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Anyone ever use "Animal Land" to send your pet(s) overseas or back?

Anyone ever use "Animal Land" to send your pet(s) overseas or back?

Jul 16th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 5,740
Anyone ever use "Animal Land" to send your pet(s) overseas or back?

I'm making my mid-range plans for a move to Italy.

I'm investigating companies that specialize in moving pets around the world. I'm wondering if anyone has ever heard of/used/reviewed "Animal Land Pet Movers".

They seem to have some good comments on their website, but this is my first time moving pets, so no use of any service like this in the past.

Part of me is panicked at the thought of someone else moving them, and them being out of my sight for a day or more. But trying to take 4 cats myself on an overseas flight is more than I think I can bear. Either way, I reckon' I will be totally stressed out until they are safe in my Italy apartment.

Any input/comments/suggestions/other services you've used for the same thing/etc are welcomed.

Thanks! (I'm going to also post in "Air Travel", but I though more people might read this forum.)
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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I don't know what service my sister used for her two cats in moving to Sicily and back, but I'll try and find out.

And here's something else to consider: look into taking a transatlantic cruise! Friends of mine (who don't cruise at all) moved to Glasgow. When researching the cost to take their stuff + dog on an airline, it turned out to be roughly the same cost as a cruise! The benefits of the cruise were that the dog didn't have to go in the hold of a plane; there was an attendant for the animals and they could go visit every day; and there weren't the luggage restrictions one gets with an airline.

Now that said, a single dog is quite different than four cats, of course! But it might be worth looking into nonetheless.
ggreen is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:04 PM
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ggreen, I appreciate you trying to get the info from your sister.

It sounds like a cruise would not permit me to have my cats in my cabin with me. That would be a deal-breaker. Also, I have a dread fear of drowning and don't think I could ever take a trans-Atlantic cruise.
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 08:39 PM
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Years ago, I shipped pets from Germany to the US with a company that specialized in it and they were great. I would really look into this one because, if they are good, it is better than doing it yourself with so many. The one I used had beautiful kennels near the airports. I dropped pets off two days before our flights and they were waiting at the US kennel when I arrived.

Do check with the airlines because they have some restrictions on times of year that animals can fly, due to heat.

If you do it yourself, it looks as if you will have a stop somewhere, not a direct flight. Am I correct? That can be difficult.

My DD moved a couple of months ago from Ireland to St Kits. She took four cats. Two were in a kennel together, so she had only three cages. She had a hard time with connections because some flights could take all three and some could not, so though she had a direct flight from Ireland to JFK, she had to overnight in NY to get a direct to St Kits with the animals.

Security in NYC took some of them out to be looked at and inspect the kennel. If they do that, insist they put you some place where the cats can not get out of a room if someone accidently lets them go. Two of DD's cats got out when security opened the cage and it took over two hours to catch them, Lucky they were not lost. DD was truly panicked and badly bitten in the process. Just don't let them do that to you. DD never expected it. Never happened before in many trips over the years.

Is there anyone who can help you at either end. We met DD in NYC to pick up the animals and take them to a pet-friendly hotel, and take them all back to the airport the next day. Is there anyone who could keep two and either ship or bring them to you once you are there?

I know, hard to let them out of your sight, isn't it? I feel the same and admire that you are taking your "fur family" with you.
DD had one in the plane with her, the other three in cargo.
Sassafrass is online now  
Jul 16th, 2012, 11:11 PM
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Hi there,
I am going to give you an 'answer' you many not want. I would really encourage you to do it yourself. I have moved my dogs transatlantically 2 1/2 times and it is not difficult, esp. to a country like Italy. The cost of flying them separately can be very high.

Where are you flying from? Where are you flying to?
The key is to fly as directly as possible and do it in the fall, spring or winter months.

I always try to not do a transfer in the US as the Euro airports are more reasonable re security. AF, CanadaAir, TAP, BA and Lufthansa have all done wonderful jobs for my dogs. I have flown in and out of Venice with my dogs, and the Italians were excellent.

The other key is to have a good vet who knows how to fill out the international health certificates properly.

Anyway, I understand your anxiety completely. I just wanted to let you know that it is very doable if you decide to tackle it yourself.
SloJan2 is offline  
Jul 16th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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I would second the suggestion to do it yourself if possible. We brought two cats from Toronto to Paris, picked them up at the airport, and got onto the train. It wasn't difficult at all. I know 4 is harder than two, but probably worthwhile.

I have just heard from a friend who used United's pet transfer service - which lost the animals! Or didn't really lose them, just didn't get them on the plane and didn't tell anyone what was happening for several days. By then various papers were out of date, and as far as I know, they are still trying to get the poor animals to the right place. Not a good recommendation.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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Sassafras, do you remember the company name you used? Are they still in business?

Yes, this is going to be difficult either way. And Sass, I'm in nearly the same boat! Uncanny, but I am also moving two in their own carriers and two who will share a carrier. Wish I could combine the first two, but one is the alpha male and he cannot be trusted with anyone else. And the other "one" is quite skittish as he only has 3 legs and was feral when I adopted him. The last two are also feral brothers who eat, sleep and play together, 24/7. I don't think they'd do well without each other in a carrier.

I am traveling from Dallas to Rome. I was thinking of traveling to NY and spending the night so they would have a break. But y'all are making me think it might be better to get a direct flight to Rome. Frankly, I'm not sure I can. I think I have to stop somewhere.

So if I can book Airfrance from Dallas to Paris and then Paris to Rome, that might work. Do animals not have a problem, though, being in a carrier for 13 hours?

I am most likely taking someone with to help me settle. So I will have two tickets paid for. I suspect that means that I might be able to take two on board and put the other two in the cargo hold. My concern with taking any on board is that if they get upset and start crying, I won't be able to control that and might irritate the passengers and upset me.

At least in the hold, they could cry and nobody would care.

Everything i've read says not to sedate them. But I think that means if they are going in the hold. Because you cannot see if they are in distress in the hold and might choke from the sedation. Whereas, in the cabin, you could have them sedated because you could see if they were in distress.

Oh, my head is spinning.

More input please. Especially, Sassafras, did you daughter sedate her kitties?
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 17th, 2012, 09:15 PM
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No, I don't think she sedates them for flights. I will ask her if they cried on board. I think an over night was a good idea for her in NY, but I will ask her as soon as I speak with her if anything else might have worked better. She has shipped animals all over the world a number of times. Once she drove from Switzerland to N France, and took a ferry to Ireland so she wouldn't have to fly them.

The company I used is out of business, but I will ask DD about any she likes.

Better, IMHO, to have an over night somewhere and take them to a hotel rather than have a lengthy layover between flights.

It is great that you will have someone with you to help. You are really a love to be taking such care of them. I will try in the next couple of days to see if I can find any info that would be useful to you.
Sassafrass is online now  
Jul 17th, 2012, 11:38 PM
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Our cats, coming from Toronto to Paris, waiting four hours for a train, and then travelling another 4 1/2 hours on the train, didn't suffer (as far as we could tell. - basically they got out of their cages, walked around, decided they lived here now, and got on with life)

Our vet did not recommend sedating them, unless they have a history of violent objection to travelling. She felt they basically go into a state of suspended animation (my words) and wait until this experience is over.

You obviously have to check with your airline what their policy is for animals on-board. When we came, there was a weight limit, cat+cage, and both our cats, not heavies by any means, exceeded that, and had to go into the hold. Again, they survived with no mishaps.

In fact, travelling with them was almost easier than without. We had bags that were almost certainly heavier than allowed, but with everyone cooing at those cute kitties, no-one paid any attention. On arrival, despite all the paperwork we had amassed before leaving, no one looked at it either.

But they never learned to speak French.
Carlux is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 05:02 AM
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We had to ship our two pugs to London from Vancouver in 2007 and used this company and would highly recommend them. We had to go to the UK two weeks in advance to find our flat so our vet took care of the ‘kids’ for the two weeks and a representative of the company picked them up and took care of all their medical forms that needed to be signed and stayed with them till they boarded the plane. Another rep picked them up in London and took them outside for a break and then hand walked them through the DEFRA process here in the UK and then dropped them off safe and sound on our doorstep. We also got update emails throughout the process so we knew where they were at all times. It was super stressful because I am a worry wart but they were fine thank goodness. Our vet absolutely told us not to sedate them and they were fine. Totally jetlagged for a few days but just fine! It was pretty expensive but totally worth it for peace of mind.
jamikins is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 08:06 AM
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I'm also currently researching pet movers from US to Italy in the next few years.
Don't want to scare you but the commercial Airlines will make you sign a waiver that states they "Do Not Guarantee Live Delivery". If you can't carry them on the plane with you, then hire a pet moving service who will travel with the pet door-to-door. I've flown with my cats (1 at a time) and would not recommend sedation, they do just fine. My dog was flown thru Jet Pets from LA to Atlanta, cost about $300. (I've even flown my horses coast to coast.) I will tell you that the animal moving was the least stressful part of several long distance moves.
Make sure you know the correct shots and paperwork!!! Your pet must be micro-chipped to travel to Italy but not all the US microchips are compatible with the European scanners. Double and triple check!!!
Here's a link to the USDA Int'l Animal transport site:

Also check with: IPATA (Int'l Pet transport)
Aeropaws - was a good site for getting a quote on shipping.

Good luck. Do your research and then trust the people and enjoy your trip!
hollywoodsc is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 08:11 AM
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please see my post on your other thread . . .
janisj is online now  
Jul 18th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Thank you all, so much, for your input! Much appreciated.

And Carlux-
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 11:26 AM
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Hollywood, I have never had to sign anything like that. Did a pet transport carrier tell you that?

Sarge, the last move we did was summer 2011 and we flew Atl to Toronto, Canada to Paris. The flight time was about 16 hours. The French were excellent and offloaded the dogs rapidly and allowed us to bypass customs. Dallas to Paris to Rome is an excellent option. Just make sure that you tell the flight attendants on each leg of the flight that you are flying with beloved pets. They will let you know when the cats are loaded.

We don´t drug our dogs.
SloJan2 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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It would help if I included the link: http://animaltravel.com/
jamikins is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Regarding crying cats, don't concern yourself with that. I've flown with my cat who is quite vocal and he couldn't be heard over the constant background noise of the airplane engines. There's enough ambient noise on a plane to cover cries coming from a kennel tucked under a seat.
Sidny is offline  
Jul 18th, 2012, 05:25 PM
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SloJan, what airline were you flying into Paris? Was it AirFrance?

Thanks, jamikins.

Sidny, good to know. I never thought of that.
sarge56 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2012, 02:30 AM
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Sarge, I flew Air Canada and they were terrific. I found the fare online, read their pet carrier requirements and then booked via telephone. A specialist then called to confirm the kennel sizes as the door to the hold can be smaller and my kennel was large.

I was actually in FL and needed to fly the dogs to the EU (PT was the final destination) for a reasonable fare. There were three of us flying; myself and my two children. I couldn´t fly out of FL for anything less than the moon, but AC would fly out of Atlanta until June 25. I flew out on the 12th during the middle of a heat wave. it was over 104 on the tarmac. Anyway, AC kept the dogs in an air conditioned area and loaded them at the last minute. They changed airplanes at the last minute and my large kennel had about 1" of clearance! I watched through the window while they were boarded and then, the flight attendant came to confirm. I had asked for them to let me know.

Our 2 layover was in Toronto (and it was much cooler!). Air Canada also flew us to Paris and it was the same procedure. Last minute loading and a flight attendant confirming.

When we landed in Paris, our dogs were waiting for us, by the door of customs. No one checked paperwork and we were rushed through. IIRC, the total trip was about 17 hours. The hardest part by far is the initial loading. After that, it is easy. I have never had paperwork checked on arrival, only on departure.

Cost on Air Canada was $250/dog.
SloJan2 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2012, 04:28 AM
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I sat near a crying cat on a three hour flight and the sound was in no way covered by the ambient noise. I love cats but was furious at their owner for making them so unhappy and for exposing us to the racket
jubilada is online now  
Jul 19th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Jubilant, I have to say that I would be beyond furious if that happened to me. I am fine with a crying child, but a crying cat? No way.
SloJan2 is offline  

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