Dear Urban Diplomat: Is it okay for people to let their dogs take up seats on the subway?

A couple of weeks ago, I was taking the subway home from work and spotted a dog curled up on the seat beside its owner. It was well behaved, and the train wasn’t crowded (a miracle, I know), so I let it go. Then, a few days later, at the back of a packed streetcar, it happened again: a mutt hogging a whole seat. What’s the deal? Are dogs allowed to sit on TTC seats? And, if not, is it my place to say something about it?

—Screw the Pooch, Davisville

There’s no official bylaw barring pets from parking their butts on transit seats, but just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean it should be a thing (see: improv comedy, cargo shorts), and the TTC generally frowns on it. There are plenty of good reasons for canine commuters to stay on the floor: it frees up sitting room, protects dog-allergic passengers from some next-level misery and keeps stinky dog parts away from pristine human parts. When it comes to calling out indulgent owners, though, it’s best to reserve action for seriously sardined commutes. On an otherwise empty train, why risk incurring the wrath of an indignant pet parent—and their yappy schnauzer?


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