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Pet Wellness

Safe and Happy Travels for Your Family Pet

Photo: Courtesy of Tong Nguyen van

Pets are such a wonderful part of everyday home life. They offer so many benefits to each family member, both physically and mentally. Sadly, the number of households with pets has declined over the years. Today’s modern life does not allow the time for training, care, and attention required for a new pet.

However, the pandemic changed everything. With more people forced to isolate and work from home, the adoption of puppies and rescue animals has increased drastically worldwide. Some shelters have even reported 100 percent adoption rates. Plus, non-profit rescue organizations provided much-needed relief for these shelters, offsetting fears of an economic downfall from regular contributors losing their income.

Transportation woes

Naturally, the increased adoption of furry kids into new homes also increased the need for transporting them to their new families. Domestically, pet transportation is easy enough with various cross-country road options. But for families who travel internationally, this became a real nightmare.

With the cancellation of almost all passenger flights and only 40 percent of cargo available globally, most of which is now dedicated to PPEs and fresh goods, pet transportation has become almost impossible internationally. Very few airlines were allowing pets onto aircraft. Even as travel restrictions started to lift, there are still limitations on the industry. Many pet owners have been left severely frustrated at the lack of availability for their pets, compounding to the stress of constant flight delays and cancellations. On top of all this, airlines drastically increased cargo rates in an effort to recoup losses and ensure each flight is breaking even. Prices for pet transportation doubled and even tripled overnight.

Heartbroken departures

Many heartbroken pet owners had to leave their beloved pets behind with family, friends, or in long-term boarding facilities until flights can be secured. Pet transportation companies worldwide are working around the clock to accommodate all the families desperately awaiting their pets. Sadly, there are still no guarantees for any flight, passengers or freighters alike.

Further, the pandemic has seen its fair share of opportunists pop up, resulting in a lot of puppy/kitten scams. A lot of people have been left heartbroken and angry after spending a lot of money but without their anticipated furry bundle of joy. There has also been an increase in advertised services for “pet transportation” by unscrupulous people unregistered with and not adherent to the International Pet And Animal Transportation Association.

Hopefully, as we head to 2021, flight capacities increase so that legitimate pet transporters can safely reunite families with their fur babies.

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