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Help Me Move My Pet

Incredible Experiences: Bella's Move to Canada

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Thanks to Bella's owner for this post-move update! Glad to hear things are going well after their relocation from New York to Canada.

I am an owner of a very beloved dog who I needed to transport from New York to Toronto. I myself have an anxiety disorder and my dog has tremendous fear of other dogs, car sickness, a hatred for travel/change and odd behavior in new environments and conditions.

To say I was tremendously stressed would be an understatement. It’s very difficult trusting a company I personally had not heard of (because I had not moved with pets before) with my pet’s well being. This was in addition to the stress of finding a new apartment 500 miles away and ensuring I had a job and other documentation for myself.

Bella

Bella

For my pet, my worries were:

  • Were they going to guide me through the documentation process? Would their guidance be accurate?

  • Would they lose my pet? Would some people in the chain treat my pet as inanimate cargo? Would there be adequate communication? Would my pet’s behavior cause her to be denied boarding and or injured in some way by unscrupulous handlers?

  • Would the weak psychological disposition of my pet be permanently damaged by a stressful experience as this move?

  • Would all links in the chain communicate properly so as to not cause extra stress to my pet?

I have to say that while my worries were somewhat grounded in reality, PetRelocation handled every aspect of the move from start to finish both professionally and with an emotional sensitivity that is germane to the cargo they transport.

bella

Settling in

Communication was excellent and it was clear everyone in the chain was a “pet person” with competency and experience. It literally could not have gone smoother to be honest, and although I hope to never move again I will certainly use them again.

They took the most stressful and important part of my move off of my hands and guided me through everything.

Sascha

Understanding Summer Pet Travel Embargoes

Monday, March 30, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Brenda
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
To: Lima, Peru
Pet: A miniature/medium size poodle; 4 years old; around 7 kg

Hi PetRelocation,
 
I would like to know what the best month/season is to bring my poodle to Florida. Also, is there is any airline that will allow her to travel with me in the cabin? If not, what airlines treat pets well while they are not in cabin?

I wanted to bring her to the United States in 2012 and everything was set, but when we were checking in the guy that was attending me told me the weather was too hot in Florida during that season (it was August or July) -- was she not allowed because Lima was too cold and the change of climate could make her sick when she arrived?

She is used to traveling 2-3 hours in the car.
 
Thanks,
Brenda
 
 
Hi Brenda,
 
Thanks for your question! Many airlines operate with summer embargoes instated with a pet's safety and comfort in mind, so it's a good idea to research these restrictions well in advance in order to avoid scheduling problems. Please take a look at some of last year's embargoes for an idea of how they often work, and we recommend checking with airlines directly to find out what their summer restrictions might be for this year. Often summer airline embargoes primarily concern snub-nosed breeds, so your poodle might not be affected.
 
Your dog will most likely need to travel in the cargo area of the plane, and we recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline such as United. The more pet-friendly an airline is the less of an issue temperature should be (United has air-conditioned vehicles to transport pets to the plane, for example).
 
This is good advice any time, but when traveling during the summer months we recommend making extra sure your dog is well-hydrated and also crate-trained, as these factors make air cargo travel more comfortable and less stressful for the pet.
 
If you think you'd like some assistance and would like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please fill out our online consultation form. Either way, good luck with everything and thanks again for reaching out!

Wrap-Up: IPATA Latin American Regional Meeting

Monday, March 30, 2015 by Rachel Truair

People are sometimes surprised when they find out just how many pet relocation companies exist worldwide. In actuality, there are hundreds of companies that PetRelocation works with to provide incredible experiences for pets moving around the globe. The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, or IPATA, is a trade association dedicated to helping pet relocation companies gather to improve their knowledge, build strong alliances, and achieve common goals. In addition to hosting annual conferences, regional meetings are organized to help focus on issues and goals of a common region.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the IPATA Latin American Regional Meeting held in Lima, Peru. In addition to being interested in learning more about the needs of the growing group of pet owners in Latin America, I also serve as IPATA's Assistant Regional Director of the Americas and had been asked to speak on the topic of humanization, or the trend of people seeing pets as members of the family.

If you're going to Peru, you've got to go to Machu Picchu, so the first few days saw our group exploring the Cuzco area of Peru and hiking up to one of the greatest wonders of the world. Being a pet-focused group, one day we visited the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary where we were treated to an up-close viewing of the Andean condor, the endangered national bird of Peru. We also got our first look at the Peruvian Hairless Dog, also known as the Peruvian Inca Orchid. I had heard of these dogs prior to my trip, but what I didn't know was that Inca Orchids hold a special cultural designation that requires them to go through a different export process than most pets when being exported from Peru.

Peruvian Hairless Dog
A Peruvian Hairless Dog at the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary

After our visit to Machu Picchu, the conference got into full swing in Lima. After an announcement from Jack Russo, Director of the Americas for IPATA and owner of Bobbi's World Kennels, as well as an update from our incoming IPATA Present Derek Huntington from Capital Pet Movers, we heard from local airline representatives from LAN Airlines, Copa Airlines, Air Canada, and Lufthansa about their service offerings in and out of Latin America. We also were honored to have Dr. Patricia Caldas, one of the head import/export authorities at Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria del Perú (SENASA), which overseas all pets arriving to or departing from Peru. One interesting fact is that Peru only sees "pets" (in Spanish, "mascotas") as dogs and cats. Any other pets (birds, lizards, etc.) will have to arrive as a commercial import/export and require additional paperwork.

Latin American pet shipping companies
From L-R: Dra. Patricia Caldas, SENASA, Melissa Vasquez Sansores, Pet Air Mexico; Melisa Irrivari Oliveri, PetWings Peru; Jack Russo, Bobbi's World Kennels; Luz Maria Farias, LATAM Pet Transport - Chile; Kaesy Batista, Canal Movers & Logistics - Panama; Patricia Gil, LATAM Pet Transport - Peru

Pet shippers were also trained on pet emergency CPR as well as the Heimlich maneuver and other first aid best practices -- an important but sometimes overlooked element of training for any pet handler -- by Dra. Melissa Grisolle of PetWings, who is a pathologist, veterinarian and pet relocation provider in Peru. In addition to this, we heard a great talk from Melisa Vasquez Sansores at Pet Air Mexico on the special handling of brachycephalic (or snub-nosed) breeds.

In addition to these talks, we spent some time as a group identifying three year goals for the Latin American region. One area where we hope to make progress over the next three years is forming stronger relationships with Latin American governments. We would like to see it take less time to clear pets through customs, as anyone who has cleared a pet through customs south of the equator will tell you that it can take anywhere from up to 8 hours or more. While other countries have moved toward allowing pets to be pre-cleared through electronic documents, thus reducing the time the pet is left waiting in his crate after a long flight, Latin American countries have been slower to adopt this practice. Members of the IPATA Latin American region hope to change this over then

patovet and petwings in lima
Attendees visiting PatoVet and Petwings in Lima

At the end of the meeting, we loaded up on a tour bus and shuttled to PatoVet, the vet clinic of Dra. Grisolle. There we were treated to a demonstration on handling aggressive as well as timid dogs by Tim Cruser of Come Sit Stay Pet Resort. In addition to having an excellent pet resort outside of Denver, Colorado, Tim is also an experienced dog trainer, having trained protection animals and working dogs for 30 years. We were taught best practices in crate training as well as how to properly load and unload pets from crates.

It's always great to meet up with fellow IPATA members and share stories and learnings from our pet shipping experiences. These types of meetings are critical to the further development and improvement of the pet relocation industry, which makes up the steadily growing pet services industry. Thanks to the Latin American members for hosting such a great meeting!

How to Plan International Rabbit Travel

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Susan
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Rabbit
Pet Breed: Lop Eared
From: London, UK
To: New Canaan, CT, USA

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I'm just wondering what I need to do documentation-wise to ensure Willie gets to move to the US from London as we corporate relocate back home. Also, I'm clueless about how to physically move him. Does he go under the seat, in a luggage/pet area or what?

Thanks! Look forward to talking with you. Have a good day!

Susan

 

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your question! Per the USDA, the United States does not impose restrictions on rabbits entering the country, so you'll simply need to follow the guidelines of the airline you choose. Typically a vet health certificate is required to show the airline the pet is healthy and fit to fly.

We often use British Airways to transport pets from London to the United States -- find out more about the procedure here. Pets are not allowed in the cabin on this route; rather, they are transported in the cargo area, which is pressure and temperature controlled.

You'll also need an airline-approved travel crate. Often rabbit owners buy a small pet crate and modify it slightly in order to ensure safety... Please see the picture below for an example.

 

modified rabbit crate

Just let us know if you'd like some help arranging Willie's move, Susan. Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you again!
 

Pet Travel Barriers: Puerto Rico's Pit Bull Ban

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Erika
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Pit Bull
From: Texas
To: Puerto Rico

 

Hi PetReloction,

My family has had our dog for 5 years and we will be moving to Puerto Rico soon. Can we take her with us?

Thanks,

Erika

 

Hi Erika,

Thanks for your inquiry -- unfortunately Pit Bulls are not allowed to be imported into Puerto Rico at this time.

Per the USDA website:

All breeds of Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American Pit Bull terrier, and hybrids produced by crossbreeding with dogs of other breeds are prohibited to be introduced or imported to Puerto Rico.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Erika. Breed bans are certainly frustrating and can throw a wrench into international travel plans. Be aware as you continue to research Pit Bull travel that many airlines require reinforced crates when transporting this and other breeds, and there are a few other countries that practice breed-specific legislation, as well.

Please take a look at these resources for more information about breed-specific legislation and traveling with Pit Bulls. Please let us know if you have further questions and think we might be able to help.

Good luck!


 

Is This a Puppy Scam?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

puppyWe've discussed puppy scams and how to avoid falling for them many times on our blog, but since we've received phone calls about some new pet scam techniques in the past few days, we wanted to give our readers another heads up.

  • First of all, we highly discourage buying a pet from an unknown source, especially someone who is in a different state or country. If you can't go to their house, meet them, and see the pet for yourself, you're already taking a risk.

  • Read this. If any of these typical pet scam details sound familiar, walk away. Particular red flags include a very sad or dramatic story from the pet seller, a "free" pet that just requires paying "transportation costs," and the request that you send payment via Western Union or MoneyGram.

  • Remember, just because someone has a picture of a pet, that doesn't mean it's real. Often pet scammers just find a photo online and pass it off as their own. Pet scammers do not actually have any pets in their possession, so anything they say about a puppy being stuck at the airport or being in danger is simply not true.

  • Same goes for "official" sounding pet company names. Google everything they send you to find out if they are real or not and pay close attention to the email address they use. If it's more sketchy than official, you should stop communicating with them.

  • Specific Example: We recently heard from someone taken in by a supposed breeder called "Bosco Bulldogs" who told their would-be client they were using PetRelocation to ship the pet. A little research reveals this is not a real breeder, and when they called us they found out that of course we knew nothing about the "order." Note: PetRelocation deals with pet owners directly and will never ask that you wire money for our services.

In summary, just be smart. If something seems off, it's probably a scam. Never rush into anything and never send money to a questionable source online, and above all, remember that these problems can be avoided by adopting from your local animal shelter or rescue organization!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any advice for your fellow pet lovers.

 

Photo credit: Jennifer/Flickr

Incredible Experiences: Retiring (with Five Cats)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Mark
Pet's Name: Garfield, Elle, Shorty, Mama, Lil Girl
From: Oceanside, CA
To: Pleasant View, TN
 

"Moving to Our Retirement Home"

We were fortunate in that we had quite a bit of lead time before making our move. From my first communication requesting a quote to our cats being delivered to our new house, this was the least stressful portion of the move.

We were in constant communication with Whitney and Ashley leading up to the day of travel. Both were very proactive in ensuring that we had everything required to successfully transport our feline family members, even though we would already be in transit. The only glitch, which was not a problem caused by PetRelocation, was that they had lost their contact in Nashville, but that was easily remedied with a Google search.

Our cats were delivered to our doorstep, and were no worse for wear than anyone else who had to fly from LAX to Nashville. I would use this organization if there is another long distance move in our future, and highly recommend them to anyone who may have a long distance move and does not want to have the added stress of including their pets while moving.




Home Sweet Home

Incredible Experiences: 'Benny Comes to Philly'

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Erin
Pet's Name: Benny (formerly known as Ghost)
From: Greater Kansas City
To: Philadelphia
 

I found PetRelocation online when I was looking for a way to move a rescue pup that my sister had been fostering in Kansas City to Philadelphia. My last dog developed osteosarcoma just before Christmas and had to be put down (in the midst of some family illness as well) and my sister knew that I needed a new buddy.

She thought he was exceptionally intelligent and sweet, so recommended him to me. I initially thought that moving him sounded ludicrous (especially with everything else going on). After a very smooth move, though, he has fast become my best bud and I am so happy that I dove in and moved him here.

PetRelocation was great at prompt and clear communication, planning, and touching base during the day of Benny's transport. I picked him up from the airport in wonderful shape and he has acclimated to a completely new life like a champ. I thought that first night in my home he may be weary from the travel day or distressed, but he took right to his new city life!!

Thank you, PetRelocation for bringing me a most wonderful pal!!

 

benny in philly
Benny is home!

Options for Safe and Cost-Effective Cat Travel

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Cherie
From: Murrieta, CA
To: San Rafael, CA
Pet: Cali (cat, calico, 7 years old, probably 6 or 7 lbs.)

Dear PetRelocation,
 
What would be the approximate price for a cat her size to travel from Murrieta, CA to San Rafael, CA? I am going to be out of town for about a month and my daughter is in college up there. I am moving when I get back and I don't want her to be with strangers in a boarding kennel.
 
She's very sweet and lovable. She has to be right next to me all the time. She loves my daughter, too, and I don't think she'd do well being kenneled.
 
Thanks,
Cherie
 
 
Hi Cherie,
 
Thanks for the question! It looks like you're wanting to move your cat a distance of about 470 miles. The two options we see are to transport her by car or to fly from San Diego to San Francisco and arrange transportation to and from the airport on either end.
 
Either way you end up choosing, we recommend helping Cali to become as acclimated to her crate as possible so that she won't feel overly anxious during the trip. Here are a few tips for crate training a cat. If you decide to drive her and can't do it yourself, we suggest using IPATA.org to possibly find a local agent who is available for pet ground transportation.
 
Alternatively, you can look into booking a flight and having Cali fly with you (or a friend) in the cabin or unaccompanied in the cargo area (this second option can be done with the help of a professional pet travel service, as well). Based on the geography, it looks like a fair amount of car travel will still be involved with this pet relocation, so you'll either need to devote time to this endeavor or money towards hiring someone else to assist. Note that cats need to have a vet health certificate when flying in order to assure the airline they are healthy and fit to fly. Find out more about domestic pet travel here.
 
Making the drive yourself would probably be the least expensive option, but we understand that it's not always possible to easily handle something like that. If you'd like to learn more about our door-to-door pet travel services, please fill out our consultation form. We'd need a few more details to arrive at an accurate price estimate, but generally speaking our costs to move a small pet domestically begin at around $1200.
 
Hopefully this gives you an idea of where to begin, Cherie. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance!

Q&A: Moving Pets to Australia

Friday, February 27, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Ebony
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Puppy
Pet Breed: Scottish Terrier
From: Kansas, The United States
To: Perth, Australia

 

Hello,

Roughly how much does it cost to ship a puppy (>8kgs) from Kansas to Perth, Australia? What specific vaccinations does the puppy need to have?

Thanks,

Ebony

 

Hi Ebony,

Thank you for your question. To be honest, Australia can be one of the more expensive places to transport a pet due to freight costs, pre-export vaccines, and quarantine costs (among other things). The process to prepare a pet to move to Australia takes at least 190 days (that includes a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival), and it all starts with your dog being implanted with a microchip and then given a rabies vaccine.

We suggest looking over the Australia pet import requirements via the official government website. There is a tool here that lets you build a timeline for your move and more information about quarantine facilities, etc. The ultimate cost will vary depending on a few details, but you can expect to spend several hundred dollars or even a few thousand to bring your dog from Kansas to Perth.

Handling the move on your own will be more cost effective, but if you think you'd like some assistance you're welcome to fill out our online consultation form. Due to the complex nature of the process, many people end up deciding to enlist expert help with their moves to Australia in order to avoid delays and problems.

Either way, we hope this helps to get you started! Please let us know if we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.
 

News Round-Up: Encouraging Pet Travel Updates

Friday, February 27, 2015 by Caitlin Moore

More news about pets on Amtrak trains.

Japan's 'Animal Islands.'

According to Department of Transportation data, pet air travel was safer in 2014 than in previous years.

Does your company want to relocate you abroad? Consider bringing your pet along for better chances of success.

It's Friday, so catch up with these cute pet travel stories.

Meet Tobi, one of our talented Client Care Specialists.

 

beauty

Happy Friday!

 

2014 DOT Data Reveals Positive Trends in Pet Air Travel

Thursday, February 26, 2015 by Pet Friendly Airlines

According to recent government data, pet air travel is growing safer.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has released its February 2015 Air Travel Consumer Report, which presents the DOT's overview of air travel data from last year and leads to an encouraging conclusion: of the approximately 2 million animals who traveled by air in 2014, there were 17 deaths and 26 injuries -- numbers that reflect a decrease from previous years.

As we've discussed in the past, though tragic pet travel stories seem to make the news every few weeks, overall the numbers of negative pet incidents are low, and statistically speaking, pet travel is quite safe.

Many of the incidents that do occur happen when pets injure themselves while trying to claw or bite their way out of the travel crate, illustrating the importance of crate acclimation. Other incidents are often due to natural causes or pre-existing issues, which is why it's also a good idea to talk to your vet before a trip in order to discuss concerns and schedule a health screening. Choosing a pet-friendly airline is also highly suggested.

No matter what, it's a good idea to spend plenty of time preparing for a pet move by researching requirements and helping your pets be as ready and as healthy as possible. There's always some amount of risk involved with pet travel (same goes for human travel), but with the right approach those risks can be minimized.

Read more about the pet travel data from 2014, and as always, please contact PetRelocation with any questions you have about traveling with your pet.

 

plane / enrique via flickr

enrique / flickr

Incredible Experiences: Coco's Move to England

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Ben
Pet's Name: Coco
From: Austin, TX
To: London, England
 

"PetRelocation made moving the cat overseas simple."

We were faced with a dizzying number of decisions as we prepared our move from Austin to London. We felt fortunate that moving the cat -- something we vastly underestimated in its complexity -- was taken care of by PetRelocation.

They took care of all the paperwork, the sequencing of the vet visits, and then on the day of the move, we were thoroughly prepared for our cat to fly to London

coco

Coco

We received updates throughout the day and then he arrived at the front step of our new home -- on time and understandably anxious from all of the travel, but otherwise completely fine. I kept Coco in a quiet room for the remainder of the day and then he settled in ever so well.

PetRelocation had lots of tips and experience to share and made everything go very smoothly.

--

Thanks to Ben for sharing this experience with us! Moving soon? Please contact PetRelocation to find out about your pet transport options.

When to Hire Professional Assistance with a Pet Move

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Alexander
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
Pet Breed: Fluffy
From: Oklahoma City, OK
To: San Diego, CA

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My fiancé and I are getting married and we'll be moving her and her cat to San Diego. I'm checking out the options and whether or not it would be easier to use a pet transport service or just fly back with her cat. How does your business handle the pet being transported?

Thanks,

Alexander

 

Hi Alexander,

Excellent question. Most of the time it's technically possible for pet owners to move pets on their own, but since the process can require a considerable amount of effort (and often stress), some people choose to hire the help of professionals so that they'll have more time to focus on other things (such as moving their own belongings, etc). Here are a few more reasons people choose to hire help.

A domestic cat move is not as complicated as moving a large dog internationally, for example, but you might still find that enlisting pet travel experts to handle the move could be a good solution. PetRelocation arranges door-to-door travel services and helps oversee the gathering of pre-export paperwork, the right travel crate and the plane ticket. We move our clients' pets via cargo on a pet-friendly airline, making it easier for the owners to plan and carry out their own trip.

Please take a look at some of our recent customer stories to find out more about what we do, and it might be helpful to read over these commonly asked pet travel questions, as well.

You may ultimately decide to carry your cat in the cabin with you or plan the cargo trip on your own, but if you're seeking additional assistance you're welcome to contact us for a consultation.

Hope this helps! Congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and please let us know if we can answer any further questions.
 

UK Dog Travel from 'Unlisted' Countries

Monday, February 9, 2015 by Pet Travel Center Questions

Name: Mrs. Hutson
From: Koh Samui, Thailand
To: London Heathrow
Pet: Bobbi (7-month-old mix breed)

Dear PetRelocation,

We rescued a street pup in Koh Samui, Thailand and put him with a lovely local sanctuary. Now we want to bring him home to England. Where do we start?

We are willing to accompany Bobbi from Bangkok. We just need help on how to start as we don't expect the sanctuary to run around for us (they are a busy place).

Thanks,

Mrs. Hutson

 

Hello,

Thanks for contacting us! To start, please take a look at the pet import requirements for the UK. Since Thailand is an "unlisted" country, you'll need to follow those rules as prescribed during a process that will likely take at least three months.

It sounds like you will need to enlist some help if you plan to start the preparation process while Bobbi is still in Koh Samui (the three month waiting period begins when the blood test is taken, which must be done after the rabies vaccine is administered and the microchip is implanted). If you don't have anyone in mind, know that pet owners sometimes use IPATA.org to locate local agents to assist with pre-export paperwork, transportation to the airport, etc.

If you still have questions after reading the information found in the link above and would like to find out more about our door-to-door services, feel free to contact us. We also recommend reading over this basic pet travel information for tips and advice. Hope this helps to get you started, and we hope to hear from you soon!
 

Pet Travel: Moving Birds Safely

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Bab
From: LAX, California, USA
To: Seattle, Washington, USA
Pets: Congo African Grey, 23 years old; Yellow Nape Amazon, 24 years old

Dear PetRelocation,

I'm out of my mind finding out the best airlines to fly my parrots to a sanctuary in Washington. Alaskan airlines needed a health certificate and was double the price of United. I do not care about price, I just want them to be okay in their travels. United had some very bad reviews -- they requested no health certificate and the cost was $150. All of this frightens me and I am trying really hard to do the best by them. Is it better to fly them or how else could I transport?

Thanks,

Bab

 

Hi Bab,

Thanks for your question -- it's completely understandable that you're feeling nervous about moving your birds. To start, please take a look at this overview of bird travel tips for information about securing the right travel crate, etc. Luckily, flying domestically is not as complicated a process as flying internationally, but as you know there is still a good amount of preparation involved.

For your information, we often use United to move pets and have used them for successful bird relocations, as well. If you'd like some help, please give our office a call or fill out our online consultation form.

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

Behind the Scenes at PetRelocation: Sarah's Four Year Pet Shipping Journey

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by Core Values

sarah & rebaEmployee Profile: Sarah Smith, Senior Pet Relocation Consultant

by Kelley Barnes, Director of HR

Sarah Smith will be celebrating her four year anniversary with PetRelocation this March. In 2014, she helped more than 200 clients by creating customized move plans to safely transport their family pets and guiding them through the selection process to determine the perfect solution to meet their specific needs.

The intricacies of international requirements for the import and export of live animals is not knowledge that can be picked up quickly and easily. Undergoing the same educational process that all our Consultants experience, Sarah started her career with PetRelocation focusing on domestic US moves but she now serves as one of our experts regarding pet transport that originates or terminates in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The complexities of permits and timelines for that region can take over a year to master, given all the countries involved.

When asked about her role in the company, Sarah said, “We send pets to more exotic locations than ever before. Planning can take days or weeks, so even if you apply the same thought processes, it’s never the same day twice.”

Not only does Sarah excel in providing expert advice to prospective clients, she also understands what is means to embody our company values, including commitment and wisdom. When asked to be the subject of our first employee profile in 2015, Sarah demonstrated her dedication to teamwork by making the time to answer the following interview questions.

What’s your first memory of working at PetRelocation?

They took me and Christina (she started on the same day and worked here for about 1.5 years) out to lunch EVERY day that week. And there was beer at lunch!! I remember it was a VERY relaxed atmosphere and I loved that right away. There were no micromanagers breathing down your neck. Everyone was friendly and genuinely cared for one another.

What drew you to the company initially?

PETS! I was looking for a job that somehow incorporated animals. I am an animal lover and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew at that point in my life I wanted it to involve animals. I was looking for a supplemental job, just something to pay a few fun bills here and there. And after starting, I found myself needing to rely on this job for financial stability. After I had worked here for a few months, I knew I wasn’t leaving! I got to use my love for animals and my passion for helping people while having fun with puzzle-solving logistics!

How has the company changed during your tenure?

Sooooo much has changed. The company has grown in sales, maturity, processes and people. We have more resources and processes in place to support our work. It helps us to do our jobs better.

The two most notable changes? 1) Moving from our Spicewood offices to Downtown Austin. 2) We used to handle the entire move for each client from building the plans to the actual shipping. We really improved the overall process by having the task split between two people, allowing us to really focus on best practices.  

 

zoo pic

The PetRelocation team on a recent outing

What’s your favorite client story?

I have too many to pick one!! I’ve moved pets for professional UFC fighters and professional European basketball players. I have several clients that are “threepeats.” One duo of Rottweilers moved with us from Laos to the US, then the US to Mongolia, then Mongolia back to the US. Probably some of the best world travelers we have!  

One “story” that touches me involves at least three different clients. In 2013 we moved a sweet family to Dubai. They had a few cats and a dog. I had another potential client contact me about moving his dog and cat to Dubai, but he was terrified of what would be life for his Golden Retriever in a foreign country. I connected the two clients -- past and potential.

They hit it off and Kim (past client) took Jim and his family (potential client) to breakfast while they visited Dubai on a house hunt. He hadn’t even hired us yet! Kim convinced him that Dylan (his Golden) would be just fine and that we were a great company to work with. They hired us, and now the two families are fast friends in Dubai! Kim also had a hand in easing the fears of another client whose pets just moved, and now Jim and his family are paying it forward to a new potential client! I think we’re starting a group of friends in Dubai and that really warms my heart.

 

dylan

Dylan the Golden in Dubai

What has been your proudest moment while working PetRelocation?

Generating $1.2 million in revenue in 2014, which resulted in lots of beautiful reunions!

What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?

It’s hard to say. Country requirements will change, as they always do. For example, the European Union has a new rule that started being enforced on January 1 requiring that a pet traveling to the EU arrive within five days of the owner. It’s a huge change and will impact not only our clients, but anyone headed into the EU.

I also think companies will start realizing their employees won’t leave their pets behind, and we can expect more organizations to regularly factor pets into their employee’s relocation reimbursement plan.  

What advice to you have for people who want to join the company?

You MUST be able to work strange hours. You MUST be able to deal with stress -- a high level of stress. You MUST care about animals, first and foremost! Decide if the stress and hours are worth it for you. It’s not for everyone and that’s ok, but don’t waste your own time by “trying it out.” It will be MORE stressful than they tell you! But so rewarding and worth it!

Everyone here helps each other. There will be a team of people willing to help you solve the client’s problem. You’re never on your own. The culture here has always been one of fun and caring. In fact, I think the team tries to focus on those qualities when hiring.

reba

Reba, Sarah's dog, helping out at the office

What do you wish other people knew about the company?

Two things: 1) We don’t rescue and/or find pets a new home: our purpose is focused on relocation pets who already have an owner. 2) Our clients constantly tell us how this was the least stressful part of their whole move, and we’ve had others tell us that they wish we had handled their personal belongings as well because we made things so easy on them. We may cost more than other similar services, but we provide quality, professional service to every client, every day.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am a super social person, but some of my favorite times are sitting on my couch in pajamas with Reba (my dog) and a glass of wine. Even better if my sister is in town!! Family is #1 for me.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Read, take Reba to the dog park, lift weights, swim, eat and drink, travel and anything involving water, sand and sun.

Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?

Laura Prepon -- but not from Orange is the New Black. Laura Prepon from a few years ago when she was playing Donna from That 70’s Show (redheaded tomboy, goofball).

Editor's Note: We interviewed Sarah back in 2011, too -- take a look what she had to say after working at PetRelocation for just a couple of weeks, and read about some of the incredible experiences Sarah and the rest of the PetRelocation team have recently arranged.
 

What to Know about Puppy Travel

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Jackie
From: Denmark
To: St. Louis, MO
Pet: Alaskan Malamute puppy, around 25 pounds

Dear PetRelocation,

I am thinking of buying a puppy that is in Denmark. I have no clue how much shipping will cost. Just a ball park figure is fine. I'm not even where in Denmark the pup is located... I just wanted to know about total cost before I even get serious and bothered the breeder. She'll be an 8 or 9-week-old puppy.

Thanks,

Jackie

 

Hi Jackie,

Thanks for your question. It typically costs a few hundred dollars to move a small pet internationally; our door-to-door services can amount to $3500 or more for a relocation like this. Your specific costs will depend on a few factors, such as the exact points of departure and arrival, whether the dog flies in the cabin or in the cargo area, etc.

You can start to calculate those costs by adding up the dog's airfare, travel crate, pre-export paperwork, and associated vet visits and transportation costs to and possibly from the airport. The more help you enlist and the less you do on your own, the more expensive it will be.

Now, we can't help but mention the fact that pet scams are very common these days. You may be dealing with a reputable breeder, but no matter what it's important to use caution when dealing with someone you don't really know. Please read more about puppy scams to educate yourself about the warning signs and ensure that you won't fall for any dishonest tactics.

Another thing to think about: PetRelocation does not move pets younger than the age of 16 weeks. At four months they can receive all vaccines and are more physically prepared to withstand the rigors of travel, and moving a puppy younger than this requires extra care and attention and includes some amount of risk.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions about these topics, and good luck with everything!

Dog Travel to Tunisia

Monday, February 2, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Crissy
From: United Kingdom
To: Tunisia
Pets: Chihuahua Mixes (5)

Hi PetRelocation,

How much would it cost to transport my five dogs to Tunisia? They typically sleep together in one crate -- would they be able to travel this way?

Thanks,

Crissy

 

Hi Crissy,

Thanks for submitting your pet travel question to us! When preparing to relocate with pets internationally, it's a good idea to check with the Ministry of Agriculture of the country to which you'll be moving to find out about the most up-to-date pet import rules (usually a health certificate and proof of updated rabies vaccine are required). You can also find out a little about Tunisia pet import rules here.

We'd also like to suggest taking a look at these essential pet travel tips and, when researching airline options, choose one with pet-friendly policies if possible. It's likely your dogs will each have to travel in their own airline-approved travel crate in the cargo area of the plane, so it's important to acclimate them to their crates in the weeks before you move (this makes it a less stressful and overall more smooth experience for all involved).

In terms of costs, our door-to-door services typically start at around $3500 to move one small pet internationally. You're welcome to contact us to discuss your options, or if you'd like to explore alternate and possibly less expensive solutions, we recommend searching for local agents through IPATA.org.

Hope this helps to get you started! Just let us know if you think we can be of further assistance, and good luck with everything.

Incredible Experiences: Lucy, Oscar & Winston's Move to Belgium

Monday, February 2, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Ammar & Guy
Pets' Names: Lucy, Oscar, & Winston
From: Glendale, California, USA
To: Brussels, Belgium
 

We moved to Brussels, Belgium from Southern California in October of 2014. The most difficult aspect of the entire process was figuring out how to get our three animals safely transported. None of the animals were used to traveling, nor were they used to being in crates, but PetRelocation took all the craziness out of our hands.

They aided us in figuring out what papers to have ready and what medical tests to have done. They made sure that our three "babies" were picked up from our house in California and safely delivered to our door in Brussels. It may have taken 15 hours of travel time due to the distance, but all of our pets not only survived the ordeal, they are each thriving in our new locale. And while they may not have access to a personal backyard as we had back in SoCal, with several dog-friendly parks all with a half km of land at our new house, they don't seem to mind one bit!

We highly recommend PetRelocation to anyone needing help in transporting their animals cross-country or overseas.