your ride accommodate said animals! Drivers are all about making the most money for the ride service they provide so making sure their vehicle is pet safe and ready seems like the simplest solution to this. It is not difficult to purchase a few moving blankets, seat protectors, lint rollers, rubber hair brushes, or a small handheld pet hair vacuum in the high chance that you have a customer with a pet asking for a ride. One other tip could be making sure on your profile, and in person once you greet the passenger, is a statement that states any and all animal related damages or messes will be added to the total bill for your ride. As long as people accept and acknowledge this fact, there really shouldn’t be any issue with accepting pets along with our customers. From someone who does in fact have a service animal, I wish more people would recognize and accept the role these animals play in our daily lives .As I always say, put yourself in another person’s place before you place judgement on them and their actions.