Pet Move of the Month: Phoebe’s Move to China

Phoebe - Pet of the MonthIt's already March, which means it's time to announce our Pet Move of the Month! This time around, congratulations are due to Phoebe, a Belgian Malinois, for her successful move from the US to China.

You may remember this distinguished canine from our discussion on Moving Older Dogs -- Phoebe is 14 years old, so even though she's a seasoned traveler, there were a few concerns about putting her through the process of relocating. Luckily one of our star Pet Relocation Specialists was in charge of handling the details, and Phoebe's owners were responsible and careful during every step of the journey.

In the end, Phoebe made it safely to Beijing. If you're planning an international move -- or simply enjoy a good story -- continue on to read what Annette, Phoebe's owner, had to say. Thanks, Annette, and congrats once again to Phoebe for being our Pet of the Month!

Annette had been working in China for a little while when she and her husband decided that he and Phoebe should come join her:

During the time that I lived in Beijing, I became very aware of the challenges to import a pet into China, including a requirement of a 30-day quarantine. We adopted Phoebe when she was three and we're her third family. We both agreed that we would not leave her behind.

When I reached out to in October, I was put in contact with Cara.  Since I was living in China, the time difference made communication challenging.  Cara was very accommodating with the time difference to answer my many questions, however, and the website was very informative as well. Cara immediately showed her overall concern for the dog's welfare by expressing her concerns regarding Phoebe's age.  She wanted to ensure that we and our vet felt she was healthy enough to travel. 

Cara helped to ease my worries about Phoebe's age by telling me about a 21-year-old cat that was recently moved.  I ultimately chose because of the attention paid to pets' welfare that also extended to the airlines and agents in China.  I was completely hooked when I read on the website, "when your pet's relocation is more important than your own."  This is exactly how I felt about moving Phoebe.

Phoebe had never been crate trained, so Cara helped us with information in order to purchase the correct crate and training tips.  She even volunteered to talk to us at the pet store and look at pictures of the crate before we purchased it to ensure we got the right one.  She also helped us with tips to get Phoebe comfortable with the crate, and helped us find a certified vet that could provide the Avid chip, health inspection and necessary USDA paperwork, as well.

Cara was great with keeping in touch with us while waiting for the actual move.  Due to her age, my husband and I were very worried about the stress this move would cause Phoebe.  The updates Cara provided regarding Phoebe's status were very helpful and put us at ease.  The agent in China was also very helpful and caring.  He kept us posted on Phoebe's condition and clearance from quarantine, and Phoebe actually cleared quarantine earlier then expected. 

We had a bit of a scare with Phoebe's health condition while she was in quarantine.  The vet was concerned about her overall health and wanted to delay her final flight to our home.  The agent was very good with communication of the situation to us, though.  I ended up having a Chinese colleague of mine contact the agent to make sure that nothing was lost due to the language barrier, and conveyed our wishes to get her to our home as quickly as possible.  Based on the description of the symptoms, we knew that Phoebe was just stressed, and the sooner she could be reunited with us the better she would be.  We knew that moving a 14-year-old dog would be risky, but we both believed we needed to make every effort possible to keep her with us.

Cara called me directly to check on Phoebe's health and see if she had made it to our home yet, and she is now settling in just fine.  This is her fourth move with us, so she is somewhat used to new locations.  We have her bed and other personal items here with us, which have helped to ease the transition.


I am so pleased with's level of service and care for Phoebe.  Cara was always available and did not miss any details.  Other than our stress, the move exceeded our expectations.  Phoebe was released from quarantine sooner then expected and flown to our home a day early.  We learned that when moving a pet internationally, it is critical that all of the government requirements are met.  All in all, we could not have effectively completed this process without and Cara's expertise. 


PetRelocation Team




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