Though the employees of PetRelocation come from a variety of backgrounds and handle a range of tasks during their days at the office, we all share one thing: a dedication to the core values that define the company.
The subject of our latest employee profile is no exception to this rule. In his role as a multitasking, jack-of-all-trades Pet Relocation Consultant, Tim Phillippe lives the ideals of PetRelocation and has enjoyed an interesting journey of his own as he helps our clients complete theirs.
Read on to find out more about Tim!
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
I had walked by the building plenty of times and was curious about it. After the music festival I worked for ended, I found PetRelocation online and saw a job opening. It sounded like a really fun/great place to work.
What’s the best memory you have from your first month working here?
One of the first things I was tasked with was to research how to get two baby giraffes from Virginia to the Cayman Islands. This was ironic for me, since in my phone interview with Kevin, our CEO, I asked if PetRelocation had moved anything weird like giraffes.
What has been your favorite story to tell others about the working environment at PetRelocation?
I jokingly always tell people that I get to play with dogs for a living, which is partly true. Whenever I tell my friends and random people I meet about PetRelocation, they always respond with interest. Most jobs, and by extension most companies, are just ordinary and mundane. PetRelocation is far from that. One of the things I do here is deliver pets to the airport so they can fly out to their families, as well as delivering them to their homes when they arrive in Austin. Getting to see how overjoyed the pet’s parents are (not to mention the pets themselves) when their pet arrives is extremely rewarding. It makes me love my job more than I already do.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to people who are just starting to plan for their upcoming pet move?
Be prepared for anything. Whether you are moving with your pet or not, moves can be stressful. I have moved several times in my life and I can say, without a doubt, that planning is key to a stress free move. Also carve out time to de-stress during your move. Even if you only carve out 10 minutes, it can do wonders to just sit and “space out” for a short period of time.
Tim's dogs, Hufflepuff & Tonks
Lately, you have been helping Vanessa with the ongoing search to find agents in high demand areas. What is the process you go through to locate new potential vendors?
Google is always my first stop. Sometimes the best choice for a vendor pops up on the first try. However, this is rarely the case. There are several different sites I go through to try and find people that would not only be responsible and reliable, but also a good culture fit. There have been a few bad eggs I have encountered during my research, but those are rare. There is a vetting process I go through that primarily depends on responsiveness and reliability. In our industry, those two attributes are some of the most important when partnering with a vendor.
You speak with a number of veterinarians each week, gathering the required documents for our team to put together import/export certificates and packets. What are some of the challenges you encounter in getting those records and how do you overcome those issues?
The most challenging part is vets who have never dealt with pet travel. Now and again, people will be traveling internationally from areas where international travel is not that common. That being the case, the vets in those areas have no idea about the processes for various types of pet travel. Those of us here who talk to vets will walk them through the processes if needed, which not only benefits the client, but also provides the necessary knowledge to the vet for future reference.
What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?
Tons of things could change. The most likely things that would change are the various regulations and requirements for traveling to various countries. Those change almost daily it seems, which keeps us on our toes to stay up-to-date. The thing I can’t wait to see change is our ability for pets to travel to Cuba. When word first hit that the US was re-opening relations with Cuba, I started researching what we will need to do. So far, there is not much we can do, but our hope is that we will be moving tons of pets and their families to and from Cuba as soon as possible!
Tim, Hufflepuff and Tonks on Take Your Dog to Work Day
What advice to you have for people who want to join the PetRelocation team?
Be ready for hard, detailed work and a good time. This industry and its laws and regulations are constantly changing. Even though that can be daunting, at the end of the day, you are reuniting families. It is one of the most rewarding things that you can do. Also, don’t think you can't do it. You can learn any industry if you apply yourself. Working here was challenging for me at the start, but the staff here is was extremely helpful in my pet relocation education. It’s kind of like learning to ride a bike: scary at first, but fun once you learn how to balance.
What do you wish other people knew about the company?
I wish people knew more about what we do in general. Whenever I tell my friends about what we do here, they are kind of baffled. Most people think that you just put a pet in a kennel and then on a plane. I was the same way before I learned the industry. There are so many steps and different people involved when getting your pet from A to B.
What’s your best hidden talent?
I can pop any joint in my body.
If you could pick a famous animal, any famous animal, to be your family pet – which animal would that be and why?
Brian Griffin from Family Guy because we have a lot in common.
Say you have friends coming into Austin for the weekend. What one thing do they absolutely need to do or see so they can get the “Keep Austin Weird” experience?
If you want to see the “weird side” of Austin, just walk around downtown on a Saturday night. If that isn’t your thing (and it shouldn’t be because downtown can get too weird/gross), go to a house show, a pop-up art show, eat out of any trailer, go to any of our parks to hike/swim, and after you're done with all of that, go to Yard Bar with your dog and have a drink while they play with friends.
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
My artistic choice would be Samuel L Jackson, but if he isn’t available, then I guess Joseph Gordon Levitt.