NEW BEL ROAD: On January 10, Pet Cab, a taxi service for pets in the city, turned one, and celebrated it by launching their website on Sunday.
Now, owners can book rides for their pets online on www.petcab.in. One of the fleet of four, marked for emergencies round the clock, is parked outside CUPA in RT Nagar for the past couple of weeks.
“You can’t really call it an ambulance because all we have is a first-aid kit, and the driver isn’t equipped to help the owner or handler with more than cleaning out wounds and bandaging them. Pet owners might find it hard to hold on to a sick or injured pet and drive, so that’s where we step in,” says CEO Santosh Shekhar.
However, he goes on to say that he and his team are in talks with a doctor from Cessna Lifeline, a veterinary hospital in Domlur, who is to help train drivers. “Simple things like putting the pet on an IV or giving an injection will be sorted,” Shekhar explains, adding that if all goes well, a full-fledged ambulance service in association with the hospital might soon become a reality. “But it’s too early to say right now,” he says.
He is also hopeful of having students of veterinary medicine pitching in for internships.
Passengers are most often dogs and cats, but they’ve had seven or eight calls for birds, and a calf has been ferried too. “It was a small one. We even got a call for a monkey once. It was an accident on Tumakuru Road—we didn’t have cabs available, if I remember right. Moreover, our drivers aren’t trained to deal with monkeys, nor was anyone on the spot there,” he says. So they had to let it go.
Pet Cab has tied up with a few stores to reach pet products, including food and medicine to the homes of owners. “They have to let the stores know a day in advance, and they even get a 15 per cent discount,” he says.
After a trial of three months, Pet Cab launched a new venture at the Pet Show held at Jayamahal Palace recently—Canine Foods. “We deliver home-cooked food made by two people who have been specially trained. We coordinate with vets to customise it for the pet whenever possible,” Shekhar adds.
Apart from emergencies, Pet Cab ferries pets to salons and spas, offers airport and railway station pick ups and drops. It also offers drops to two cemeteries in Kengeri.
Long distance trips are undertaken by the start-up as well. “We’ve done about a hundred. We take on South India trips ourselves. For North India, due to the distance, we take charge of the flight cargo,” he says. The adoption wing of CUPA sends a lot of animals out for adoption through Pet Cab, he claims.
A year since their launch, the CEO and staff are confident that they have a wide reach in Bengaluru and can look towards other cities to fill the gap in pet services. “Yes, we would like to improve, but we’re looking to start something similar in Chennai and Hyderabad too,” Shekhar says.
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