Quantcast
Help Me Move My Pet

Goodbye and Good Luck, Matt!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by Core Values

matt kincaidThis week we're saying goodbye to the very first employee hired at PetRelocation, Matt Kincaid. After 10 years in which he's shipped hundreds of pets and acted as an anchor and leader at the company, Matt is moving to Maine with his wife and two daughters to join his East Coast family in starting a new business.

We'll miss him greatly here in Austin, as his knowledge, wisdom, teamwork, and integrity have contributed so much to the success and evolution of PetRelocation.

Good luck and thanks for 10 great years, Matt! This farewell is certainly bittersweet. Here are a few memories gathered by the PetRelocation team that capture Matt's personality, dedication, and pet shipping expertise:

 

I will miss a number of things about Kincaid; his beat boxing skills, loud typing, constant need to move quickly (to the bus especially), and how he wears his Orioles hat in rain, snow (well, sleet really), and sunshine. However, the thing I will miss most is having his perspective on things. He has a unique ability to calm people down and remind them of the big picture in a very real way. It is so easy for us to get caught up in all of the stressful little situations that pop up throughout each day. Matt is one of the few people who has the ability to empathize with that stress and also help you get your head back in the game for the greater good. I will definitely miss having him around. -- Bethany

 

Matt is a straight up hustler with a purpose and a heart of gold. Over the past 15 months, I am grateful to have worked with the man who embodies PetRelocation’s Core Values and who has been an integral part in forming our culture. He has always been gracious with his time and perspective for newbies needing some wisdom and guidance. Overall, I will miss his ability to pull a laugh out of nearly every meeting; his generous nature; his optimism; and the rare ability to make the workplace seem more like home with family, rather than just a place of business with coworkers. Good luck Matt! -- Tom

 

Dear Matt,

Thank you for your great advice and support over the years. I will not forget training with you and Brad and the ice storm of February 2011. Wish you and your family the best in Maine! -- Ashley

I have really enjoyed trading vegetable gardening tips and success with him, along with getting advice! He’s a great guy. :) -- Penney

 

matt, rachel, kevin  angie in las vegas

Matt, Rachel, Kevin & Angie in 2006

 

Matt is an awesome co-worker because he has a great personality and a fun, positive attitude.  But I will always remember Matt as being a really good dad. Matt’s oldest daughter, Mia, was fond of Robert (our office hamster) and on a couple of occasions I sent her picture texts of Robert to her through Matt’s phone. She would send back very cute replies. When she was in the office visiting, I let her give him some treats. It was extremely adorable. Another demonstration of Matt’s fun spirit is that he helped me tune my mandolin before my first lesson and always asks me how my lessons are going.  He will be missed! -- Tobi

 

This story goes back almost 10 years ago, when Kevin, Matt and I were the only people working at PetRelocation. Our office was a little house on a dirt road in Lakeway.

Back then Matt did all of the domestic moves and Kevin had Asia as his region. I did all other countries and accounting.

matt & angie

Matt and Angie at a relocation conference in Las Vegas in 2006

In November 2005, I snuck out of the office and went to Walmart and bought a diet coke and a pregnancy test (Still have the receipt, lol). I couldn't wait until after work so I took the test right there at the office.

Matt and Kevin were in the back room with their headsets on talking with customers on the phone. I skipped out of the bathroom and waived the positive pregnancy test around so they could both see it. Both of their jaws dropped and they smiled and gave a big thumbs up! I'm not sure if Matt remembers, but that is a day I will never forget.

It's amazing to look back and think about all that's happened since then.

I have had the honor to see Matt evolve over the last decade as a husband, father, and a wonderful human being. Thank you Matt for all of the memories! This is not a goodbye, but rather a see you later! Good luck to you and Carly on the next chapter. We love you and will see you in Maine!

Cheers,

Angie

 

matt & keith

Matt and Keith

I certainly don’t have just one cherished memory, but will deeply miss navigating the “sand traps” of day-to-day office life with him. As my manager he wasn’t always easy on me, and never lost focus of keeping the company’s best interests as a main priority. His wife, daughters, pets, and future vegetables are in good hands. -- Keith

 

My favorite memory of Matt was when I went to Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar to see Uncle Bruno (Matt's band) perform. It was a raucous show, where the band eventually got up on the bar and jammed out. By the end of the night, Kincaid and I were a few sheets to the wind and hung out on the porch with Stevie Wonder’s drummer.

What I’ll miss most about Matt is being his #1 Chop Buster. Since he joined corporate, I have taken much joy in pushing his buttons each and every day. Now, I will only have my own buttons to push…:) -- Joe

 

I met Matt for the first time in May of 2006 when I interviewed at PetRelocation. At that time, PetRelocation’s staff consisted of its co-founders, Kevin and Angie, and Matt, its first employee. Let’s just say things were a little more lenient with the interview process back then, as Matt asked me hard hitting questions like “What album do you currently have in your car’s CD player?” I remember being really embarrassed because I had the Backstreet Boys Black & Blue album (it wasn’t mine, I swear!) but feeling compelled to tell the truth anyway. Matt gave me a hard time for that, but I still got the job.

matt & rachel

Matt and Rachel

This led to me having the fun, rewarding, and inspiring experience of working with Matt for the last nine years. When I first started, Matt was a true coach, teaching me the ropes of how to ship pets. Back then we used paper file folders to keep track of all of our shipments, and he showed me how to write out my logistics plan on the front of the file folder. On my first day, at around noon, Matt asked me if I wanted anything from the gas station. Our old office was about 30 miles outside of Austin and had limited access to stores and restaurants – the gas station was the closest place to buy lunch. I declined, having brought my lunch that day, but Matt and I enjoyed many trips to the gas station over the years – BBQ Fritos for him, Easy Mac for me. On Fridays, at around 4 PM, we’d power down our computers and we would all clean the office together: our CEO mopping the floors while Matt vacuumed and I scrubbed the toilets.

I have had some fun times with Matt, like the time during my first year when we went to Las Vegas for a conference and rode in a limo on the way from the airport to the hotel (we really felt like we’d made it!). Another time, the night before Matt’s birthday, a group of us decided to turn his desk at work into a mini-golf course, complete with real grass, a water hazard, and a sand trap. Matt, an avid golfer, came in to work the next morning and worked the whole day with his mouse pad perched on the Bermuda grass desktop.

 

matt birthday

The 'Golf Desk'

Things have changed a lot in the 9 years we’ve worked together: we’ve moved downtown, so we have way more lunch options than just a gas station now; we have cloud-based CRM and project management tool that allows us to plan and monitor our pet moves online, instead of on a file folder; the company has grown from the four of us to nearly forty; and we now have a weekly cleaning service, whose hard work I’m certain we never take for granted.

But one thing has not changed. Matt’s loyalty, compassion, and true commitment to seeing PetRelocation succeed has always been a constant. It can be easy to get lost in in the ever-evolving and constantly shifting ecosystem that is a startup, but Matt has always remained a shelter from the storm, a touchstone to the roots of the company.

I will miss him, PetRelocation will miss him, the industry will miss him – and we can only hope they sell BBQ Fritos in Maine. -- Rachel

 

goodbye, matt!

Good luck on your next adventure, Matt!

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!

Incredible Experiences: Danu's Move to Snowy New York

Monday, March 23, 2015 by PetRelocation.com Customer

danuHere's an update from a recent client of ours. Sounds like Danu is doing well after her move!

When my mother recently found out she had to have hip surgery and would be unable to walk Danu, her Labradoodle, she dreaded the thought of putting her in a kennel for 3-5 months while she recovered. She jumped at my offer to send her to me to join my Coonhound and two cats during her rehabilitation.

We needed a way to get her from California to New York, so I starting searching for a pet relocation company. I checked out the websites and requested quotes from a half dozen firms.   

PetRelocation responded almost immediately (I never even heard from some of the other companies), and from the beginning I was very pleased and impressed with their organization.

They questioned me about the details and timing of the move and provided a very competitive quote. They also assigned me my own Client Care Specialist who worked with me on a daily basis to make sure we got all the paperwork and supplies needed for the move.

The whole process went very smoothly, and within a week, Danu had arrived safe and sound in New York and was enjoying her first experience with snow : ) She is still learning she is not supposed to chase my cats, but she has settled in nicely...

danu

I will definitely use PetRelocation again when Danu is ready to go back home, and I certainly have no hesitation recommending them to anyone else who needs to ship their pet someplace!

Tom

--

Thanks to Tom and Danu for this excellent update! Moving with a pet soon? Please contact us to find out how we can help.

Cat Travel to the United States from Brunei

Thursday, March 19, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Cathy
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Cat
From: Brunei
To: USA

Hi,

I've seen quite a few examples of moving pets from the U.S. to international locations, but I was wondering if you assist with shipping from outside the U.S. back into the country?

We won't be moving for a few years, but I've been hearing nightmares about shipping pets -- most people end up giving them to new families!

Thanks,

Cathy
 

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for reaching out! We're definitely interested in helping people figure out their move options so that they don't have to leave a pet behind!

We often move pets into the United States from other countries (as well as between non-US countries), and we'd be happy to discuss your move with you. To start, you can take a look at this overview of the pet import requirements for the United States. This is a pretty straightforward country when it comes to importing pets; essentially you'll need a vet health certificate stating the cat is healthy and fit to fly.

You'll also need to find out what the additional airline requirements are, if any (we recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline and making sure your cat is as crate-trained as possible).

If you think you'd like some help arranging your cat's relocation, please contact us for a consultation. Finally, in order to assuage your fears a little bit regarding the safety of pet travel, please read over these frequently asked pet travel questions as well as our recent client pet travel experiences.

Hope this helps, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Lunch & Learn: Teamwork Tips from the Texas Rollergirls

Thursday, March 12, 2015 by Core Values

roller girlsEarlier this week, two (pretty rad) members of the Texas Rollergirls stopped by our office for a 'Lunch & Learn' that focused on the topic of teamwork.

In discussing how their league works, Shiner Blond and Me Shove You Long Time imparted some valuable knowledge about the intricacies of being part of a group filled with diverse members who share a common goal.

Whether you're shipping pets or competing in the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, communication and collaboration are epically important.

Here are a few highlights from the discussion:

  • Me Shove You Long Time mentioned that the Texas Rollergirls have embraced Shine Theory, which is the idea that it's beneficial to surround yourself with strong, talented people and also to root for them and help them to be even better. In short: "I don't shine if you don't shine."

  • As far as teamwork, communication is important, as is learning how your colleagues communicate best. Some people require more finesse while others prefer bluntness -- take the time to find out what works and what doesn't.

  • In terms of offering feedback to a team member, think of this as a skill that requires developing. It may come naturally to blurt out a correction or criticism during a match (or stressful pet move related moment), but  there is probably a better way to be direct without creating too much tension.

  • Roller Derby brings out "lots of feels," which means that de-briefing after a game and working on strategies for improvement can often be emotional. Working with pets and pet owners also brings out the feels here at PetRelocation, and we appreciated Shiner and Shove You's suggestions to focus on team building, honest sharing and respectful communication.

Thanks again to Shiner Blond and Me Shove You Long Time for taking their lunch hour to speak to us! Their battle stories and sound advice were intriguing and inspiring to the PetRelocation team.

Find out more about the Texas Rollergirls and consider attending one of their upcoming bouts for a firsthand look at dedicated teamwork in action.

Employee Profile: Joe, PetRelocation Corporate Account Manager

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 by Core Values

joeBy Kelley Barnes, Director of HR

If you have a ‘Joe Fraser type’ in your company, then you know how lucky you are.

What do I mean by that – a ‘Joe Fraser type’? In this case, it means to have that outgoing, social personality who also has the uncanny ability to get things done. In the offices of PetRelocation, in addition to being the point of contact for a number of our corporate accounts, Joe is the driving force behind our well-attended, regular monthly outings to experience Austin culture and fun. (Of course it doesn’t hurt that our offices are one block over from Austin’s legendary Sixth Street Entertainment District).

Joe is someone we can always rely on to have a smile on his face and to generally rally the troops when a cheerleader is needed. It’s clear he draws on his skills in Improv and Comedy on a daily basis. It’s also no accident that he sits next to the office gong.

For Joe and the other members of our Corporate Accounts team, the end of February is the start of high season. More and more requests will come to us for clients who are being moved around the world by their companies during the start of summer as they plan ahead for the big life change.

Before things get hectic for Joe, he was able to take a few minutes to answer the profile questions below. I hope his answers will bring a smile to your face as they did to mine.

Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?

I applied for the Sales Consultant role right before I got married in 2011. At that time, I was managing a Segway tour company in downtown Austin. While it was one of the most fun jobs I had ever had, it didn’t provide me the means to provide my soon-to-be wife the life that she needed. So I was searching for a “cool job” that paid more than the Segway job and also had benefits. When I found PetRelocation, everything just fell into place. February 1, 2015 marked my 3-year anniversary with the company.

What’s your first memory of working at PetRelocation?

My first memory of PetRelocation in general is when I interviewed for the job and had to give the presentation. I was so nervous that I showed up for the interview 1.5 hours early, so I sat in my car and gave the presentation to my steering wheel for an hour. It ended up paying off because the presentation went very well. After I finished, the CEO told me that I basically got the job. So when I left the office, I did Kung Fu kicks all the way to my car. Little did I know, all of the windows on the building face the street that I kicked my way down…

 

joe's dogs

Joe's dogs Django & Gypsy

What’s your favorite client story?

My favorite client story was when I moved a Ball Python named Jesus for a corporate client. I was nervous throughout the entire process because snakes are so sensitive. I was afraid that something would go wrong and I would be “the guy who lost Jesus.” Fortunately, the move went off without a hitch and Jesus was safely reunited with his family.

What was your most challenging move/client?

My most challenging move to date was for a 13-year old epileptic Yellow Lab from the US to the Dominican Republic. The dog was so large that she required a custom travel crate in order to meet international airline standards. The size of kennel required ended up being too large to fit on any standard commercial aircraft that serviced Santo Domingo. The result is that we had to drive the dog to Miami and take a cargo flight to Santo Domingo before driving 3 hours to the client’s home. Fortunately, all went well and Molly is now home safe with her family!

You started as a Sales Consultant and moved into Corporate Accounts. What is different about the two roles?

The difference between the consulting role and managing accounts really comes down to the types of clients you are dealing with. When working with clients on the web, anyone can “walk into our store” and request service. These clients come from all types of situations, backgrounds and locations, which always kept me guessing before each call. When managing the accounts, we are typically dealing with high-level corporate executives, HR professionals and 3rd party relocation companies. So in the corporate business, I must be accountable to two or more parties for each move and there are no set “regions” of the world that I work with. But I love that account management keeps me on my toes!

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

I think that the major changes in pet travel in the next five years will come from the airlines and government organizations of the world. The western attitude towards pets is rapidly spreading to countries all over the world and more people are moving pets internationally than ever. I believe this will spur more and more airlines to implement pet safe programs so as to cash in on this industry trend. I also believe that the governing bodies of the world will begin working to standardize import requirements across the world. This will allow pets to travel more freely by streamlining airline and country import requirements.

Emily & Joe

Joe and his wife Emily

What do you wish other people knew about the company?

I wish people knew what a small group that we are. From the outside looking in, we look like a multi-million dollar corporation that moves an unfathomable amount of pets around the world. In reality, we are 30 committed pet-shipping professionals changing peoples’ lives in a way that has never been done before.

What’s your best hidden talent?

My best hidden talent is my skill at singing R&B karaoke. I love getting up on stage, pretending to be nervous and watching people immediately assume that I am going to sing country music or be a poor performer. Then Brian McKnight kicks on and I blow their expectations out of the water. #KaraokeSwag

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

When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my wife and two little Chihuahuas. During the warmer months here in Texas, you can find us floating the river, diving into Central Texas’ many swimming holes and attending the endless number of festivals in the Austin area. From SXSW to The Texas Renaissance festival, from Carnaval Brasileiro to the X Games, we do it all and enjoy the Austin lifestyle to the fullest.

What was the last book you read for fun? What did you enjoy about it?

The last book I read was Clive Barker’s Coldheart Canyon. I am a lover of everything Horror (movies, books, etc.), so Clive Barker and I are old buddies. I love the imagery he uses to paint a picture in my mind of the hellish nightmares in his novels.

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

Hugh Jackman... obviously. :)

 

Read more about Joe and the rest of the PetRelocation team here. Want to work at PetRelocation? Take a look at our current open positions.

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

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.
 

Dog Travel to the Dominican Republic

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Lindsay
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Blue Heeler
From: USA
To: Dominican Republic

 

Hi there,

We're moving to the Dominican Republic in the Summer of 2015. Many airlines seem to say you cannot ship a dog if the daily forecasted temperature is 85 degrees or higher, and it appears to be over 85 in the DR all year long! Is there some sort of way around this rule? Using a professional shipping company or something? Thanks for your help!

Best,

Lindsay

 

Hi Lindsay,

Thanks for your inquiry. We've helped several pets move successfully to the Dominican Republic and would be happy to explore your options with you. Often pet travel can seem impossible at first, but after some investigating is done and expert knowledge applied, a solution can often be found. For your information, here are the pet import requirements for the Dominican Republic.

Generally, flying with a pet-friendly airline (we often use United) diminishes the chance of being affected by temperature, as a truly pet-oriented carrier will not let pets be exposed to the elements for a significant amount of time and will place a high priority on safety and comfort all year round.

Please read over these basic pet travel tips on our blog, and if you think you'd like to find out more about our door-to-door services, please fill out our online consultation form.

We hope we can be of service to you, and either way, good luck!
 

Shipping a Dog from California to Washington

Thursday, February 5, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Dana
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Shiba Inu
From: California, USA
To: Richland, WA, USA

 

Dear PetRelocation,

My question isn't in regards to moving, but I've found a 4-year-old Shiba Inu in an animal shelter in California that I really want to adopt. The problem is that I can't get down there: is there any way I could have him shipped to me? Is this something that you guys do?

Please let me know how much this typically costs...

Thanks,
Dana

 

Hi Dana,

Thank you for your question! It is possible to have a dog shipped to you unaccompanied, but you will need to arrange for someone in California to gather the correct paperwork beforehand (usually just a vet health certificate and proof of an updated rabies vaccine -- take a look at the Washington requirements here).

You'll also need to buy the correct airline-approved travel crate and have someone take the dog to the airport and check him in for his flight, ideally on a pet-friendly airline.

Our company arranges door-to-door pet relocations for pets flying unaccompanied, and though usually the pet owner brings their dog to the vet, etc. in the days before the move, it's possible that we could have an agent handle this for you. Our costs for moving one small pet internationally typically start at around $1200, but your costs will differ depending on a few factors.

If this sounds like what you're looking for and you'd like to discuss your options with us, please give our office a call or fill out our online consultation form. Thanks for considering us, 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!

Watch out, It's a Pet Scam (Monkey Edition)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Magan
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Monkey
Pet Breed: Capuchin
From: MN, USA
To: GA, USA

 

Hello,

I am taking to someone about getting a monkey, and all she wants is a shipping fee that she says is $280. She said she would be using your services. I am just wanting to make sure this isn't a scam.

Thanks,

Magan

 

Hi Magan,

That is definitely a scam. Anytime someone you don't know is offering to give you a pet (especially a high-demand breed or exotic species) and only wants to charge you transportation fees, you can assume the animal doesn't exist and they are just trying to take advantage of you.

Read more about how to avoid pet scams and know that these tactics apply to dogs, cats, birds, and yes, monkeys. We strongly advise against dealing with unknown parties online when looking to add a pet to your family, and remember that anytime you're asked to wire money for "transportation fees,"  you're in danger of falling for a well-worn scam.

For reference, moving a small pet domestically typically starts at around $1200 (this covers airfare, health documents, vet visits, travel crate, etc), so this suggested fee of just $280 serves as another red flag. Monkey travel also requires a little more planning than dog and cat travel, so if something sounds too easy to be true, it probably is.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Magan (and hopefully you haven't sent any money yet). Please let us know if you have further questions, and good luck out there!

Planning Safe Pet Travel for a 10-Year-Old Dog

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Duda
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Cockapoo
From: Toronto, Canada
To: Guatemala City, Guatemala

 

Hello,

I am moving to Guatemala this summer for a job and I am bringing my dog with me. He is 10 and I am a bit worried about his age when flying. Will this be a problem? Cockapoos do tend to live longer, so this isn't really as as old as if he were another breed.

Is there an alternative to shipping him in a regular cargo area on the plane? I am worried about their temperature restrictions since we are traveling in the summer and have to stop over in Houston or San Salvador.

Thank you!

Duda

 

Hi Duda,

Thanks for submitting a question to us! Before traveling with an older pet, we recommend discussing any concerns you have with your vet and also reading over these travel tips for older dogs. We've helped many dogs and cats 10 years old and older move safely, and with the right preparation and care, it is most likely a possibility for you, too.

As far as air travel, we recommend choosing a pet-friendly airline (we often use United, KLM and Lufthansa due to their pet safe policies, for example). Airlines with solid pet procedures in place are less affected by temperature, however in the heat of the summer it's possible that you'll run into various embargoes. Since the rules and ports at which they apply change each year, we recommend checking directly with the airline to find out more.

You're also welcome to fill out our consultation form to hear back from a Specialist and discuss your move options, and we also recommend reading over these basic pet travel tips. The more you learn about the process, hopefully the more comfortable you'll feel about your dog's flight.

Just let us know if we can be of further assistance, and good luck!

Planning Dog Travel to Hawaii

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: LaVonne
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Great Dane
From: United States
To: Hawaii

 

Hi PetRelocation,

I'd like to know how this works and how much it costs to have my dog sent to Hawaii, and also what your company includes as far as shipping my dog (basically all information).

Thanks,

LaVonne
 

Hi LaVonne,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your question! These frequently asked pet travel questions will help to give you an overview of what to expect when relocating with a pet, and for your specific situation, you'll also want to read about what is required to move a pet to Hawaii. Since Hawaii is considered rabies-free, there are a few extra steps you must take before your dog can be accepted into the state, and the process takes a few weeks to carry out correctly and smoothly.

If you're interested in door-to-door pet transportation services like ours, you can take a look at a summary of what we do and can fill out our consultation form if you'd like to hear from a Specialist to start discussing your move options. Essentially, if you sign up with us we will help you through every step of the move (vet visits, airline booking, paperwork, etc.) and help you obtain the right travel crate (a custom crate is probably needed here). Our services aren't right for everyone, but we'd be happy to talk to you further if you'd like to find out more. For fastest service, you're welcome to give our office a call at 1-877-PET-MOVE.

Typically our costs for moving a pet domestically start at around $1200, but since you're going to Hawaii with a large dog, you can probably expect to pay more than that (the more space a pet takes up in the cargo area, the more the airline charges).

Hopefully this helps to get you started, and we hope to hear from you soon!

The Multiple Solutions for Pet Travel

Monday, November 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Shani
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Miniature Pinscher Mix
From: United States
To: UAE - Dubai or Abu Dhabi

 

Dear PetRelocation,

We may be moving our dog from the US to the UAE - either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. I have read that the only way dogs can enter the UAE is by cargo. I am REALLY nervous about transporting our little guy this way all the way from the US.

Is it possible to fly to Germany or some other mid-point with him in cabin and then do the last leg of the flight as cargo? If so, would it be worth having a few day layover in Germany for him to recover before shipping him as cargo? Thanks so much for your help.

Thanks,

Shani

 

Hi Shani,

Thanks for reaching out with your question. When it comes to planning pet travel there are usually many possible solutions, and we'd be happy to go over a few options with you to help you find the right one!

First, please know that pet cargo travel is safe when planned with a few guiding parameters; these include choosing a pet-friendly airline, talking to your vet about any pet health questions you have, and helping your dog to be acclimated to the travel crate. Read more about pet travel basics here

We typically use KLM when flying pets from the US to the UAE. This pet-friendly airline has trained staff and solid pet-safe procedures that help make even a long trip as comfortable as possible for furry family members (they even have a pet hotel).

After more research you may decide to choose this carrier for your dog's flight, or you may want to stick to your original idea and break up the flight. Note that if you change airlines or leave the airport, you'll most likely need to provide additional paperwork.

It often helps to read the pet travel stories of other pet owners. Take a look at a few of our recent customer stories for an idea of what the process entails and how it feels once the move is over. Additionally, you can look over the pet import requirements for the UAE, as well. 

We'd be happy to provide additional information and let you know more about our door-to-door services if you're interested. Please contact us if you'd like to speak to a Specialist to go over these options in more detail, and either way, good luck with your trip!

Incredible Experiences: "The Big Kahuna"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Neilla
Pet's Name: Kahuna
From: New Jersey, United States
To: Hawaii, United States
 

We weren't sure when we moved to Hawaii if we were going to be able to find a place that would be good for our 93 lb Labradoodle named Kahuna. We had heard that a lot of vets in Hawaii were filled up and wouldn't take new clients, and we also read that it was hard to find a house to rent that would take pets.

So in terms of finding a vet for him, on the Big Island of Hawaii it is very remote and we needed one that could not just take him but could also attend to his very special medical requirement of having Addison's Disease, which means he needs a shot once a month and he needs a pill every day.

 

kahuna

 

Also, we planned on renting at first and we needed to find a place that would take a rather large dog. So we left Kahuna in foster care in New Jersey until we could make sure we could provide a place for him. Fortunately for us, everything did work out and we were able to contact our foster family with the news that we would be starting the process of getting Kahuna shipped out here. Now the hard part began.

I personally quickly became very flustered and stressed thinking I might make a mistake on the paperwork that might in some way keep Kahuna from reaching us in a timely and efficient manner. Especially with his medical issues, high stress situations can be hard for an animal with this condition, which only gets harder because he is such a large animal.

Kahuna actually needed crate extensions on his XL crate, which his foster mom gladly helped attach in New Jersey. I was also relieved beyond measure to find PetRelocation; they coordinated everything from the crate extensions to the vets, the airfare to the forms and instructions about how to receive your pet. It was flawless.

Kahuna's plane went from NJ to CA to Honolulu to the Big Island of Hawaii. I received updates all along the way, and Kahuna had someone meeting him at each stop to make sure he was okay. I felt so safe having Kahuna's care in Sarah and Penney's hands. They took care of EVERYTHING! It was by far one of the greatest experiences I've had as a customer.


 

Kahuna is now in Hawaii and has adjusted really well. He does miss the snow but he is enjoying the fresh water streams.

I highly recommend PetRelocation to anyone who wants to have peace of mind. They take as much care as you would yourself in transporting your pet on your behalf.

Here's an Example of a Classic Puppy Scam

Friday, October 24, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

Name: Eevon
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Dog
Pet Breed: Chow Chow
From: Thailand
To: Malaysia

Hi,

Recently I come across a website/forum. I met someone who's willing to give up a 2-month-old baby Chow Chow for adoption for only RM750. He is kind enough to ship the puppy from BKK to KL.

I was thinking it is too good to be true, so I just want to check with you: how much is the cost to ship a Chow Chow to Malaysia? Just want to check if this is genuine.

Eevon
 

 

Hi Eevon,

Don't do it -- this is a scam.

The scenario you've described above has all the classic warning signs of a puppy scam. Usually the person has a very cute dog, and they've offered to give it you for "free" but all you need to do is pay (low) transportation costs. They'll probably ask you to wire the money via Western Union.

In reality, there is no dog. This person just has a picture of one they found on the internet and they have no intention of sending anything. They will likely hike up the price at some point or ask you to send more money because there is a problem with the crate or an unforeseen "airport fee"; they will continue to bother you as they try to get you to send more money, but again, there is no pet and they are just trying to steal from you.

We recommend cutting off contact with this person and reading more about puppy scams and how to avoid them. Unfortunately it's hard to track or punish puppy scammers, but you can post their details in the comments section of the previously mentioned post -- maybe it will help someone else to avoid this person.

Please contact us if you have further questions, and good luck with everything. If you're looking to add a new pet to your family, we suggest only dealing locally and perhaps adopting from your local shelter!

Tips and Advice for Relocating Fish

Monday, October 13, 2014 by Pet Travel Questions

fish on deskRelocating fish requires different steps than moving a dog or a cat, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. We've helped several pet fish make their way from one place to another and have received a few inquiries about the process, so we thought we'd provide a quick overview of what's involved.

Thinking of moving your fish? Here are a few points to consider:

To Stay or to Go -- Fish are valued and important pets to many people, but sometimes you have to start by asking a hard question like, "Is it actually reasonable and safe to move my fish with me?" The costs can be steep (we'll talk more about that below) and going long distances brings an inherent risk to the fish's well-being (especially types of fish more susceptible to stress and who require a very specific environment), so before you start planning the logistics, think about whether that beta fish (cute as he is) might not be better off staying with a friend.

The Details -- To relocate safely, fish will need to be carefully packed in plastic bags of water (water that is properly oxygenated and balanced with chemical levels the fish are used to), and these bags are then placed in a Styrofoam box or other secure container of some kind (see below for an example). An aquarium will not be provided or moved by PetRelocation (and probably not by whoever is helping you move, if you've hired assistance), so you'll need to arrange to have one ready on the destination side along with all the accoutrements the fish need.

 

fish

A safe fish travel set-up

The Costs -- Airlines charge based on the weight and amount of space the fish container takes up, so it isn't necessarily cheaper than moving a cat or small dog (it could even be more expensive, in fact). Again, this is where measuring sentimental value comes in -- it sounds a little business-like, but you may find it's simply not worth it to move certain fish once you know costs could amount to $1200 or more.

The Timing -- It can take a little longer to price and plan a fish move due to the fact that fish shipping experts are harder to find. Making sure your fish are in safe hands means locating an agent who is qualified and available to assist in whatever city you need them, and it's safe to say that fish shippers aren't as plentiful as traditional agents used to transporting dogs and cats to the airport. Essentially, don't expect a fish move to come together overnight.

Here's more detailed information about how to relocate fish safely, and here's a fun story from our blog about some Koi we moved from Texas to Tennessee.

Considering moving your fish and have more questions? Feel free to contact us to speak to a Specialist.

 

paradise fish

 Daniella Vereeken/Flickr

Incredible Experiences: Maya's Trip to Germany

Thursday, October 9, 2014 by PetRelocation.com Customer

Name: Kirsten
Pet's Name: Maya
From: Washington, D.C.
To: Germany

When my family and I found out we were going to be moving to Germany, we had to decide how we were going to get our dog Maya there.

I first had tried another company, but that would have been a multi-stop trip, which would have given her over 24 hours in her kennel. We didn't want that for her, so I had talked to a friend about how she got her dogs shipped and she told me about PetRelocation.

From the first call I had I was put at ease with the whole process. I was given one point of contact to start all the paperwork, and then once it came time to travel I got another point of contact. Even on the day before Maya was going to fly, I could send emails and get a response right away without having to wait. That just tells me that they all want the best for your pet, too.

Thank you Anna and Maegan!