Relocating a Menagerie: Susan Orlean’s Pet Move

Susan Orlean is a successful author and journalist -- her books include The Orchid Thief and the soon-to-be-released Rin Tin Tin: The Life and The Legend, and she is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. She's also an animal lover, a fact regularly made clear to her Twitter followers. The array of pets Orlean keeps at her country home in New York make up an important part of her busy life, and on the eve of a temporary move to California, the well-being of her beloved bunch (which includes a dog, cats and chickens) is weighing heavy on her mind.

orlean screen shot

It's a familiar scenario. Here at, every day we receive phone calls and emails from stressed pet owners wondering how in the world they're going to manage their pet moves. New jobs, military assignments and retirement plans that move families from one end of the globe to another are taxing enough to maneuver on their own, and when you throw pets into the mix, the logistics and emotions involved can make these situations feel downright overwhelming.

Here's what Orlean had to say about her upcoming move on her blog, Free Range:

In a matter of weeks, my husband and I will pack up everything but our winter clothes and park ourselves in Los Angeles until next spring. My husband has business there; I am merely a camp follower. It is a sign of some special and strange quality of my life that the first question people ask when hearing this news isn’t, “How do you feel about moving to L.A.?” or “How will your son like living there?” but, “Oh my god, what about the chickens?” This is a problem of my own making, so I accept it. The fact is the question of what will become of my various animals is probably the subject most on my mind these days.

Sound familiar? Most animal lovers (authors and non-authors alike) are probably in agreement that, though pets beautifully enrich our lives, they make them beautifully complicated as well. Most of us find the whole adventure to be ultimately well worth it, but just remember that help is out there if you need it. Moving with pets isn't exactly an intuitive process, and our specialists here at are happy to lend a hand.

Check out our website, connect with us on Facebook, or give us a call if you have any questions about moving pets. Good luck to Ms. Orlean and everyone else in the midst of a pet move!


PetRelocation Team




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