Dr. Walter Woolf entered private practice in Tampa, FL, after earning a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Woolf Animal Hospital opened near Tampa International Airport in 1961. He cared for dogs, cats, assorted other household pets and even some farm animals.
As time went by, airline carriers sought his advice on how to best meet the needs of traveling animals. Dr. Woolf's relationship with the airlines soon grew to include caring for and boarding pets traveling through Tampa without their owners. The experience opened his eyes to the growing need for a service focused exclusively on the complex requirements for moving pets domestically and abroad.
Dr. Woolf opened Air Animal Pet Movers alongside his private veterinary practice in 1977. He insisted on perfection with his new pet transportation venture, so he helped set the standards for the growing animal relocation industry. He made sure that Air Animal created a safe and enjoyable relocation experience for pets and their owners.
Linda Fries Woolf is Air Animal's compliance officer, conference and trade show manager and corporate secretary. Before joining Air Animal Linda earned CLU, ChFC designations covering all aspects of insurance planning, financial planning, estate and retirement issues, taxation, business insurance, and risk management. She joined Air Animal in 2006.
Over the years Linda has had many furry best friends. The pet that touched her heart the most was Tinkerbell, a miniature Manchester terrier mix. Linda and her two young sons went to a local pound to get a kitten because she didn’t want to house train another dog just then. The first cage they passed was a litter of puppies. Tinkerbell picked them. They never made it to the cat area. She was seven pounds of endless fun and joy and Linda still smiles when she thinks of Tinkerbell.
Her number one priority is to do her part to guarantee the safety and welfare of any animal touched by Air Animal Pet Movers or any of its global service partners.
Cathy is Air Animal’s senior domestic move manager for the U.S. and Canada. Her cat Ashton was one of four kittens living in a warehouse attic. He is nine. Mischief was born in Cathy’s neighborhood two years ago. Cathy enjoys hearing back from pet parents after their babies arrive safely. Her priority is giving them all the information they need to feel comfortable with her and Air Animal’s pet transportation service.
Cory is Air Animal's chief operating officer. She joined Air Animal in 1989 and has filled just about every role. Of all the special pet moves in her scrapbook, Archie stands out. Archie's owner moved from India to Australia but the import regulations required Archie to stay in the U.S. for six months before he could join his owner. Cory volunteered to take care of Archie. He came to the office with Cory every day and visited other staff members on occasion. Cory's priority is controlling the logistics and the communication between all the parties is especially important for international corporate moves because the ever-changing regulations for importing pets to some countries can be daunting."The fact that we're moving family members is always top of mind for our entire Air Animal team. Moving is stressful enough for our clients. They trust us to know everything there is to know about relocating their pets. We make sure a l the moving parts mesh their furry, feathered and scaly babies have pleasant experiences from the first veterinary visit to the day they arrive at their new homes," she says.
Evelyn, one of Air Animal's international pet move specialists, joined the team in 2011. She loves her fur-babies Maya and Lady. Maya, her border collie mix running partner, joined the family two years ago. Evelyn said Maya "gave her the eyes" and she knew she was the one. Evelyn and her husband rescued Lady, a red-nosed pitbull, 10 years ago. They knew she was part of the family when she and their three-year-old daughter played for an hour non-stop. Evelyn gives rock star service - really! She helped David Lee Roth move his Australian cattle dog, Russell, from Los Angeles to Japan and back.
Jessica joined Air Animal in May, 2014. As an international pet move manager, her priority is making pet relocations easy for her clients so they have time to focus on other aspects of their move. Jessica works with individuals, corporate clients and military families relocating all over the world. "Making clients feel comfortable and reducing their anxiety, is an important part of my job," she says. Her favorite part of working at Air Animal is seeing photos of the pets and hearing the stories of how the pets were named. Her most memorable move was three Pomeranians and four domestic short hair cats to Dubai from Colorado. Jessica is a U.S. Navy veteran who has lived and traveled abroad. She has two miniature schnauzers, Bear and Maggie, who are full of energy and keep her family on the move!
Melissa helps pet parents who are moving all around the globe. She's been with Air Animal since 2014 and works to provide her clients with the best experience possible so their relocation is easier and smoother. She fondly recalls a relocating military service member after years of being apart from his pet. It brought her so much joy to know she was able to make this reunion possible. Melissa purchased her dog, Wall-e from a farm breeder in Washington near the Canadian border. She and her husband joke they rescued the pup because he doesn't really like the outdoors.
Maria moves pets around the world. Her favorite move was relocating four pit bulls to California. She loves pit bulls. The dogs traveled via ground transportation from Tampa to California. "They were so adorable! I put a lot of work into that move and the client was very grateful at the end. It made me very happy that the move went so smoothly and that she was so happy with the service," she said. Maria works to get her clients through their moves with as little stress as possible. Her own recent move made her strive to make things easier for her clients. Before coming to Air Animal in 2016, Maria was a high-limit blackjack and roulette dealer at a casino in Baltimore, MD. Maria has two dogs and a cat. "All my pets bring so much joy and laughter to my life. Now that I have them, I could never imagine my life without pets! They are always there to cheer you up and they are very entertaining. There is never a dull moment at home."
Addison started at Air Animal as a college intern. She's now the firm's administrative assistant. She borrowed Tank from Maria for her pet photo because he's growing quickly, is full of energy and is so loveable. Her mission is accurately booking flights for the furry, feathered and scaly clientele so there are no hiccups in-flight. She loves working in a setting where pets visit because they brighten everyone's day. She fondly remembers a beagle who made everyone smile when he arrived before his flight to the UK.
Rosa, an international and domestic move manager, loves hearing from her clients during and after moves. Knowing that the pet arrived safely and has been reunited with the family fills her with satisfaction. "Moving a pet is not easy. It has so many intricate parts and can be very stressful. I've done it myself," she says. That's why she worked to make the transition smooth because pets are important members of our families. Rosa met Max at the Pet Rescue Center and knew he was the one. He loves to cuddle and play and he's very protective of his forever family.
For Krystal, pictures of the pets she's helped relocate are worth thousands of words. "Seeing their smiles and personality through the photos they send brings me so much joy," she says. As an international move specialist, Krystal ensures the safety of relocating pets and helping her clients feel comfortable throughout the move. Krystal's dog Gordo came to her from her niece. "He's a ball full of energy. He rarely stops playing and he's always running back and forth at home. So crazy and so cute," she says.
Ella's top priority as Air Animal's administrative assistant is making sure everyone's pets receive the utmost care. She's a pet owner herself. Her guy Coco loves to curl up on the couch next to Ella while she enjoys a good book and some coffee. She says he might be a grumpy old man sometimes but he makes time to still act like a puppy occasionally. "My favorite days are when we have pets visit the office before their relocation. I absolutely love animals. The highlight of my day is hearing stories about how people named their pets."
Maritza is an international pet move manager in Air Animal's Orlando office. Her dog Mia is a schnauzer and Nahla is an American boxer. "I love coming home and being received with so much love from them. They' re a big part of my life!" she says.
According to Maritza, her number one priority at Air Animal is providing excellent service while assuring the safety and well-being of each pet on the move. Before joining Air Animal, Maritza was an accountant. She is fluent in Spanish and English.
Jessica, VP Operations/IT, has returned to Air Animal after working in global logistics and compliance companies. She knows Air Animal and its clients well because when she joined the company in 2013, she was an international pet move manager before accepting an administrative role. A memorable Air Animal moment for Jessica was meeting a West Highland Terrier service dog who was able to sense impending seizures. She has owned livestock and worked with animals her entire life. Jessica is an advocate for rescue animals and her 4 cats, 3 dogs, and horse are all from rescue centers.
Doris and her kitty, Luna, joined the Air Animal client services team in July,2020. She immediately put her previous social services experience into action serving families relocating around the world or returning to their home countries. Doris helps clients with questions about Air Animal’s services and requests for proposals both online using LiveChat and by phone. Doris’s priority at Air Animal is ensuring customers receive the information they need so they can make appropriate decisions for their pet’s transport. She likes talking with people from all walks of life and enjoys hearing their stories. Doris is fluent in both English, Spanish…and feline. Doris says Luna brought spontaneity to her life when she adopted the cat from the Humane Society. "She communicates in her own way."
When she joined Air Animal in August 2020 Tatiana put her previous client service experience to work talking with prospective clients about their upcoming pet relocations. She makes sure the pet move managers have all the information needed to complete a personalized pet move proposal. Tatiana and Molly met online—true! Tatiana found Molly on a pet rehoming page and instantly fell in love with the 5-year-old golden doodle. Molly is her furry baby and companion.
Ketty is a client service dynamo. She previously worked in client services for a major U.S. bank fraud department, and she owns franchises in Colombia. Her South American business wires money and ships “everything that you can picture.” As a domestic pet move manager her first pet move really touched her because it turned out perfectly and she’s stayed in touch with their client. Communication is the key for Ketty. She’s always there to answer any client questions so they have peace of mind before, during and after the move. Ketty fell in love with Gracie at the shelter because she reminds her of her first Labrador retriever. “Gracie acts exactly like Sasha. She’s smart and she understands me without saying a word. She looks at me just like Sasha.” Ketty is fluent in English and Spanish.
Nilda brings 10 years’ experience in resort executive support to her role as pet export document manager at Air Animal. She’s amazed by the detailed and time-consuming services the Air Animal team provides to every furry, feathered and scaly best friend they relocate. Nilda’s dog Buddy traveled from St. Lucia to be her fur baby but he had a previous appointment when Nilda was photographed. We’ll catch him the next round. She says he brings her joy, happiness and unconditional love. Nilda is fluent in English, Spanish and pet communication.