uber dog policy

Toronto Uber passenger keeps getting denied rides because they have a service dog

Taking an Uber is a life-saver when you really need it. Whether you're coming in from a long night out, rushing to make it to work, or simply can't be bothered to go through the perils of transit, the app has been a godsend for most of us ever since its debut. 

For most of us.

Unfortunately, it turns out that those with service animals may not experience the same convenience with Uber as the rest of us do, some reporting that they've been denied rides from drivers who refuse to allow pets in their vehicles. 

Mei is one of those people. In a recent TikTok video, the Uber rider captured a car driving up, only to abruptly drive off when the driver noticed their service dog.

A second video captured another dispute with a driver who denied Mei entry, stating he was uncomfortable with having a dog in the car. 

"The driver denied me service and kept saying 'no dogs' even though I said my dog is a service dog and medically required. I even offered him a note from my physician," Mei told blogTO. 

Uber's pet service policy can be found on the company's website, and it writes that "state and federal bylaws prohibit drivers using the Uber Driver app from denying service to riders with service animals because of the service animals, and from otherwise discriminating against riders with service animals."

While there is an option to select a pet-friendly ride, all Uber drivers sign and agree to a contract stating that they are willing to take service dogs in their vehicle, regardless of whether or not the pet-friendly option is selected. 

"The experience made me feel extremely uncomfortable and defeated. I get denied almost daily by Uber drivers, bus drivers and stores because I medically require the use of a service dog," said Mei.

"I have worked incredibly hard over the years to become independent, and my service dog has given me that independence back. People with service dogs have the same rights as the average person — our service dogs have the same rights as a wheelchair or a cane."

When signing up for the Uber platform, drivers agree to transport service animals and operate in compliance with all applicable accessibility laws.

All of them receive in-app notifications that require them to acknowledge their legal obligations related to accepting service animals on trips, and get quarterly email reminders about this policy. 

Drivers who violate their legal obligation and deny people with service animals from entering their cars can potentially lose their jobs. 

"There is no room for discrimination on the Uber platform, and we are extremely disheartened by what this rider experienced. All drivers agree to accommodate riders with service animals when they sign up for the Uber app. Our specialized support team looked into what this rider reported and took appropriate action," said an Uber spokesperson to blogTO.

Any information about Uber's animal service policies, as well as any additional information about the platform's regulations, can be found on its website.

Lead photo by

Heather Paul

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