A PENSIONER says he was left heartbroken when a taxi firm refused to take him to bury his dog.

Donald Budge says A1 Ace Taxi Services wouldn’t let him and his dog, Puppy, which had just been put down by a vet, in one of its cars.

Mr Budge, 69, of Creechbarrow Road in Taunton, was trying to take the little Jack Russell to his daughter’s house at West Buckland to bury her.

He said: “I can’t believe what happened – it’s not right. She was only a little dog and she was wrapped up. The whole thing broke my heart.

“It’s the worst thing in the world losing a pet, and this made it worse.”

Mr Budge claims the driver turned up at his house and refused to take him to his daughter’s home, leaving him to rely on a favour from a friend later in the evening.

“The driver turned up and said ‘I’m not taking that,'” Mr Budge said.

“They ought to be ashamed of themselves with some of the people they take in their cars.

“They pick up drunken people and all sorts, but won’t take me and my dog.

“I got there in the end. My friend had to drop me off, but it was about 1½ hours later, and he couldn’t believe it either.”

Mike Davis, a director at A1 Ace Taxi Services, said the driver was within his rights to refuse the fare.

He said: “Under Hackney Carriage conditions we’re not obliged to take animals alive or dead.

“We rely on customers telling us if they have pets, and Mr Budge did not inform us on the phone.

“The next job could have been to a supermarket and we have to consider whether this would have been reasonable.

“We have to consider other customers, which is what we did in this case.”