Lyft taxi driver took off with client’s cat and would not stop or respond to messages

Pandey and his cat Tux reunited after the ordeal. He wants the driver to be accountable for the 'theft'
Pandey and his cat ‘Tux’ reunited after the ordeal. He wants the driver to be accountable for the alleged theft. Image: Screenshot from video.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

NEWS AND COMMENT: A young man, Palash Pandey, in the US took his female tuxedo named ‘Tux’ cat to the vet. He used the Lyft taxi service to get to the veterinary clinic. His cat was in a carrier in the rear of car in the foot well (on the floor). When he arrived at the clinic, he got out of the car to get his cat from the rear passenger section. As he was doing this the Lyft driver drove off. Pandey chased after the car and banged on the windows. The driver ignored him.

Pandey says that the driver stole his cat. He texted the driver but no response until two hours later when the response was, ‘Not here sorry.’ The driver then said that he had nothing belonging to Pandey at which point Pandey contacted the police. They transferred to matter to 311 and filed a report and then nothing.

Pandey took to social media: Reddit.com and Twitter X.

Neighbours helped search for Tux. Pandey was getting desperate and said on social media:

“The driver has stopped responding again, and I don’t have any way to contact him besides the app. I have offered him money for bringing her back, but he just doesn’t respond. Is there anyone who can help?! What else can I do?!”

Lyft seem to have become concerned about bad publicity and notified drivers to keep a lookout for Tux.

Posting on social media to get help
Posting on social media to get help. Image: Screenshot.

Then nothing until 36 hours later when Tux was spotted about a mile away hiding under some stairs. Comment: It looks like the driver decided to return Tux anonymously and abandoned her nearby. That’s my take on this.

Showing where Tux was stolen and found
Showing where Tux was stolen and found. Image: Screenshot from video.

Moral to the story: When you get out of a Lyft car take your cat and or other personal possession with you there and then!

Finally, in what appears to be a PR exercise, Lyft in a statement to Fox 7 in Austin said:

We’re so happy to report that Tux has been reunited with her owner and we are focused on ensuring Tux has everything she needs right now, including covering all of her veterinary bills. We’ll continue to work directly with Palash to provide the support that they need. We are actively working with all to fully understand the situation – to prevent it from happening again.”

Lyft notification to Fox 7 Austin

Direct action as was taken by Pandey is arguable the best way as the police are often unhelpful because it is a minor crime from the police’s standpoint. Too minor to apply themselves to the theft. From the cat caregivers standpoint, it is deeply painful for obvious reasons. The police don’t get this as cats are still regarded as inanimate objects of little value under the law unless they are purebred worth around $2000 but that’s still a small sum of money in the grand scheme of things.

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