Animals Automotive Business Culture

Malaysian pet taxi drivers tell us how they handle their 4-legged passengers

Imagine this – you booked a taxi but as your taxi pulled over, you saw a bunch of passengers. No, these aren’t your usual passengers. They are on all fours, some have their tongues out and have… furs?! OMG, gais. We’re talking about pets and not whatever naughty things you may have in mind.

But, yes, pet taxis exist in Malaysia. We just found out about this because this writer adopted a new kitten and he was ferried in one of these taxis to her home.

However, we hate to break it to you that it doesn’t look anything like what we portrayed earlier or in the featured image but more like this…

Amier (left) from My Furry World and the writer. The writer’s kitten is in the pet carrier.

We talked to Amier of My Furry World, Eddie of Eddie Fat Cat Runner, and Joanne from JomPaw, owners of three separate pet taxi companies, to find out more about this service. Just to be clear, we weren’t paid to talk about this but as pet lovers, we just wanna share this new discovery with y’all. 

And we were shocked to know that…

 

Unlike Grab, pet taxis are considered a COURIER

Ok, the real question – why do pet taxis even exist? It’s not like these pets have to commute to work to pay bills.

Uhh… maybe except this cat. Img from Thrillist

“Pet Taxi provides transportation exclusively for pets from one location to another. However, My Furry World pet taxi gives more value added service by making sure pets received are healthy, fit the new owner’s expectation.” – Amier to CILISOS.

While it’s true that pets won’t need to travel to work, this service would help them go to vets for health check-ups, pet hotels when their owners are out of town, or to a new owner’s home when they get adopted by someone else. And it’s very helpful especially for pet owners who don’t own a vehicle or for those who want to transport their pets to other states (yes, including Sabah and Sarawak!). 

But let’s be clear about one thing – although they’re called pet taxis, they’re not exactly similar to Grab. Joanne said you can think of JomPaw like Grab for pets but Amier and Eddie mentioned that the service actually falls under courier services.

JomPaw also offers a lot of other services besides pet taxis.

Anyways, Amier shares that he started the business because he saw a need among rescuers to rescue and transport strays to adopters. Joanne said the same thing too besides adding that she and the co-founders of JomPaw also wanna connect pet owners with those who will treat their pets like family.

While our interviewees’ intentions are pure…

 

Pet taxis are commonly used to get rid of furry babies 🙁

While pet taxis are supposed to be useful to pet owners, some people tend to use this service for other reasons. – to get rid of their pets. 🙁 

Unedited image from Daily Express

Eddie told us that there was a time he received a request to send a cat from Subang Jaya to Kajang. He thought the owner wanted to rehome the cat but to his surprise…

“When I arrived at Kajang, the supposed new owner said he didn’t adopt a cat. I tried calling the previous owner but to no avail. And mind you, this cat is an expensive breed.

 

I don’t get why anyone would do this. If they don’t want the cat anymore, can’t they at least be honest?” – Eddie. Translated from BM.

Eddie added that he had no choice but to take care of the cat for a while before finding it a new home. Unfortunately, our interviewees said that it’s pretty common for pet owners to rehome their pets. 

Amier also had a similar experience to Eddie and you can read how he finds the cats a new home here.

While these pet taxis would accept requests to rehome pets, Joanne highlighted that JomPaw will NOT accept requests to send pets to animal shelters. Seeing how Malaysian animal shelters are lacking in space and food during the MCO, we can understand why Joanne said this.

Anyways, when we say pets, we’re not only talking about your adorable cats, dogs, rabbits, and hamsters. Some of these taxis like Eddie’s also accept requests to transport exotic animals like snakes, birds, turtles, and even fish. But you gotta have a license for your pets la or else Eddie won’t transport them, ok?

Most of the time, these pets can be really expensive. So, how do they ensure the passengers get VIP treatment in the taxi besides preventing pet-napping??

 

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If you think driving a car with an animal passenger is an easy task, you oughta think again. You don’t only have to make sure they’re comfy at all times, you also have to deal with their poop or puke (like humans, some of them get car sick too) or, according to Eddie, some of them can even get depressed when they travel long distances.

So, how do our interviewees ensure that their pet taxi drivers are really, REALLY qualified? For Eddie, he is the pet taxi driver himself… with some exceptions. 

Eddie’s pet taxi can also transport your pet’s food or cage. Img from Eddie

“Other than myself, I trust two of my cousins to bring these pets as they’re also pet lovers like me. At times, I entrust some of my runners who drive buses, if I need to use their services.” – Eddie.

Amier shares that he is very particular when choosing drivers and the two criteria he looks at are good hygiene practices and knowledge in handling different kinds of pets. But JomPaw’s process of choosing a driver is the most rigid.

“JomPaw assures that all its sitters (pet taxi drivers) must have their own cars and go through a multi-tiered online & offline interview process prior to being selected. These prerequisites, coupled with other measures, lead to trustworthiness.” – Joanne.

And pet taxis come in various types of vehicles – from sedan cars to SUVs, vans, and even buses!

One of the cats was transported by bus. Img from Eddie

So, what’s the best way to calm a pet? For one, Amier said catnips can calm cats and owners in cars! Eddie said that he would normally chit-chat with the animals he transports and turn on the air conditioner to cool them until they sleep.

One helpful tip we learn from our interviewees is to place the pet carrier on the car floor. #TIL

“To help calm pets while traveling, we keep the smaller pets in crates in the footwell of the car – the lowest point of the car means lesser motion.” – Joanne.

Or you can also turn on some music to calm your pets.

But expect this reaction from your pets la, ok? Img from Imgflip

Ok ok, we heard ya. What if you don’t trust pet taxis at all??

 

Don’t worry. Some pet taxis are for hoo-mans too!

See, pet taxis is a relatively new service that has only boomed during the MCO since most of us are stuck at home. So, we understand if you are a bit skeptical about the service itself. 

But don’t worry. Joanne and Eddie said you can also take a ride in the pet taxi

“For pets who suffer extreme travel anxiety, we recommend their owners to tag along the car ride.” – Joanne.

However, we gotta note that this service is not available for Amier’s pet taxi as of now. 

Anyways, since this service is considered a pet courier service, these drivers have no problemo with passing through roadblocks.

He gotta earn an honest living too. Unedited images from Piston, WebMD, and Alibaba

“We have MITI letters to get through roadblocks, so there is no problem. I would just honestly tell the police officer on duty that I’m delivering pets to which location and they would understand.” – Eddie.

So, if you need to send your pets to mandi, vet, your friend’s house or adopt your pets from other places (read: other states), you can always contact these guys here:

  • Eddie (transports to states in Peninsula Malaysia only): +60 12-619 8338
  • Amier (transports to states in Peninsula Malaysia only): +60 17-633 5375
  • JomPaw (transports in all states): 1700-8181-800 or you can download the app and book for the services you want to use here.

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