Uber has teamed up with Purina Pets at Work mission and local animal shelters for a new puppy-share initiative called #uberPUPPIES. The company will be delivering puppies to workplaces across the country.
Uber users who book in early and pay $40 will get the opportunity to snuggle adorable puppies for up to 15 minutes while at work. But is this really as #pawsome as Uber says?
Uber came under fire last year for its #uberKITTENS initiative, which brought hundreds of tiny kittens to people's doorstep. Now the highly successful taxi service company is capitalising on its apparent success with kittens to bring puppies to workplaces around the country.
While the company claims to donate proceeds to local animal shelters, this scheme is merely a grotesque marketing move that further entrenches the belief that animals (particularly cats and dogs) are accessories and playthings for people to pick up and disregard on a whim.
Not only is Uber exploiting abandoned puppies for profit (under the guise of supporting charitable organisations) but they are perpetuating and capitalising on the already prevalent problem of dog overpopulation and abuse in Australia.
Australian animal shelters are overflowing with abandoned animals, and until recently, little effort was being made to stem the flow of dog breeding in Australia. Puppy factories are operating with little to no governance or regulation, pet shops are selling puppies while supporting commercialised and unethical breeding enterprises, and backyard breeders are pumping out animals with no regard for the thousands of animals perishing in shelters.
The major problem in which these issues stem from is our perception of companion animals, who are often thought of as commodities, toys or novelties.
There is nothing cute about uber delivering puppies. These #uberPUPPIES do not exist for our amusement. They are animals that have been abandoned, neglected or taken from their mother at a young age. They are victims, not a novelty. They do not need to be carted around to workplaces so that people can fawn over them for 15 minutes before relinquishing them to a life inside a cage.
Added to this, puppies can experience severe car sickness and stress when being transported. At such a young age, puppies experience motion sickness because the ear structure responsible for balance is not fully developed.
We need to change the way that we view these animals, and we need to recognise that Australia has a dog overpopulation and abuse problem that companies like Uber are only cashing in on.
What do you think? Is Uber delivering puppies cruel?
Written by Natalie Kyriacou, Director of My Green World