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Help Me Move My Pet

Pet Move of the Month: The Travels of Gordon the Horse

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

gordonWhen Gordon's owner needed to move across the country from California to North Carolina, she decided to enlist our horse-relocating help.

Horse moves do require special arrangements: While dogs and cats need airline-approved travel crates and tickets on a pet-friendly airline (among other things), horses most likely need to be moved via ground transportation and have special paperwork requirements.

Here's an overview of how this Pet Move of the Month worked:

-Gordon traveled in an 8x9 box stall that featured a water bucket and hay on the ground. This size allowed him room to reach his head down and move around to find a comfortable travel position.

-The vehicle was stopped every four hours so that Gordon could be checked on and his water topped off.

-About halfway there, Gordon was given a comfort stop where he had the chance to move around in a private paddock and he was given more fresh hay, grain and water.

-As far as travel documents, Gordon needed a health certificate and a Coggins Results Form (here's more about horse travel requirements if you're interested).

A few days after the move was successfully completed, Gordon's trainer was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his journey:

 Was this Gordon's first move?

Gordon has been moved within the area of Northern California, but never cross country. 

What were some of your initial concerns?

My primary concerns for Gordon were his older age, and his attachment to my horse who he wasn't shipped with. Gordon is more anxious than most horses and I was worried he would have a hard time relaxing. 

 

gordon frolicking

(He doesn't look very anxious here...)

 

What surprised you about the travel process, if anything?

Mostly I was surprised at how well PetRelocation and the equine shippers stayed in contact with me. They let me know daily that he was doing well.

How has Gordon handled the transition so far?

Gordon took about four days to fully settle in to his new barn, but is now back to his usual spunky self. 

What advice do you have for people who might be planning a horse move?

Try to put weight on your horse before the move, they will lose some during transport. As well, I would recommend ulcer guard for any high anxiety type of performance horses. 

 

gordon

Home!

 

--

Great job, Gordon! Read about other horse moves we've arranged, and please contact us if you're looking for assistance with a pet move of your own.

 

PetRelocation Team Member Spotlight: Meet Whitney!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 by Core Values

The Core Values here at PetRelocation -- Integrity, Teamwork, Wisdom, Commitment and Innovation -- drive the work that we do and are illustrated by the people we hire.

Recently we introduced you to Penney, one of our dedicated Client Care Specialists, and today we'd like you to meet Whitney, another of our hard-working team members doing her best to make every pet move and client interaction an incredible experience.

Want to know more about what it's like to work at PetRelocation? Here's what Whitney had to say about her life as a PetRelocation Consultant.

whitney & maggieMy Journey with PetRelocation (so Far)

Day to Day

Working here is not routine or predictable, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Discussing unusual moves – whether it is a unique pet or less familiar location – with our clients certainly keep us on our toes.

Rats, fish, birds, snakes -- they all have very different needs when it comes to transportation as well as differing import and export requirements! I often still answer calls that initially get me stuck – most recently about how to move a chicken to Vietnam (not easy)!

How I Got Here

When I stumbled upon a job listing for this company, I knew it was right for me. The position seamlessly connected my previous sales, customer service and animal experience. At this point I had no idea that there was such a huge market for this service (and my grandma will never understand: “It costs HOW MUCH to move a cat??” – love you Granny)!

Learning all of the rules, requirements and procedures involved has been quite challenging. We all gain and share knowledge every day. My co-workers have been so helpful and we all strive to provide the best experience possible to each client and their furry travelers!

The Best Parts

The most rewarding part of this job is the reunions – seeing happy owners and pets greet each other after the journey is over. I recently had the pleasure of delivering Bane, a beautiful husky, to his owners who just moved to Austin. Their excitement was contagious. I left with a huge grin and a feeling of accomplishment.

Of course, having pets in the office is a huge perk as well. There’s a dog running around daily, a resident hamster, and we even had a cat in for picture day! My pup Maggie really enjoys this.

Continuing the Journey

Change is inevitable here. This is a very unique industry with ever-changing rules and requirements, and there certainly isn’t a handbook explaining the ABCs of importing/exporting pets to every country in the world. I feel lucky to be a part PetRelocation -- a leader in our industry and a knowledgeable team that makes it all possible.

Meet the rest of the PetRelocation team, and please contact us if you have questions about your upcoming pet move.

Cat Travel from Egypt to the United States

Monday, August 4, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Baher
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Persian Doll Face
From: Egypt
To: United States

Dear PetRelocation,

My wife and I have two twin Persian doll face cats, weighing 6.6 and 9 pounds. We're in Egypt and will be moving permanently to the United States next year. We've never transported pets before and don't know the first thing about it.

What are we supposed to do? I am very anxious about this and am desperate for any information. How do I transport them and do I take them with me on the plane like cabin baggage? Also, what is the necessary paperwork?

Thanks a lot,
Baher
 

 

Hi Baher,

Thank you for your inquiry. First, please take a look a these frequently asked pet travel questions as well as the import requirements for the United States. The information found here will give you a basic understanding of what to expect regarding your cats' move.

To summarize, you'll need to make sure your cats have up-do-date rabies vaccines (and the documents to prove it), airline-approved travel crates, and you'll want to book the flights on a pet-friendly airline. Helping your cats to get used to their crates beforehand will be a big help. Most likely your cats will fly in the cargo area of the plane, which is pressure and temperature-controlled.

If you're interested in hiring some door-to-door assistance with your move (we help with pre-move paperwork, flight booking and transportation to and from the airport), you're welcome to fill out our free quote form.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.

Questions about Bird Travel to Hawaii

Thursday, July 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Cayla
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Small Bird
Pet Breed: Cockatiel
From: Mainland United States
To: Hawaii

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I know there are a lot of regulations with quarantine and regulations with dogs and cats going to Hawaii, but what will I need for my bird? I know she'll need a health check-up two weeks prior to flying, and I was told the vet should have everything in order for us to move to Hawaii.

I would just like to double check.

Thanks,

Cayla

 

Hi Cayla,

Thanks for the question, we'd be happy to offer some direction. According to the official Hawaii government website, most bird species require two different permits, including -- since you're coming from the Mainland United States -- this import permit.

In addition to those official Hawaii-specific details, here is more general information from our blog about transporting birds. It's important to secure the correct airline-approved travel container and to make sure you understand all airline regulations and import procedures in order to avoid delays. Please note that the Honolulu airport is the only entry port for birds in the state, for example.

Please contact us if you think you'd like some help relocating with your bird, and good luck!

U.S. Department of Transportation Expands Airline Reporting Requirements

Thursday, July 17, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, more airlines will be required to report incidents involving the loss, injury or death of an animal during transport. This expansion of the current rule is meant to "provide consumers with a fuller picture of an airline's safety record," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Currently just 14 airlines have to adhere to reporting rules, but the expansion will mean that 27 carriers will now be responsible for filing annual reports detailing specific incidents as well as the number of animals carried. The definition of "animal" includes dogs and cats and also covers commercial shipments.

So what are the implications of this? As we told nbcnews.com, greater transparency is a good thing, and hopefully this will inspire every airline to do better when it comes to transporting pets. There are a handful of pet-friendly options out there now (we feel confident flying with a select few carriers, suck as KLM, Lufthansa and United), but it would be heartening and better for everyone to see greater attention paid to pet safety across the board.

Remember, pet travel is actually pretty safe overall, but there is certainly room for improvement. The pet travel industry continues to grow, and it's well past time for airlines offering pet travel options to truly commit to making their services as safe as possible. Greater accountability will help with this, and this new DOT rule is a step in the right direction.

If you'd like to know more, the Department of Transportation issues a monthly Air Travel Consumer Report and makes it publicly available on its website. If you're thinking about moving with a pet and have questions about it, please contact us.

 

pet in cargo

Cargo pet travel. (Photo Credit: Sandy Robins)

 

 

Cat Travel to Singapore

Tuesday, July 1, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Michelle
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Maine Coon
From: UK
To: Singapore

Hi PetRelocation,

I am moving fairly quickly to Singapore (probably moving 14/15th Aug 2014). Do I have enough time to sort out getting my cat there?

Can you please advise what I need to do?

Thanks,

Michelle

 

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for your question. Moving pets to Singapore does require several weeks of preparation, but coming from the UK (a 'Category A' country), means you'll be facing the least strict requirements.

Per the official Singapore government website, here is a link explaining what you'll need to import your cat to Singapore. There will be no quarantine for your cat if you follow the rules carefully and correctly.

Feel free to contact us if you have questions about this or if you think you'd like some professional assistance to arrange your move. We've helped many pets move to Singapore (including Sigro and Purrla) and we'd be happy to help you, too. Note that we help many pets move before or after their owners, so if the process ends up taking longer than you'd hoped and you need to move first, we can talk to you about how we could help with your cat's boarding, transportation, etc. during that transition period.

Good luck with everything, Michelle, and please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

 


 

Flight Decisions for Cat Travel to Canada

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Chelsey
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: DMH
From: Western Australia
To: Saskatchewan, Canada

 

Hi,

I am having a difficult time getting clear quotations from pet travel companies. Nothing is clear or itemized. Is is possible to have my cat travel as cargo with me for flying from Australia to Canada (at least two stops so this complicates things) or will I have to send her separately?

I'm assuming having her as my cargo will be cheaper? Who 'prepares' the animal at the airport, do I get to drop her off or does a vet have to prepare the crate from Australia? Will this complicate the exportation/importation process, having myself or a friend having her as cargo?

Thanks!

Chelsey

 

Hi Chelsey,

Thanks for your questions! Pet travel can definitely be confusing if you've never done it before, and we'd be happy to offer some information.

First, take a look at these frequently asked pet travel questions for an idea of how things work. You have some choices to make -- you can handle the move yourself (secure the paperwork, book the flight and check her in at the airport, etc.) or you can hire some assistance, which will cost more but will also remove a lot of the time and stress from the situation. Here are a few reasons why people choose to hire professional help with a pet move.

Also important for you to look at are the pet import requirements for Canada. You will need to visit the vet before you move and secure the correct health documents.

Finally, since it sounds like you're looking for more information about the details of pricing, here is an explanation of why it costs what it does to hire a pet transportation company to help with a move.

This is a lot of information, but feel free to take your time to look over it and then let us know if you have further questions. We arrange door-to-door pet travel services and would be happy to discuss logistics with you and give you an estimate if you're interested. The pets we move travel via cargo and usually aren't on the same flight as the pet owner -- this makes things easier by allowing the pet owner to take care of their own travel details and arrive ahead of their pet if they'd like to.

Hopefully this sets you off in the right direction. Please contact us if you'd like to talk more about your cat's move, and either way good luck with everything!


 

Pet Travel to England

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Nitika
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Long-haired House Cat
From: Oslo, Norway (Gardemoen Airport)
To: Waybridge UK, (Heathrow)

 

Hi,

I do have some questions: How much will this cost? Can the relocation be timed to match my arrival in the UK? This is to ensure minimum transit and in-crate time for the cat. How is PetRelocation different from airlines like Lufthansa and British Airways? Do you offer more options?

Best Regards
Nitika

 

Hi Nitika,

Thanks for submitting a question to us, we'd be happy to offer some guidance. First, here are the pet import requirements for the UK. Your cat will need to follow a few rules and show proof of updated vaccines, etc. in order to be admitted to the UK.

Regarding what we do: We provide door-to-door pet transportation services, which means we help plan the pre-move details (like vaccines and paperwork), we book the flight on a pet friendly airline (often British Airways or Lufthansa), oversee customs clearance and arrange transportation to and from the airport on both ends of the trip.

Usually our clients are not on the same flight as their pet, and we try to time the arrival so that it works for the pet owner (often pet parents want to travel first so that they'll have a chance to set up the new house before reuniting with their pet).

Our costs for moving one small pet internationally usually begin at around $2500, however the actual price will depend on several factors. Handling the move yourself will probably be a cheaper option but will simply take more of your time and effort. Reasons people hire us include not having the time to plan a move or feeling overwhelmed by the process and wanting to leave the details to an experienced team.

We'd be happy to chat if you have more questions for us, Nitika. Either way, good luck with everything!

 

Cat Travel to Indonesia

Monday, June 2, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Maria
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Short hair cats
From: USA
To: Jakarta, Indonesia

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am planning to move permanently to Jakarta, Indonesia with my three cats. I am really confused about where to begin and am uncertain about how to search the internet to find answers.

I am wondering what are the requirements and which airline allows to carry them into the cabin (I'm hoping to able to put them underneath seats). Please kindly advise.

Thank you so much and I greatly appreciate your help!

Maria

 

Hi Maria,

Thanks for your questions, we'd be happy to provide some information. First, you can take a look at the pet import requirements for Indonesia. Your cats will need a veterinary health certificate and you'll need to follow the procedures as outlined regarding the rabies titer test, etc. Here is more information from our website for you to look over.

We suggest booking a flight with a pet friendly airline -- we often use KLM for pet flights in this part of the world. You can check out their options to decide what may work best for you. Flying pets in the cargo area often sounds scary to people who have never traveled with a pet before, but when handled correctly this is a safe option. Please take a look at these frequently asked pet travel questions along with these common misconceptions about pet travel to help you better understand the process.

If you think you'd like some assistance and want to know more about our door-to-door pet transportation services, please fill out our free quote form.

Hopefully this helps to get you started! Good luck, and let us know if we can help with your cats' move.
 

Travel Tips to Help Nervous Cats

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Veronika
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Domestic
From: Mexico City, Mexico
To: Budapest, Hungary

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My cats are very nervous, stressed and afraid when transported and I know they shouldn't be sedated during the flight. They are also too big to travel in the passenger cabin. I don't know what the best option is. I am afraid it will be too stressful (long flight plus connecting flight) to move them with me. What should I do?

Thank you,

Veronika
 

Hi Veronika,

Thanks for your questions -- you're not alone in having concerns like these! Many people think it's impossible to move a pet (especially a nervous cat), but there are ways to minimize stress.

  • First, if you decide to go forward with the move, you'll want to help your cats get used to their travel crates as much as possible. Once they can see the crate as a safe and comfortable place to be, they will be much calmer travelers. Here is an overview of our tips for how to crate train a cat.
  • Second, choose a pet friendly airline. This is an extremely important part of minimizing the risks of pet travel, and we often KLM and Lufthansa for European trips due to their pet policies and good safety records.
  • Additionally, talk to your vet, educate yourself as much as possible, and consider hiring professional assistance for your move. All of these things will help to put you into a calmer frame of mind, which will in turn help your cats to feel less anxious.

A final word: we have helped thousands of pets move safely and, again and again, we hear from our customers that the transition is much smoother than they expected it to be. Hopefully this (and the information above) helps you to start your way in the right direction.

Please let us know if you have further questions, and good luck with everything.

 

Meet The New Employee Pets of PetRelocation!

Monday, May 5, 2014 by Caitlin Moore

Over the past few weeks we've been excited to welcome several new employees to PetRelocation. These are busy times in the pet transportation world, and it was time to add a few more sharp and capable people to the team!

It's been fun getting to know them, of course, and there's something in particular we never waste time in asking our new hires about -- their pets. Read on to meet the furry friends that Whitney, Vanessa, Linda and Brooke go home to each night. As you'll see, they are truly passionate pet people (so they're sure to fit right in here).

 

Maggie

Whitney says: "My pup’s name is Maggie (or Maggie Moo) and she is a corgi/border collie mix. I adopted her about 5 years ago while in school in San Marcos. I used to volunteer at the shelter and it was love at first sight! She had a hard life before she we met, so we had to work really hard together on her social skills with people and other animals. She is getting older now, she’s about 11. She sleeps more than she used to, but still loves dog parks, hiking and swimming (AKA walking around in shallow water) -- those short legs make her a little nervous in deep water. She doesn’t let it stop her though! She also loves bones that are almost as big as she is!"

 

 

Tyson and Buttercup

Vanessa says: "My main man is Tyson  Leonidas Sepulveda (pictured on the right). He is a 6-year-old Pitbull/Boxer mix. I got Tyson when he was 5 months old and it was love at first sight! He is my doggie soul mate and I love him more than words can say. He has a wonderfully funny personality and is such sweet boy that loves to kiss and snuggle! He thinks he’s a lap dog. To see what a cutie he is please check out his own Instagram: lifeoftys."

"My little girl is Buttercup Sepulveda (pictured on the left). She is a 6 month old Chihuahua/Terrier mix. I got Buttercup the week of my final interview for this job! I had gone to the ASPCA just to see the pups and when I saw her I knew she needed to come home with us. She is my crazy little tripod! Even though we have only had her for about 1.5 months she already runs the house. She is a goof ball that has no idea how tiny she is! She loves everyone and loves to play with other dogs! To see this little monkey please check out her Instagram: buttercupsbigadventures."

 

 

 

Piggy and Paisley

Linda says: "I have had my little Piggy the pug since he was 1. I had never ever even been around a pug until I met Piggy, and from the moment I met him I was smitten! Piggy is now 12 years old and is like my wise little Buddha. Piggy is the most chill dog, and he has a hard time grasping that he is a dog. He likes to lurk and creep on people from afar, and likes to hide in inconspicuous spots.  His favorite game is 'pretend to take the treat.'  Piggy has a huge effect on people, he got more tears when we moved across country than I did. He has even turned three people into actual pug owners, all based on their love for Piggy."

"Paisley was almost named Pancake, which if you met her is quite befitting. She is a 4-year-old Corgi/Shepard mix. I like to think of her as a sassy southern belle.  Paisley is my Texas dog, we adopted her here in Austin when she was about 8 weeks old after battling Parvo for a couple tough weeks at our vet’s office. She is a survivor and one tough cookie! She makes life fun, she is extremely active and so smart. She is an incredible swimmer and so agile on our hikes, she is part billy goat and has actually scaled rock walls. She takes longer to meet new dogs and people but once she feels comfortable she is incredibly loving and cuddly."

 

 

   

Polly and BK

About Brooke's babies: "Polly is a 5-year-old Pit bull mix adopted from the Austin Humane Society when she was two months old. She loves clean laundry, going to Red Bud Isle, peanut butter Kongs and her Beagle cousins."

"BK is a 3-year-old tabby was also adopted form the Austin Humane Society and her favorite things to do include chewing on string, eating, and sleeping on Polly's beds."

Brooke also has a female calico cat named Keasbey who is not pictured. She's a rescue, as well.

 

Love for pets and an appreciation for the incredible experiences they add to our lives are what it's all about here at PetRelocation.

Want to see more? Follow us on Instagram for glimpses of our pet-friendly office. Want to work for us? Check out our Careers page to see our open positions here in Austin, TX.

 

Cat Move Story: "Finally Resting in Their New Home!"

Thursday, April 10, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Christine
Pets' Names: Toulah, Sheba and Tahra
From: Los Angeles, CA
To: London, UK
 

My recent move to the UK was made possible due to the dedication, professionalism and exceptional service that PetRelocation provided.

Although I had planned my trip many months earlier, I had an unexpected family emergency that precipitated my departure out of the US within a few hours. This, of course, gave me no time to make arrangements for my cats, household effects, etc., and so it was an extremely stressful time for me leaving the county without my beloved cats, Tahra, Sheba and Toulah.

 

 

Thankfully, this is where PetRelocation showed their “big guns.” Once I was able to gather my thoughts, I called Keith and told him my dilemma. I also discussed with him my anxiousness about not being there to take my cats for their final vet check prior to departure, as they were very nervous cats and I thought someone strange taking them would unsettle them more. No worries, he says, we’ll take care of everything, just tell me what day you want them to travel, and I’ll take care of everything else.

As promised, within a day or so, Keith had flights booked and made arrangements to have my cats picked up early in the morning (7:30 a.m.) for their vet visit and then boarded at a kennel during the day until it was time for them to be transported to LAX for the 8:30 p.m. flight. I must say, it all worked liked clockwork, and I was constantly being updated on the progress of my cats via text messages up until their departure. Of course, I was still a little worried about how they would fare with this extended travel time, as the early pickup time had now increased their travel time from around 17 hours to roughly 25 hours.

 

 

On my way to Heathrow to pick up my precious cargo, I was, to say the least, very nervous. As I arrived at the pet reception area at Heathrow, I was scared to even ask how my cats had fared on the long journey. I thought, so long as I don’t ask, I won’t be the beholder of bad news. However, I had nothing to worry about, as I received a call from Keith telling me that everything was fine with my cats and all their paperwork was processed and they were ready to come out any minute. I thought, How did he know that? Amazing. It was then that I knew everything was “just fine,” and I started to relax.

On finally seeing my cats, they were in fantastic shape, alert and content in their travel carriers. I could not believe how comfortable and relaxed they all were after such a grueling journey.

I just want to thank everyone at PetRelocation, especially Keith and also Scotty, who no longer works there, for their amazing knowledge in helping me through the maze of transporting pets to the UK. These guys were unbelievably patient with me, as I ask a lot of questions and need constant reassuring, but there were never too many questions for them.

 

 

If anyone wants to transport their pet to another country, I highly recommend PetRelocation. I would not use any other company for my precious cargo. Just an amazing company with amazing people...

Christine, UK

Planning Cat Travel to Italy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ray
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: Russian Blue & Long Hair Tabby
From: Joshua, TX
To: Arona, Italy

 

Dear PetRelocation,

Can you provide me details for transporting my two cats? How does the process work to bring them to Italy?

Thanks,

Ray

 

Hi Ray,

Thank you for your question. You can start by taking a look at the pet import requirements for Italy to get an idea of what to expect. To summarize, going to an EU country means you'll need microchips, vaccines and the correct documentation for your cats.

We also recommend choosing a pet friendly airline, and your cats will need airline-approved travel crates that they're hopefully okay with spending time in (if you need some crate-training tips please take a look at our blog). It's important to start arranging your travel details a few weeks before your planned departure date.

Please let us know if you have further questions, and if you'd like to find out more about the door-to-door services we offer, you're welcome to fill out our quote form.

We look forward to hearing from you and wish you lots of luck with your move!
 

Cat On An Overseas Trip

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 by Guest Post

Welcome to Part Three of my series on transporting your pet from the USA all the way to Malaysia. Part I was was about travel accessories, and Part II was about essential pet travel documents. In this post, Part III, I'll describe my overall experience travelling with Schubert Cat, including flight check-in, going through security, claiming your pet on arrival and checking him in with the quarantine office (MAQIS.)

Domestic Leg & TSA Checkpoint

Per standard procedure, arrived about two hours early at IAD to check in. I flew with Virgin (don't need to pre-book travel for your pet, just show up and pay the fees,) and while I was given a "priority" boarding pass, it didn't make any difference when going through TSA. I still had to join the masses :-) queuing to put their carry-ons and miscellaneous items into bins for the x-ray scan. In fact, NO ONE would have noticed I had a cat with me if I hadn't tapped a guy on the shoulder and asked him what I should do.

"You're gonna take your cat out of his bag, and you're gonna carry him through the metal detectors," said the officer, as he pointed towards a gate beside the body scanner. "And the bag's gotta go through the x-rays."

Take Schubert out of his bag? The instructions were clear, but the officer resumed what he had been doing without alerting colleagues near the metal detector. I imagined horrible things happening after I took Schubert out of his carrier.

IMG_3607_zpsb6a58094

You put me in this small and miserable space; and you're expecting me to COOPERATE???

Fortunately, it wasn't bad at all. Schubert refused to get out of the carrier from the side, so I opened it up from the top and grabbed him around the middle, lifting him up and out of the bag.

"Awww!!!" said a woman's voice from the queue behind. Schubert just looked confused and had no desire to struggle out of my clutches. I looked around at the TSA officers again, and this time, the ones near the metal detectors indicated I should step over towards them. I can't remember if they patted me down after walking through the detectors, but I'm gonna say they didn't.

Overall, TSA checkpoint with Schubert was uneventful. My expectation was that the agents would be all over me because I was carrying a live animal -- this wasn't the case. There's no telling if your experience will be the same, but it's good to keep in mind that if nobody notices you're traveling with a pet, take the initiative and alert them.

You might get some stares and some smiles as you make your way through the airport. "Oh, kitty kitty!" cried a few people. "Can I take a photo of him in his carrier?" asked a guy sitting beside me at my gate. A woman sitting nearby, brightened up and cast furtive smiles at Schubert's carrier. My cat, who's a bit of an attention whore, would have loved all this if he wasn't so busy being confused by our trip.

On the plane, Schubert was very quiet the entire way. I only felt some frantic scrambling while waiting to enter the plane, and during takeoff. Vacuums are Schubert's mortal enemy, and the plane's engines must have sounded like the Grand Monster Vacuum to him. Once we were on the plane, I was supposed to tuck him under the seat front, but couldn't. I wrote about this in Part I, and here's what I said:

Despite the customer service rep’s advice, the soft case was still about two inches too tall to go under the seat. If you really need to have it fit under, you’ll have to find one that doesn’t have wiring to retain the bag’s shape. The flight attendant wasn’t overly picky about it, but she said to try and make him fit the best that I could. In the end, I just moved him over to the floor of the empty seat beside me.

Besides that, he was calm and ventured to lovingly rub his face on my hand whenever I poked into the carrier to check on him.

International Leg & Transiting

IMG_3645_zps8ee69522

What, now I am considered LUGGAGE?! This is outrageous, Human Lady. Simply unacceptable.

In Part I, I described the Petmate Sky Kennel that I used to transport Schubert all the way to Asia. This is an excellent and very sturdy, bolted kennel that comes in various sizes. I had considered sizing up just to give Schubert a bit more room to move, but the one I got was for pets up to 15 pounds and it was roomy enough.

At the Korean Airlines counter in San Francisco (SFO,) I checked him in together with my luggage. This is also the time when they'll ask for documentation and the $200 pet travel fee, and you must pre-book your pet's travel.

Before I could proceed through security to get to my gate, I was asked to wait by the check-in counter for a handler to escort me to the oversized baggage counter. Obviously Schubert isn't oversized, just a more unique type of, uh, baggage.

Once again, I was asked to hold Schubert while they checked his carrier at the oversized baggage counter. This was a quick procedure, done in under a minute. When he was safely back inside, the handler took over transporting Schubert to the plane, as he couldn't be sent down to the hangars via conveyor belt like the rest of the bags.

As the handler walked away with Schubert in tow, I suddenly felt a pang of fear that he'd be placed on the wrong flight, but quickly told myself I was being irrational. Yes, bags do get lost but more often they end up in the right place. (Or do they?)

The paranoia was probably due to the long layover I had in Korea. In Incheon (ICN,) he was automatically handed over to Korean quarantine for the night, and then transported back over to the plane heading for Malaysia the next day. I was just concerned that someone might get lax (it happens) and Schubert could be heading for Malawi instead.

If you have to transit like I did, you may not need anything. Hopefully, whichever route you take won't require any additional papers for the transit country.

And after we parted ways in San Francisco, the next time I saw Schubert was in Kuala Lumpur (KUL.)

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur and MAQIS

IMG_3725_zps8a7bbc61

Animal Quarantine, known as MAQIS is located in the baggage claim hall on the far right corner, near Carousel J.

This is the most nail-biting part of the journey. At this point, you're a bedraggled, jet-lagged traveller, arriving after a (very) long trip and you're anxious to see that your pet got here safely, but you're also itching to tear off your travel clothes, have a nice warm bath and fall asleep on a soft bed. Take a breath and brace yourself, because it'll be awhile before you get there. You still have to queue for customs, take the sky train over to baggage claim, collect your luggage, find the Quarantine office to sign some papers, then wait for your pet to arrive at the baggage claim hall. All require some patience and wait time.

Fortunately for Malaysians, the customs part is fairly quick and painless -- just swipe your passport at the turnstile, wait for it to read your thumbprint and you're through. The main anxiety I had during this part of the journey was finding the Quarantine office, which is also known as MAQIS. I had a few false alarms before I finally found the right one. (By then, my luggage had arrived at the carousel and it didn't take long to collect.)

Just before the immigration checkpoints, I spotted a large "Kuarantine" sign over a door on the left. Hopped in there and began asking the lady on how to sign off on my cat, when she interrupted:

"Cik, ini bukan kuarantine haiwan, ini kuarantine manusia!" (Miss, this is isn't animal quarantine, this is quarantine for humans!)

Oops. Hot-footed right out of there quicker than when I entered.

Went through customs and past a few duty free stores. Spotted another quarantine sign soon after but this one said fisheries. Not the right one either.

I didn't see anything else that looked relevant, so I took the sky train over to the baggage claim hall. After fruitlessly following some signs that said "kuarantine haiwan," I gave up and asked for directions.

(I think this slight confusion over the office location could have been cleared up if I'd been able to reach someone by phone or email for directions. I'd expected to receive specific instructions on what to do on arrival day from the agent my folks hired, but unfortunately, his communication really missed the mark there. He should have been there to check me in with MAQIS as part of his service, but I ended up doing that on my own.)

IMG_3646_zpsb45d1e20

What is the meaning of this abominable treatment?! I demand you let me out!

MAQIS is located at the far right corner of the baggage hall, in front of carousel J (approximately.) The staff there are super nice and friendly, which almost makes up for the lack of information on their confusing website. They checked my passport, documents and bag claim ticket before making a call to check on Schubert's status -- he was on the way. Hurrah!

While waiting, I signed off on MAQIS' paperwork, then ran to collect my checked luggages. If you have food for your pet, this is the time to hand over to the MAQIS folk, or leave it on top of your pet's carrier so they know which pet it's for.

By the time I found the food in my luggage, Schubert had arrived, wheeled over on a luggage trolley and understandably cranky. The very nice MAS officer said he'd been yowling when he was handed over, and she tried to comfort him to no avail. Poor Schubert!

Nevertheless, it was definitely a relief to see Schubert had arrived in good shape (besides the temper tantrum,) and I noted that someone had taken further steps to prevent the carrier from bursting open by drawing a couple rounds of clear green tape. I'll never know if it was the staff of SFO, ICN or Korean Air, but I'm grateful for the thoroughness.

Much as I didn't want to leave Cat with the quarantine folk, I was reasonably assured that he was in good hands, and it was time for me to go meet my folks. Because I arrived late in the evening, I wouldn't have been able to visit him immediately at the quarantine station if I wanted to. I went the very next day, armed with treats and a soft blanket to make up for all the discomfort.

Stay tuned for the final installment in this series on Schubert's quarantine station experience.

Comments or questions? Post them below!

Next: Cat On An Overseas Trip - Part IV: Malaysian Quarantine

Previous: Cat On An Overseas Trip - Part II: Essential Travel Documents 

This article is by Ming from on-a-lim.com.

Watch Out for Kitten Scams!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Shawna
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Bengal
From: Nova Scotia
To: Surrey

Hey There,

I recently was in the search of a kitten, and a lady emailed me saying she had a kitten but was in Nova Scotia. She told me she could arrange for the kitten to be transported via pet transporters.

I received an email apparently from your services but the requirement to pay through Western Union raised a red flag. What are your payment requirements and where is your head office? I also received the following client number: 10851.

Does any of this seem to follow your procedures?

Thanks,

Shawna

 

Hi Shawna,

That's definitely a scam. We advise that you cut off all communication with that person and don't send any money, as there is no kitten (most pet scammers just use stock photos they find on the internet and never have any animals in their possession).

You can read more about pet scams here to find out about additional red flags. In general, if someone advertises a "free" pet and asks for transportation costs that need to be wired via Western Union, that is a scam. It's much better to deal locally when adopting a pet.

Unfortunately these individuals use the names of real companies (such as ours) to try to lend legitimacy to their claims, so it was smart of you to check in with us. We are not involved in situations like this and would never ask that you wire money!

Thanks for contacting us, Shawna, and let us know if you have more questions. Good luck with everything -- we hope you find a kitten to adopt in your area soon.

 

Moving Pets to Australia from "Non-Approved" Countries

Monday, January 27, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Natasha
Number of Pets: 3
Pet Type: 2 Dogs and1 Cat
Pet Breed: 2 Shih Tzu and an unknown breed cat
From: Salvador, Brazil
To: Sydney, Australia

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I live in Brazil and I'm going to Australia, but first, according to Australia's law, my pets have to do quarantine in another country for 5-6 months. I've chosen Miami, FL for the place to do this quarantine.

Who can help me with all the paperwork, exams, flights, vet visits, etc. during the quarantine period? How much would this cost? Does your company do this?



Thank you very much!!!

Natasha

 

Hi Natasha,

Thank you for your question. We can help!

First, you are correct about the steps you'll need to take. According to the Australia Department of Agriculture, these are the steps for pets hoping to enter from a non-approved country.

In the past we have helped many pets transition to new countries with strict rules, and would be happy to help arrange boarding if necessary as well as transportation to/from the airport, health documents and more.

The costs will depend on a few factors but we'd be happy to provide an estimate. Please fill out our free quote form to send a message to one of our PetRelocation specialists.

Thanks for getting in touch with us, and we hope to hear from you soon!

 

Flying with a Cat: What Paperwork is Necessary?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jim
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed:
From: Puerto Rico
To: South Carolina

I want to be sure to have all the necessary requirements for transporting my cat to South Carolina. I will be flying Jet Blue and will be taking the cat as a carry on.

I'm not sure if Puerto Rico is rabies free or if I need to get a rabies vaccine. It is my understanding that I will need a health certificate from the vet within 10 days of the flight.

Please advise as to what, if anything I am missing. Thank you.

Jim

 

Hi Jim,

Thanks for your questions. Pet travel from Puerto Rico to the United States can be carried out the same way as a domestic (within the US) move, so all you need is proof that your cat is up to date on the rabies vaccine and you need a vet health certificate, as you mentioned. Here is a rundown of the US pet import rules.

Be sure to contact the airline to find out about any additional details they may require, and let us know if you have any more questions.

Thanks again for the question, and good luck with everything!
 

How to Plan Cat Travel to Singapore

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ashley
Number of Pets: One
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Domestic Shorthair
From: USA
To: Singapore

Hello,

I have been doing research on the requirements as far as exporting a cat from the US to SIngapore, but I am trying to get more details on how the flights would work for my cat.

Would I want to book her as cargo in a larger crate so that she could use the restroom and fly comfortably, or should I carry her on? How would she use the restroom during travel and in between flights? Are you able to help with this? She is fine traveling in a car. She has never been on a plane.

How could PetRelocation assist me in transporting her from US to Singapore?

Thank you,

Ashley

 

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for contacting us -- we've helped several pets move to Singapore safely and would be glad to offer some advice and assistance. It sounds like you're aware of the requirements, but just in case, here are the pet import rules for Singapore.

As far as the flight, we'd suggest using an airline like KLM for a cargo flight and scheduling an overnight layover in Amsterdam for your cat. This would make the trip more manageable for her by allowing a break in the middle, and it's how we commonly plan our moves. In this scenario you would not need to fly on the same plane as your cat (our clients rarely do, in fact).

If you decided to enlist our help, we would take care of door-to-door (or perhaps just door-to-quarantine) delivery as well as the pre-export paperwork, etc. Please find out more about our services here, and if you'd like a free quote, you can fill out this request form.

We hope to hear from you, Ashley! Moving pets internationally can be a bit stressful and confusing, but we're happy to apply our experience to help make the transition easier for you. Either way, good luck with everything.

 


 

Bringing a Cat Home from Brazil

Monday, December 16, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Arthur Toso
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Siamese
From: Curitiba, Brazil
To: Sacramento, CA, USA

 

Dear PetRelocation,

I’m seeking information about bringing our family pet to the U.S. My family is from Brazil and recently we moved to Sacramento, California and due to airlines issues we couldn’t bring our pet with us.

We are willing now to get the family reunited again so I’d like to know if you provide a way to transport Animals from Brazil to U.S. and all issues associated with that.

I’m sure you guys have the best service for its customers, and in this case, pets.


Thank you,
Arthur

 

Hi Arthur,

Yes, we'd be happy to assist you! Here's how it works: Your cat needs to follow these import requirements for the United States, and if you decide to sign up for our services, we would help arrange the details, including the transportation for your cat to and from the airport. International moves generally start at around $2,500 USD for one small pet.

Please give our office a call or fill out our free quote form if you'd like to find out more. A relocation specialist experienced with moves such as this would be happy to speak to you further.

Thanks again for getting in touch with us, and we look forward to speaking with you soon about reuniting you with your cat.

Feeling Nervous about International Cat Air Travel

Thursday, December 5, 2013 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Sarah
Number of Pets: 2
Pet Type: Cats
Pet Breed: European Tabby
From: Barcelona, Spain
To: Charlotte, NC, USA

Dear PetRelocation,

I will be moving back to the States soon (I'm an American living in Spain) and need to transport my cats to the States. They were born in Spain and have never been to the US. Most airlines only allow one pet per passenger in the cabin on international flights and I need to transport both of them.

If I transport them in the cargo area, will they die? I've been reading some terrible stories! What are my best options for transporting them? If they travel with me, will I be able to get them through customs, or will I need to have a representative in the first US airport that we land in? We'll have at least one layover to reach our destination (most likely in the US).

I don't mind paying for a transport service if it's not too costly... I just want them to reach the US safely with the least amount of emotional trauma possible.

Thanks in advance!

-Sarah

 

Hi Sarah,

You have some great questions and we'd be happy to offer some advice. First, take a look at the pet import requirements for the United States. This is actually one of the easier countries to bring pets into, as you just need a vet health certificate and proof that the cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Some pet owners choose to handle customs clearance themselves while others hire an agent or a pet transport service to assist them.

Regarding pet travel in the cargo area, this is something our company frequently arranges and we've moved thousands of pets safely this way. Hearing about unfortunate incidents in the news regarding pet shipping is extremely disappointing, but it's important to remember that tragedies like this are nowhere near as common as ordinary, uneventful pet transports. These heartbreaking events are often preventable, and operating with expert knowledge is critical.

Not only does our team make use of vast experience and knowledge, we work with pet friendly airlines who have developed strong pet policies over the years. While there are no guarantees in life, we try to ensure that pet travel is undertaken in the safest way possible. Here's a post from our blog about minimizing the risks of pet travel that may help shed light on a few of your concerns.

You're welcome to give our office a call or fill out our free quote form if you're interested in further assistance. It's normal to feel nervous about moving your furry best friends, but remember that you do have choices and resources available to help plan the safest trip possible for them.

Hopefully this helps to get you started. We look forward to hearing from you, and wish you all the best!