Author Topic: With or without pet relocation company ?  (Read 1328 times)

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Offline Lunarea

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With or without pet relocation company ?
« on: July 19, 2016, 11:34:49 PM »
Hi there. I am debating whether or not I should use a pet relocation company or not .... It's definitely more expensive. Got a quote that it would be about $4000 for my two cats and a dog. Then we are driving up to Aberdeen ....

I like the idea of paying for peace of mind. They should be the experts and ensure my animals will clear customs. It's just so much money and we are spending a lot right now with everything else ... 

Has anyone moved their animals overseas without using a speciality company ? Is it worth the money to just let someone else handle the tough stuff ? Would love to hear some experiences !

Met online 11/17/14
First met in person - he came to Florida! 1/17/15
First uk visit 4/13/15
His second US visit 9/2015
My second uk visit 1/15/2016
Married on his third trip to US 6/10/16
Mailed docs to Sheffield 7/19/16
Got spouse visa 8/19/2016

Offline KFdancer

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2016, 09:30:12 AM »
I used Air Animal out of Tampa for my two cats but that was many years ago when the process was tougher.  Lots of people have don't it without a relocation company.  There's a lot of hoops to jump through in the final few days before your move.  I think it's a personal choice as to how much you have going on.  If your belongings have already shipped and you don't have much left to do, you can save some money doing it yourself.

Online larrabee

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2016, 12:11:04 PM »
I moved my two cats myself. I had a lot going on at the time, as we all do when planning a move but managed without any hitches.

Coming off the back of preparing a spouse visa application, it really was not too difficult! :D
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline Lunarea

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2016, 02:25:16 PM »
I used Air Animal out of Tampa for my two cats but that was many years ago when the process was tougher.  Lots of people have don't it without a relocation company.  There's a lot of hoops to jump through in the final few days before your move.  I think it's a personal choice as to how much you have going on.  If your belongings have already shipped and you don't have much left to do, you can save some money doing it yourself.

Thanks for replying. I haven't even begun to think about what belongings I'm going to bring ... Thanks for remaining me ;)

I just keep going back and forth about using a company like animal air. I'm also going out of Tampa .... I just hear horror stories about vets messing up the paperwork. I already had to update the vet on the process ... She was telling me they require a quarantine. So I gave her all this info to look over ...

So it seems she doesn't do this a whole lot.

But man using a company is gonna be costly !

Did you go Tampa to London or a different city ? We are thinking of taking the direct flight to London ... Even though our destination is in Scotland. Would be easier on the animals , I think.
Met online 11/17/14
First met in person - he came to Florida! 1/17/15
First uk visit 4/13/15
His second US visit 9/2015
My second uk visit 1/15/2016
Married on his third trip to US 6/10/16
Mailed docs to Sheffield 7/19/16
Got spouse visa 8/19/2016

Offline Lunarea

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 02:27:47 PM »
I moved my two cats myself. I had a lot going on at the time, as we all do when planning a move but managed without any hitches.

Coming off the back of preparing a spouse visa application, it really was not too difficult! :D

That is awesome that you could do it yourself ! If I just had the two cats I would probably be less nervous , but my jack Russell is a handful that despises being crated. I'm not sure how she will react to the plane journey ...

I just did the whole spouse visa thing, which was a LOT, but the forms for the animals seem really intense. I'm giving myself a mental break for a couple days then I will have to get a move on. Moving day will come quickly. :)
Met online 11/17/14
First met in person - he came to Florida! 1/17/15
First uk visit 4/13/15
His second US visit 9/2015
My second uk visit 1/15/2016
Married on his third trip to US 6/10/16
Mailed docs to Sheffield 7/19/16
Got spouse visa 8/19/2016

Online larrabee

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2016, 02:47:34 PM »
That is awesome that you could do it yourself ! If I just had the two cats I would probably be less nervous , but my jack Russell is a handful that despises being crated. I'm not sure how she will react to the plane journey ...

I just did the whole spouse visa thing, which was a LOT, but the forms for the animals seem really intense. I'm giving myself a mental break for a couple days then I will have to get a move on. Moving day will come quickly. :)

I knew a Jack Russel once, he was a feisty little fellow! :)

I joked at the time that it was more difficult importing the cats than importing my husband, but it wasn't really! ;) So I'm sure you would manage just fine if you did it yourself.

If the $4,000 price is all in then it seems like a fair deal. I think it was over $2,000 just for my two, so it may be worth it for you just to relieve some of the stress.

March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline KFdancer

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2016, 10:53:36 PM »
Thanks for replying. I haven't even begun to think about what belongings I'm going to bring ... Thanks for remaining me ;)

I just keep going back and forth about using a company like animal air. I'm also going out of Tampa .... I just hear horror stories about vets messing up the paperwork. I already had to update the vet on the process ... She was telling me they require a quarantine. So I gave her all this info to look over ...

So it seems she doesn't do this a whole lot.

But man using a company is gonna be costly !

Did you go Tampa to London or a different city ? We are thinking of taking the direct flight to London ... Even though our destination is in Scotland. Would be easier on the animals , I think.

I would highly recommend Air Animal.  They have a vet so if you are in Tampa he does it all himself.  They flew Tampa to Gatwick direct.  I live about an hour and a half from Gatwick.  Best money I've ever spent, moving them here!

Offline Lunarea

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2016, 12:53:40 AM »
I would highly recommend Air Animal.  They have a vet so if you are in Tampa he does it all himself.  They flew Tampa to Gatwick direct.  I live about an hour and a half from Gatwick.  Best money I've ever spent, moving them here!

Sweet. Well I am close to the airport. So ... Maybe I will get a quote from them.

I think mostly i am stressed out on behalf of my crazy little jack Russell. When I say she hates the crate , she HATES IT. She will cause harm to herself trying to get out. I wish I could sedate her for the flight but I know why we can't do it. That's what has me worried most of all. Not being able to comfort her and just hope she is ok when we get to gatwick.


We were gonna do the Queen Mary 2 but their kennels are full Til next year. :(

Thanks for letting me vent lol
Met online 11/17/14
First met in person - he came to Florida! 1/17/15
First uk visit 4/13/15
His second US visit 9/2015
My second uk visit 1/15/2016
Married on his third trip to US 6/10/16
Mailed docs to Sheffield 7/19/16
Got spouse visa 8/19/2016

Online larrabee

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2016, 07:33:24 AM »
Sweet. Well I am close to the airport. So ... Maybe I will get a quote from them.

I think mostly i am stressed out on behalf of my crazy little jack Russell. When I say she hates the crate , she HATES IT. She will cause harm to herself trying to get out. I wish I could sedate her for the flight but I know why we can't do it. That's what has me worried most of all. Not being able to comfort her and just hope she is ok when we get to gatwick.


We were gonna do the Queen Mary 2 but their kennels are full Til next year. :(

Thanks for letting me vent lol

I'm sure they must have seen it all and hopefully they will be able to put your mind at rest.

Please let us know what they say about your problem child! :)
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline KFdancer

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2016, 11:08:38 AM »
Sweet. Well I am close to the airport. So ... Maybe I will get a quote from them.

I think mostly i am stressed out on behalf of my crazy little jack Russell. When I say she hates the crate , she HATES IT. She will cause harm to herself trying to get out. I wish I could sedate her for the flight but I know why we can't do it. That's what has me worried most of all. Not being able to comfort her and just hope she is ok when we get to gatwick.


We were gonna do the Queen Mary 2 but their kennels are full Til next year. :(

Thanks for letting me vent lol

I have heard the kennels book out the day they open them!

Is your jack Russell small enough to fly under a seat?  If so, you can fly with him in the cabin to Paris.  You'll need transport from there (no pets on the Eurostar).
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 11:10:52 AM by KFdancer »

Offline ccbm1224

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 12:18:47 PM »
I just moved my two cats from USA to London last week by booking directly on IAG/BA cargo. It was about $1500 total for the flights, plus around $400 for the paperwork from my vet (not including rabies/vaccine boosters since they were due anyway, and both were already microchipped).

I found the process to be relatively straightforward and IAG/Heathrow Animal Reception Centre were both very good whenever I called with questions or to verify I was on the right track.

I would recommend doing whatever you can to find a vet with experience completing the paperwork, as my vet did say sometimes a small typo or error can cause a big problem, but I am glad that I didn't spend extra on a shipping company just to help me do the paperwork because it really wasn't that bad. I moved from NYC so didn't have trouble finding a vet, and once the paperwork was completed I called Heathrow with the few questions I had to verify exactly what they were looking for. The paperwork was also looked over and approved at the airport by the usda, so I felt pretty confident by the time that we were actually traveling that they wouldn't have a problem getting in. The whole thing was a little nerve wracking, but went very smoothly in the end and we've all arrived without issue!


Online larrabee

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2016, 12:37:58 PM »
I just moved my two cats from USA to London last week by booking directly on IAG/BA cargo. It was about $1500 total for the flights, plus around $400 for the paperwork from my vet (not including rabies/vaccine boosters since they were due anyway, and both were already microchipped).

I found the process to be relatively straightforward and IAG/Heathrow Animal Reception Centre were both very good whenever I called with questions or to verify I was on the right track.

I would recommend doing whatever you can to find a vet with experience completing the paperwork, as my vet did say sometimes a small typo or error can cause a big problem, but I am glad that I didn't spend extra on a shipping company just to help me do the paperwork because it really wasn't that bad. I moved from NYC so didn't have trouble finding a vet, and once the paperwork was completed I called Heathrow with the few questions I had to verify exactly what they were looking for. The paperwork was also looked over and approved at the airport by the usda, so I felt pretty confident by the time that we were actually traveling that they wouldn't have a problem getting in. The whole thing was a little nerve wracking, but went very smoothly in the end and we've all arrived without issue!


Glad to hear the move went well! Welcome to the forum.  ;D
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline SanJosetoUK

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2016, 07:59:27 AM »
Ok, so if you don't use a company how does customs get all of the paperwork?  I have read all the rules and they seem complex but I think I can handle them, but I read that clearly the pet in customs takes up to 5 hours and you aren't allowed in the area.  If you don't use a company does the airline just forward the paperwork?  I am also worried about my dog in a kennel for 17 hours.....  He is a very people dog and is going to be so miserable.  I was reviewing that I think he might just make the wrought limit for air France (17 lbs with carrier) but how would I get from there to UK.  Everything I read is that dogs aren't allowed on trains into the UK....  Anyone done that??  Our maybe rent a car??  Hmmmm....

Offline KFdancer

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 08:28:51 AM »
When others on the board have flown into Paris or Amsterdam, they have someone from the UK collect them via car.

All the paperwork is attached to the exterior of the kennel.  When the plane lands, people from the Animal Reception Centre meet them at the gate and the pets are loaded onto a truck and taken to the ARC.  After the vet clears them, you are on your way.

Offline SanJosetoUK

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Re: With or without pet relocation company ?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2016, 07:49:52 PM »
OK, that doesn't sound hard(via paperwork attached to the kennel), how long does the custom clearing take?  I was reading FIVE hours.  Is that true or scare tactic/worst case?