No Joke – On Demand Limo Service for Dogs and Cats

Have you ever needed to bring your pet to the groomer or vet’s office but just couldn’t find the time? If you can relate to this First World Problem, there may be a solution to your furry-friended woes coming to a city near you.

Launching this month, Rapid Paws, a pet limousine service, offers on-demand rides for dogs and cats in the Washington D.C area. Yes, you read that right. Now some animals in the nation’s capital will be riding in more style than us.  

The company has two vans that can hold up to four animals at one time, equipped with video monitors that let owners watch their fur babies while they travel. The service also offers door-to-door pet pickup and delivery within a two hour window. All you have to do is download the Rapid Paws app or go to the company’s website – and pay a sizeable fee, of course.  

The pet limo business is certified to carry secure cargo which enables them to make airport pickups and deliveries. They have also linked up with local real estate companies to facilitate pet relocations when families are moving from one home to another. Still, most of their clientele thus far have been owners needing at-home pick up or delivery to the groomer or veterinarian.  

Paul Ozner, founder of Rapid Paws, envisioned this pet-porting company after working with a meal-delivery service for school children and the elderly. Realizing that some people are simply unable to drive around town for various reasons, Ozner decided that offering pet rides with short notice would be a helpful venture. And based on his research, it had the potential to be quite profitable as well. 

After inquiring of local government agencies, Ozner found that there were 135,000 registered dogs in four major Virginia jurisdictions. He also discovered that there was an average of 1.2 cats per dog in the area, making Rapid Paw’s locale a very pet-dense place to operate. 

While the service may seem frivolous, Ozner says there are some who truly need companies like Rapid Paws. He asserts that certain people with disabilities are unable to drive their pets to necessary appointments or emergency vet visits. Likewise, some elderly pet owners no longer have driver’s licenses and could rely on pet limo services to transport their pets around safely.

Still, Ozner recognizes the somewhat superfluous nature of his company. “Yes, you know — it’s an excessive service for some, in terms of basic necessities,” he admits. In the recent past, the budget for transportation services for the elderly and disabled has been cut, nearly doubling the price for qualifying customers. Furthermore, most transportation services do not offer wheelchair accessible options. This leaves many citizens without the means to leave their home, even for necessary trips.

So, is a pet limo service really necessary for our society, or should the energy (and money) be spent on helping needy citizens get from point A to point B?

-Stephanie Catudal

Stephanie Catudal is a mother, writer, hiker and outdoor enthusiast.  She can often be found exploring the Ponderosa pine forests of Northern Arizona, or splashing in the cool waters of Sedona’s red rock canyons with her husband and two daughters.  Steph is a holistic health enthusiast and finds strength in her personal pursuit of fitness and wellness.  She has degrees in Media, Peace and Conflict studies and is passionate about building peace both abroad and within her community.


Recommended Articles