New local business offers safe, convenient rides for animals
Attention, pet owners. Entrepreneur Latanya Pendleton is the owner of Pet-Taxicab LLC, a new Black-owned pet taxi service operating throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs.
The owner comes equipped with a wealth of experience caring for various pets. Pendleton said, “I offer a service to people who need to get their pets to places such as the doggy daycare center, vet clinics, and the groomers, leaving you time for other tasks.”
Pendleton’s from Chicago originally and has been up here since 1992. When she arrived in the Twin Cities, “I worked little jobs here and there. I drove a school bus from 2002-2008,” she said.
“As I was driving a school bus in the latter years of that, I went to school for welding.” During that time, she said, “I applied at the 539, which is a pipefitter union for Minneapolis. After a health issue, she took a leave of absence and decided to focus on starting a business.
The dream of starting the Pet-Taxicab enterprise came to fruition because she yearned for a positive shift in her life. “I knew at the beginning of last year I wanted to possibly make a change, do something different—pipe fitting ain’t the easiest thing to do,” she said.
So, “I started putting things in motion as far as starting a business when I took the leave of absence,” said Pendleton. She worked on getting an “EIN number” and invested time in building the business.
“Officially my website actually didn’t get up and going until February, and that’s when I was able to start taking appointments.” She added, “Things are slow and I know it’ll pick up, so I’ve been trying different things as far as how you promote the business.”
Pendleton initially began advertising her business through direct mailings. She elaborated, “I go to establishments such as the doggy daycare centers, the vet clinics, the groomers, I physically go there and drop off the flyers.” She has also been working with KMOJ on advertising and marketing her business. “A couple of the smaller commercials should hit this week,” Pendleton said.
The Pet-Taxicab enterprise was officially established in October 2021, “so I just got started,” Pendleton said. “I’m at the point where I am trying to build relationships, trying to get the trust out there.” Pendleton said she hopes to help the senior community, in particular.
Pendleton enjoys helping people and their beloved animals through her enterprise. She goes above and beyond the scope of her job. “I had someone call on Sunday,” said Pendleton, “and normally my hours are Monday thru Friday 7-6. But I don’t mind doing transportation out of those hours. There would just be an upcharge.”
The business can provide a convenient and professional service for customers’ fur babies. “I know things will pick up, because I know this will be a great service for people, really for the busy professionals, too, because that’s how I thought of it,” Pendleton said. “There are plenty of people who work at home who can’t really get out to take their pets to these different places, and this would be perfect.”
There aren’t many taxi services that exist for pets Pendleton said. “It’s huge in the U.K.—I didn’t find many here in the U.S.,” she noted. The lack of pet taxi services helped motivate her to launch her own business.
She added, “I love animals, and like I say, having a little bit of the commercial driving and background, I was like, OK, I can do this.” She eventually purchased a van to transport customers’ precious pets.
“I have to build trust in the community and business with pick up,” she said. “I offer a complimentary meet and greet, so I can come to your place and get acquainted with your dog or whatever your pet is.”
Pendleton encouraged budding entrepreneurs to “network with people—get a mentor, get with someone who does this so that any questions you got, that person is there.” She added, “As an entrepreneur, you have to talk to people.”
For more info visit www.pet-taxicab.com or call (763) 340-4282.
Ashley Lauren is a contributing writer at the MN Spokesman-Recorder.