05/13/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT
Now there is something extra to make the Good Life truly complete for that yuppie puppy or sybaritic Siamese—a chauffeured limousine service. (Actually it's a van, but Rover isn't likely to know the difference.) Pet Limo is the brainchild of Steven May, a 26-year-old Los Angeleno who knows that even the most pampered pooches or cosseted kitties have owners who are sometimes too busy to drive them around.
Thanks to May's service, any reasonably manageable animal—cat, dog, bird, raccoon, snake, even lion cub—can get a lift wherever it needs to go. The client is picked up at the door by the uniformed May (or a standby driver) and transported in air-conditioned comfort. Resting in fur-lined cages, the passengers are soothed by music. "Classical music really calms animals down," reports May. "They like Pavarotti, too. He makes birds sway and sing along."
An animal technician (veterinarian's helper) for the past 10 years, May started Pet Limo seven months ago when he found two disabled dogs by the side of a road. He administered first aid and took them to an animal hospital. The veterinarian on duty agreed that an ambulance for animals was a good idea. Today, for a minimum charge of $22 (up to $125 for animals with infectious diseases), May takes pets not just to the vet, but also to the kennel, the grooming salon or the airport.
May receives four or five emergency calls per night and has about 75 regular customers; he expects to clear more than $40,000 by the end of the year. There are, of course, hazards in May's line of work. Over the years he has been hospitalized numerous times for animal bites, so he has adopted a safe (and lucrative) form of retaliation—putting the bite on the owners.