Options for pet air travel are extremely limited at this time and it is unclear when travel will begin to normalize. Our PenderAIR team is closely following the changing regulations and requirements to ensure we continue to provide the highest level of service for our clients and their pets.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you are planning on traveling with your pet, as some destinations may require additional time to prepare requirements and/or may be impossible at this time.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
Timing is everything.
We had an incident where a client worked directly with their own veterinarian to perform a health certificate, but did not time the vaccines and microchip implantation up to the country’s specific standard. This meant the owners were forced to leave their fur baby behind as they traveled to their new home. After trying in vain to book a flight themselves, they called us. As IPATA members, we were able to correct the paperwork issues and book their pet on an international flight in record time.- Lesley
Many countries have placed restrictions on which breeds are allowed entry that owners and veterinarians are often unaware of. What can be even harder to determine is what rules apply for a mixed breed that might have, or appear to have, characteristics of a banned breed. One of our clients was set to travel to the United Kingdom with his pet, but was unsure of his pet’s pedigree. We were able to call the Police Status Dog Unit in London to determine exactly what the laws were and what to expect upon arrival if his pet was identified as a banned breed.- Lesley
During one of my usual drop offs, I saw a couple at IAD trying to check their pet in for the same flight they were booked on. Unfortunately, they were given misinformation by the airline and did not have all the required documents. Seeing and hearing about our expertise from the airline attendants, they entrusted their beloved pet to us right then and there, as they hurried to make their own flight. We were able to correct all the mistakes with their paperwork and had their fur-baby on a flight to meet them the very next day!- Lori
South Africa challenge
Country requirements can change without warning, and we have first-hand experience with just how hard this can be for pet parents. When South Africa changed regulations overnight and began requiring pets coming from the United States be tested for a disease that does not exist here, and more importantly cannot be tested for here, this created significant problems. We immediately began consulting with the State Department and the USDA Africa Negotiator to find a way to surmount this obstacle. With our contacts and experience, we were able to expedite a solution, becoming one of the leading experts on South African pet relocations.- Lori
An Aussie Boo-boo
While any USDA accredited veterinarian is authorized to sign health certificates, not all know or are comfortable with handling the processes needed to complete paperwork for many international locations. The requirements can be very complex, some taking up to 7 months to complete, and require an immense amount of knowledge to navigate. One of our Australian relocations was working with their regular veterinarian to complete paperwork, but they mistakenly administered one of the medications a day too early. This seemingly small mistake meant rejection of their paperwork by the USDA, with only 2 days left before the pet’s scheduled departure! Luckily, the client contacted us immediately. Our entire office worked collectively as a team to coordinate the correct treatments, paperwork, and handle a same-day delivery to New York from Virginia. In the end, the pet was able to depart as scheduled, but without quick mistake, that one small mistake could have meant months of delay.- Lori
A helping hand
Sometimes what seems like an easy task ends up being a bit harder than anticipated. While doing an import for one our clients, I met a man waiting for his own pet, who had flown on the same flight. He was in a panic, as having booked the flight himself, had not realized he would have to try and collect his pet (which was a large dog) and crate and somehow transport both down two cargo buildings, with no vehicle assistance, to try and make his connecting flight. I offered to drive him and his pet in our temperature-controlled van over to the correct cargo bay, for which he was very appreciative! We know how difficult navigating airports can be and are always happy to help, even for owners who are not our clients!- Lori
A Support-dog in Need
One morning I received a request to transport an American Pit Bull to Germany within 7 days. German districts and townships have bans on many strong breeds and one of the frequently banned breeds is the American Pit Bull. Immediately, I reached out to our IPATA partner in Frankfurt who advised that a “Letter of Exception” might be obtained if the pet’s owner was military personnel. This was the case with our client, and indeed his pet was his PTSD emotional support dog, making us all the more determined to reunite him with his owner. Our team worked tirelessly with the family to obtain not only the Letter of Exception but also an official translation of it for the required USDA APHIS endorsement and airline documentation. We were able to reunite the sweet Pittie, our beloved PTSD support dog, with his owner within the quick 7 day requested time frame!- Christina
Healing the blues
One day I had the assignment to collect a senior pet traveler from his mother around Christmas time. The house was decorated to the hilt and everyone was celebratory. His mum gently carried him out from the holiday celebrations and laid him in his crate in our toasty van. A few tears were shed as we said goodbye and drove away. When I arrived at Pender Pet Retreat, he was very still – I jiggled his crate, and he was fine just very quiet! He missed his mother. We set him up in a lovely Presidential Suite at Pender Pet Retreat, which he thoroughly enjoyed, except on the day of his flight the vigilant staff of the retreat noticed he seemed a little sad. Due to his age, we were all concerned so I brought him to the PenderAIR cottage to let him have an off leash wander with me in our fenced yard. He instantly came to life, and loved playing with his toys. Clearly he was healthy for his flight the next day, and was happily reunited with his mom. It is wonderful to know that our work at PenderAir is all about keeping our globe traveling families safely together.- Christina
Going to Helsinki for you…
I once had clients who were making a Permanent Change of Station to Helsinki Finland. Their orders had come suddenly, and they were in a bind trying to figure out how they were going to get their dogs Eros and Zeus there! Eros was very old and needed a harness to help him walk, leaving them concerned about his safety on such a long flight. I had them bring Eros to see me so we could look at the crate and make sure it was more than large enough and I also had our on-site vet take a look at Eros to give me her opinion. She felt that Eros was in good shape to fly and it really put their minds at ease having a personal discussion about their concerns with their special needs canine. I gave them my cell phone number and we communicated using Whats App during the dogs travel. They greatly appreciated having a direct line to me that they could use in case anything happened. Everything went smoothly and Zeus and Eros made it to Helsinki in great health! They sent me photos of Zeus and Eros on their arrival and it was great to see everyone in their new home!- Paul
A dog with special needs
Travel for a special needs pet can be a scary thing for a pet owner to coordinate. One of our clients was a veterinarian who had adopted a very special needs canine who was about a year old and born with a birth defect that left his back legs paralyzed. His bladder had to be expressed every few hours and everyone was concerned about the long wait for check in (usually about 4 hours ahead for international flights). We coordinated with Lufthansa local staff to arrange special treatment for the dog and I met the owners at the airport and stayed with them so we could do one more bladder express before we boarded the plane. Lufthansa took exceptional care of their dog and everyone was happily reunited overseas. The clients could not have been happier with the efforts that Pender AIR and Lufthansa made to make sure their dog’s needs were attended to.- Paul
Fixing Panic Attacks
We often have cases where owners contact us in a panic when they realize they have been given misinformation, either online or from airlines, and realize at the last minute that they are not equipped to ship their beloved pets themselves. One particular client stands out in mind. She was having 2 cats sent to her from Ukraine, but the arrangements she had in place to clear them from customs at the airport and deliver them to her home in Ohio had fallen through while her pets were in route! In an all fire hurry, I was able to obtain the documents needed for customs clearance and coordinate with the sender in Ukraine to ensure the Air Waybill was correct. The staff at Pender Pet Retreat was able to get me a last minute booking for boarding the two cats and I was able to make arrangements for long distance ground transport to her home. She was so thankful for our service and the undivided attention she received in a time of true panic. She contacted me 2 months later to use our services again for another cat that she was adopting!- Paul