Moving turns routines upside down and backward. One of our clients returning to Australia with an 11-year-old husky collie mix found out how upside down. Their pet, Annie Anzac, did not pass the rabies blood test to return home which meant Annie had to stay in the U.S. over Christmas without her family.
Our experience moving pets to 163 countries including Australia and our certifications made all the difference for Annie Anzac and the Menhinicks when she arrived home safely two months after her family. Hiring a professional pet transporter can take the stress out of such a move. Here are eight key factors to consider.
Eight easy steps to choose a pet transporter.
ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU WISH: Make sure the companies thoroughly answer each question.
LONGEVITY: How long has the company been in business? Pet transportation is a complex industry and less competent providers are weeded out within the first few years. Choose an established firm. Ask if the owner has been involved since the company opened or is new. Experience can make the difference - especially for international moves.
SERVICES: Ask how many animals the company moves each year and inquire about their credentials. Ask about their experience with the destination and origin countries. Ask how they streamline documentation and international pet health certificates, which may be needed. Ask how they will communicate with pet owners and how pet owners can reach their pet move specialists.
RELATIONSHIPS: Does the pet transporter have relationships with all of the major airlines or just a few? What do they understand about the international marketplace, varied cultural customs and differences in each destination? Probe to determine if the pet move specialists regularly manage moves to specific geographic regions. Do they manage moves all around the world and make relationship building an integral part of their work?
BACKGROUND: Request a summary of the principals' credentials. Are they licensed veterinarians or business professionals? Veterinarians will be better able to advise you about medical requirements and techniques preparing pets for the move. They may also render medical services if required. Ask if the pet shipper and staff members own pets. Pet parents usually prefer working with people who understand how important their pets are to them.
PROFESSIONALISM: Reputable pet transporters are typically members of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, Animal Transportation Association and International Air Transportation Association as a baseline. Several pet transporters are IATA appointed and endorsed air cargo sales agencies. Several have chosen to be Indirect Air Carriers cleared for pickup and delivery of live animals by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, while others are classified as Known Shippers. Ask if the company is registered with the U. S. Department of Agriculture as an Intermediate Handler or Transporter complying with the USDA and its Animal Welfare Act. These relationships help top-flight pet movers stay up-to-date with regulation changes, new trends, products, and best practices.
REFERENCES & REFERRALS: Ask for references and check them. Ask other pet owners for referrals to pet transporters they have used. The Internet can be a source for pet moving service testimonials from satisfied customers.
PRICE: Professional animal transport services are not a less expensive alternative to self-service. Professionals draw on their experience, their relationships with airlines and overseas service partners to make pet moves go smoothly. Such expertise comes with a price. Ask for all-inclusive written proposal in advance. The proposal should be customized to the pet itinerary and delineate specific services the animal will receive. It should also spell out items or information the pet owner is required to provide and when.