As many of us know by now, planning a pet move can require lots of delicate and time-consuming planning. Just ask Melissa, a client we've been working with for months to arrange her dog and cat's move from Sri Lanka to Reno, Nevada.
You may remember this dedicated pet owner from an interview we posted about using technology when planning a pet move. Being so far away, Skype and email came in very handy as we worked with her to settle the logistics for Val and Liza's relocation.
Melissa was kind enough to check in with us once again now that her pet move is finally complete. Read on for more great insights into the process from a customer we'll miss working with... Thanks again, Melissa!
Had you ever moved a pet internationally before this?
I had not, but I have a friend who had a very bad experience when she attempted to move her cat without assistance. Ultimately, she had to leave him behind to an uncertain situation. I didn't want to imagine experiencing such a situation.
What were some of your concerns going into the move?
I was particularly concerned that moving my animals from Asia to the USA included the potential for more problems than moving in the reverse. Asia is not particularly pet friendly nor pet sensitive. My concern was not so much that they would be mishandled in any way, but more that their needs would be neglected.
Also, rules and regulations can change without notice or be subject to the authority of the moment. I was very concerned that the animals could be delayed or denied entry at some point en route.
Did anything surprise you about the international pet moving process?
I can't say I was particularly surprised by anything. I would have thought the process to be more standardized across airlines or facilities. Having had some exposure to the convoluted logistics with which Bethany (my Super Agent) had to contend made me all the more certain that choosing PetRelocation was a very wise choice.
How did Liza and Val handle the travel process, and how are they adjusting to the new location?
We moved Liza, a 75 lb. mixed breed dog, and Val, a 7 lb. mixed breed cat through a convoluted, three country, two day (nearly 24 hours of flying) journey, and neither arrived the worse for wear. They were a little thinner, a little hungry and thirsty, but alert and healthy when they arrived.
We haven't moved into our permanent residence in Reno so they're still bouncing around a bit. The cat isn't all that pleased with his restrictions and confinements but Liza is taking everything in stride. We've always told her she was an American dog and she certainly seems to have adopted the sense of entitlement rather easily. Her nose went into sensory overload the first time she went into a pet store and she quite enjoys herself with all the humans at the outdoor cafés. I'm sure Val will be happy once he can claim his own space and saunter at will.
What is life like so far in Reno as compared to Sri Lanka? Do you think it’s a pet-friendly place to be?
I don't think there is a pet friendlier place anywhere in the USA. Sri Lanka has far more instances where animals are domesticated but neglected in some way (or feral).
What advice do you have for people who might be planning a move?
Ask yourself what you are willing to experience or what you're prepared to do if your animal is denied passage at the airport. Are you prepared to leave it behind? Reschedule all your own travel plans? Put it down? Those are fairly all of your options. How do you problem solve and find a solution at such a critical point? If you are not prepared to deal with the worst case scenario, you need to seek expert assistance.
My "move" dates were uncertain so I ended up working with the agents at PetRelocation for 16 months before we traveled. We had worked out every detail of the move, and even with that much advance preparation there were last minute changes by the airlines that necessitated Bethany to rework details. With all the details to which I was tending for my own relocation, having to deal with glitches in the animal travel would have been too much.
I needed Bethany to be the expert and make the executive decisions and she was there for me and the animals, tending to every detail. She was able to work her magic without date or route changes. No matter how much of a micro-manager you might be, there are times when you need to enlist an expert and let them do their job; a pet move is a prime example.