Planning International Pet Transport With Evelyn
No two pet moves are alike thanks to ever changing country and airline rules, but our experienced team members are happy to stay up to speed in order to provide top notch experiences for our clients. Evelyn, one of our senior Relocation Consultants, has moved all kinds of pets to all kinds of places, including Hong Kong, China and Singapore.
Read on to find out more about Evelyn, and contact us if you're ready to connect with her about your upcoming pet move!
Let's start by talking a little about your background: Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation?
At the time, I was working at a busy veterinary clinic in South Austin. After a few years, I decided it was time to try something new. I didn’t have a specific career path in mind—I just knew I loved working with people and pets! When I saw the posting for PetRelocation, I knew it was a perfect fit. In fact, I didn’t apply anywhere else.
When you think back on the last few years, what is one of your favorite pet move stories?
Before I became the on-site China and Hong Kong Specialist, I was handling relocations in and out of other Asian countries. One of our repeat clients needed assistance relocating her two cats and English Bulldog Lilly from Indonesia to Alaska.
Relocating English Bulldogs overseas is very difficult, as most commercial airlines do not accept the breed because they’re considered high-risk travelers. Finding a safe, viable solution from Jakarta to Anchorage was a daunting task and required some creativity. Airline requirements are always changing, which meant that we had to switch airlines, monitor temperatures, and change the departure date numerous times.
In the end, we were able to secure a flight to Seattle with Lufthansa and the client decided to make the 2,200 mile journey to Anchorage by car! This relocation was a great example of our commitment and unwavering teamwork with our client.
Evelyn's dogs Olive and VV
What do you like about working with clients traveling to Asia, Africa and elsewhere?
I love working with all kinds of clients, but in particular it's great working with pet owners relocating to China and Hong Kong because they’re typically experienced travelers. Many of my clients have lived overseas before and understand that there are very different attitudes about pet ownership in Asia. Often, our clients have spent a lot time researching and preparing.
In spite of our clients’ experience living and working overseas, they’re often daunted by the lack of information about how to move their pets. I love taking on a guiding role by presenting them with the facts and coming up with creative solutions that have their pets’ best interest in mind. Offering this sense of relief and peace of mind is very rewarding.
What advice do you have for people planning a move to one of these regions?
Immerse yourself in your community! Although pet ownership in China and Hong Kong is growing rapidly, finding big box pet stores, dog parks, and pet-friendly housing can be a challenge. Your best resource is your fellow expats who likely have pets themselves.
Evelyn celebrating her first pet move!
What are a few typical roadblocks people encounter and how can working with PetRelocation make the experience a smooth one?
China is very different from other countries in that the pet import requirements are different depending on the “port of entry” or destination city. There are not many reliable sources to reveal this information and help determine which steps to take. In addition, most major cities in China require a period of quarantine and there’s very little transparency about what these facilities are really like.
It can also be difficult to relocate more than one pet without help—China permits one pet per passport only. Some of our clients have a difficult time finding a pet-friendly route into China. Many of these flights require more than one layover or don’t have established pet programs. Luckily, we have the experience, connections, and oversight to navigate these obstacles effectively.
In her spare time, Evelyn loves visiting national parks and fine art museums
Although Hong Kong’s pet import requirements are relatively straightforward, many of my clients are not aware that the AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department) requires pets to travel as “manifest cargo.” Like other rabies-free countries, Hong Kong requires professionals to secure the flight booking and approved customs brokers to handle the import procedures upon arrival. This is a major obstacle, as most commercial airlines will not allow the general public to book flights for their pets to Hong Kong.
In addition to our guidance preparing the required documentation, we organize the flight arrangements on our clients’ behalf. We also have strong relationships with numerous pet-friendly airlines and reputable clearance agents in Hong Kong. In addition to offering a solution to these issues, we micromanage each step to ensure the relocation is successful.