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.
Cory joined Air Animal in 1989 and has filled just about every role. She is now an international pet move manager. 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 all the moving parts mesh so 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.
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.
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.
Rosa, an international pet 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 works to make the transition smooth because pets are important members of our families. Rosa met her dog 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.
Krystal, an international pet move manager, loved playing with other people’s pets as a child because she couldn’t have a pet at home. So she rescued three fur babies of her own. She says Blu, Sky and Rocky are more of a blessing to her than she is for them. During her time at Air Animal, Krystal has collected some amazing stories. "While pet safety and well-being are my primary responsibility, some of the stories are funny. While relocating a dog and two cats from New York to London, the client’s parents looked everywhere for one of the cats. They decided to get the dog and other cat checked in for the flight. When they returned, the other cat sat in the middle of the couch taunting them. We got her on a flight to London two weeks later after her 'grandparents' locked her in a room the night before to make sure they could find her!" she says. Krystal speaks both English and Spanish.
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 Salazar, international pet move manager, worked in the airline industry at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport before moving to Tampa and joining Air Animal in 2021. "I fell in love with the freight forwarding business. What better job can I have than being in the airline industry and also helping families move all over the world with their precious pets? It's the best of both worlds," she says. Melissa is a proud mom to Bella who was given to her after her 11-year-old Shiba Inu walked the rainbow bridge. "From the moment I saw Bella I knew she was exactly what my heart needed," she says. Melissa strives to go above and beyond making sure all her existing and future are "happy as clams during the moving process." She speaks English and Spanish.
Carmen’s prior experience as a risk analyst for customer concerns helps her seek answers to the many questions pet parents have about relocating with their furry, feathered and scaly babies. Carmen is administrative assistant to Dr. Walter Woolf, Air Animal founding veterinarian and CEO. She says her cat Badu isn’t just a pet, "she a member of the family, a prima donna and a princess. She has everyone wrapped around her paws." Carmen is fluent in both Spanish and English and she enjoys building trust with pet owners so they’re comfortable and know their pets are in excellent hands.
Val joined Air Animal’s operations team in 2021. He and his wife are pet lovers. When they went to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to choose a pet. "Jade ran up to the gate and it was love at first sight," he says. "It brought my wife and I closer together, and we’re able to provide a great home to a sweet dog." Val provides administrative support to pet move managers so client’s may find themselves speaking with him when calling. He’s dedicated to making every pet relocation as comfortable and as smooth as possible for the pets and their pet parents. Val is fluent in English and Haitian Creole.
Vicky is an integral part of the operations support team. She assures that important relocation documents are accurate so every pet move goes smoothly. Vicky’s administrative background includes several industries and roles including executive assistant, office manager and online customer service coordinator.
Robert’s previous logistics work means he’s on top of the big and small details ensuring Air Animal’s business and accounting operations run smoothly. Robert joined Air Animal because, "Anything from a goldfish to a horse will get the best care from this wonderful team." Robert enjoys animals and loves on them whenever possible. His chihuahua Luna is, "rambunctious, fierce, loving, playful and my best bud." He met her in 2017 and she became the boss of the house. "And she knows it!" he says. Robert is 100 percent about going above and beyond and making sure every pet parent, vendor and relocation management representative feels special.