Rideshares leave blind Dallas man stranded on the side on the road because of service dog

A legally blind Dallas man was left stranded when multiple rideshares refused to pick up the man and his service dog after a trip to the vet.

It's something disability rights activists say happens all too often.

"Actually Lyft picked me up here at the house and carried me over to the Metro Paws Animal Clinic on Fort Worth Avenue with my dog," said Bernard Purtee.

Purtee, who was born visually impaired, says the problems started when he tried to leave the vet.

"The Lyft showed up, saw the dog, and took off," he said.

Purtee says it happened not once, but twice. So he called an Uber.

"I said, ‘this is my service animal’, and I'm walking towards the car, and she peels out."

Purtee was still waiting for a ride three hours after his appointment, so his vet volunteered to give him a ride.

"I just couldn't live with myself knowing I had a customer out here who was visually-impaired with his dog," said Dr. Ivan Alvarez. "How much longer was he going to be out here for? Or if he was ever going to get a ride at all. I said ‘hop into my car, I don’t mind at all.'"

Christopher McGreal of Disability Rights Texas says despite the Americans with Disabilities Act people with service animals not being picked up still happens.

"It has exploded with Uber and Lyft being more prominent as a form of transportation," said McGreal.

He says companies need to do a better job of making sure drivers know that federal law protecting people with disabilities includes rideshares.

"The responsibilities and requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act because public transportation for persons with disabilities is a very highly-regulated field," said McGreal.

Purtee has not heard from Uber, but did receive an email from Lyft.

"They need to know that this not acceptable. This is against the law. They cannot do this and our service animal is an important tool to us," said Purtee.