Moving from the United States to Malaysia is no easy feat, so when one of our customers made the leap, we asked her to answer a few questions for us. This knowledge can definitely help the rest of us should we ever find ourselves in the same position.
Thanks again to Mary, Archie's owner, for providing us with so much helpful information about pet moves to Kuala Lumpur!
Have you ever moved internationally with a pet before?
We have moved overseas seven times, but this was our first time to relocate with a dog.
What were your biggest concerns going into the move overseas?
Moving overseas, there are always many concerns, but for this trip we were primarily thinking about Archie's comfort and safety. Cara at PetRelocation made sure his paperwork was in order, made sure he had a back up crate in case his travel crate was not accepted, saw to his itinerary, and arranged for a doctor to see him once he arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
How did you hear about PetRelocation.com, and what made you decide to take advantage of our services?
I found PetRelocation through an internet search. I interviewed you over the phone and decided you were the best pet relocation company for Archie. Cara was great. She always returned my calls, which is very important to me. Most importantly, she understood how emotional and nervous I was about moving Archie.
When did you start planning for this move?
I first contacted PetRelocation in April of 2010 and inquired about the services and costs. I called back in July and was put in touch with Cara, and she and I started planning the first day we spoke.
How did the flying process go?
Since we left a few days before Archie, goods friends of ours shipped him for us. Cara gave them a ring to make sure they were comfortable with the process, and she answered any questions they had. I spoke with them the morning Archie was being transported to Bush International Airport by PetRelocation’s Houston handler, Paul. Paul stood in their kitchen and had a cup of coffee with them while he went over the flight process. They were quite pleased with his expertise and felt comfortable with Archie leaving with Paul.
How did Archie’s quarantine go?
Kuala Lumpur has a mandatory seven day quarantine. The Kuala Lumpur facility is clean, safe and provides minimum care. If possible, I would encourage owners to check on their pets during the seven days. (See below for more details about the quarantine facilities.)
How is life going in Kuala Lumpur? Any surprises?
Surprises can be a daily occurrence with living overseas. So far, KL has been a pleasant place to live.
Have you connected with any other expatriates? What kinds of resources have been most helpful to you in terms of settling into a normal routine in Kuala Lumpur?
We have met a few couples at our condo and tennis club. Also, I've been trying to locate some dog parks and clubs so Archie can socialize with other dogs. Malaysia is an Islamic Country, so dogs are forbidden in most public areas. As for resources, I have found the following quite helpful: PetRelocation.com, The Expat (a monthly publication), and The American Malaysian Association.
Do you have any specific advice about moving pets to Kuala Lumpur?
Make sure the place you are moving into allows pets.
In terms of the move, would you do anything differently if you had the chance?
I might have looked longer and harder for a condo with an attached garden for Archie. Dogs are not allowed in the common area of our condo.
Mary was also kind enough to provide a few very specific details about her experiences with visiting the quarantine facility. If a move to Malaysia lies ahead of you, this information may prove invaluable:
-I went out to quarantine today with another couple. I didn't get to see the kennels, but the grounds looked clean and the staff was friendly. It's a huge facility.
-One thing you might need to mention to people: it's about 1 1/2 hours away from KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center). My driver told me it's best to go after 8:00 a.m. and start back before 4:00 p.m. in order to avoid traffic.
-Our navigation told us to turn right for the facility, but it's really a left off the highway (you can't turn right). This happened to another couple, too.
-Remember: traveling on Fridays here in KL is a big headache due to the fact that it's prayer day.
-When you get to the facility, you have to check in at the main office and get a pass. It's to your right when driving into the complex. You need to take some sort of photo ID. I did not take any ID, but my driver was able to leave his driver's license. I will take my passport with me in the future.
-Before you leave the office, get the block number where your pet is staying and the number of the kennel. We were not given the number and had to find the block. The kennels are located up the hill, and you need to go through a guard gate and show your pass.
-Bring some water for yourself to drink.
-The units are tiled from floor to ceiling - quite noisy - so bring an extra pad so your pet can lay down comfortably.
-My recommendation to clients is this: if possible, go see your pet on the first day, then decide how often you want to visit. Take some food just in case, and put the crates inside the kennel space so they have their secure place.