AAA.com — will not transport your pet with you
Please cross post liberally!!!
To all animal owners and guardians: aaa will not transport your animal with you.
I live in southern california. I was driving home with my 12 year old female labrador retriever mix, friday afternoon, july 23, 2010, when the engine of my ford explorer overheated. It was 95 degrees in the san fernando valley. I called aaa, told them i needed a tow to my mechanic and immediately informed them i had my labrador retriever dog with me. The agent explicitly reassured me the dog would not be a problem. She stated she would make the call a priority because i had a pet with me, and as the day was so hot, she wanted to ensure the driver would arrive promptly and transport both of us to a safe location.
The driver arrived about 20 minutes later, and after filling out the paperwork, informed me that the dog could not ride in the air conditioned cab with us, but could ride in my disabled explorer as it was towed to the mechanics. To transport a live animal in a disabled car, while it is being towed, and in 95 degree weather, is unacceptable on a variety of levels. I called aaa again, as this was specifically not what i was told, and was now informed that aaa contracts with local area tow truck companies and each driver can decide for himself whether he wants to allow an animal in the cab or not. I explained that not only was it unsafe for an animal to ride in a vehicle while it was being towed, but that it was 95 degrees and would certainly be much hotter inside the vehicle. The second aaa agent told me the first driver was afraid of dogs and that they would make sure they would send another driver who would accept the dog. The first tow truck was dismissed and i waited in the hot afternoon for the second tow truck to arrive.
Ten minutes later a second tow truck arrived, who explained that although he loved dogs, it was against insurance policy to allow the dog in the cab. (At this point i wondered how many different stories i would get if i continued to call aaa and tow truck companies. ) i asked the driver if he would deliver my explorer to my mechanic without me. He agreed. I sent my explorer on its way for repairs with the tow truck. And my old girl and i walked about a mile to the nearest commercial center where we were able to get a ride from a friend who did not have any issues with dogs on the front seat.
Moral of the story; do not assume if you have aaa and your animal is in the car with you, that both of you will be welcome passengers when the tow truck arrives. Make sure you always have water and dog treats in your vehicle with you. If you must wait for a friend to pick up your animal, water and cookies will be a welcome treat. And if you are a aaa member, a phone call to voice your opinion, will be greatly appreciated.