Man upset after Lyft driver denies him, service dog ride

PHOENIX - A Valley man is upset after a Lyft driver supposedly canceled his ride while his dog was in need of emergency care. 

Doug Shaughnessy says he requested a Lyft after his dog needed to see an emergency veterinarian. He explained that after waiting nine minutes for the driver, David, as he stood outside his house, he saw the car leave after the man spotted his service dog. 

“…The driver took off right in front of me and my badly injured service dog — shaking his head ‘no’ with the window up,” Shaughnessy said. “That’s the only communication that occurred.”  

Shaughnessy says he was trimming his pup’s nails when he accidentally cut one too short. Usually, he would’ve been OK to drive his dog to the vet but because of her injury, she didn’t want to leave his side, he explained.  

“She wanted to hug me and be on my lap so I couldn’t drive,” he explained. I couldn’t have her on my lap at the same time.” 

Luckily Shaughnessy was able to hail a second ride. However, he’s still angry about the incident.

“I at least would have respected him more for saying something instead of just taking off and leaving me with no option,” he said. 

His second driver suggested that he report it — explaining that it’s against the policy to refuse a ride to a service pet.  

Shaughnessy did receive a response from the Lyft team saying “Our safety team has followed up with the driver appropriately” but he says that’s just not enough. 

“Honestly, I’d appreciate some sort of an apology and owning up to the situation,” he said. 

A Lyft spokesperson told ABC15 that they take discrimination very seriously. They are continuing to look into the complaint and the driver will be disciplined. At this time, they're not sure what actions are needed.  

According to their policy, failure to comply with their service animal rule means they could be banned from driving for the platform. 

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