Air Animal is a rare find--we’re veterinarian and family-owned and our pet transportation experts our pet transporters are pet owners. We know you want only the best for your best friends.
This story is about the Menhinick family’s best friend. Annie Anzac is an 11-year-young husky-border collie mix.
“We are an Australian navy family and have three children. We got our beautiful dog Annie-Anzac in 2005 when my husband was based on the other side of Australia for two years on a six-month deployment as commanding officer of the frigate HMAS ANZAC,” said Michelle Menhinick. “She was born on Armistice Day Nov. 11 and Anzac Day is the Australian equivalent. So, our girl got the name Anzac but we softened and feminized it to become Annie-Anzac. Annie when she is good and ANZAC when she is not!”
Michelle, Commodore Menhinick, their youngest child and Annie moved to Tampa, Fla.in 2012 for the Commodore’s three-year posting at U.S. Central Command.
“Moving any animal to or from Australia is a difficult process. When we had six months left of our posting, I started making inquiries regarding Annie Anzac’s transportation home to Australia. I did an online search of animal relocation companies and got quotes of several firms
who looked reputable including the company we used to transport Annie to the United States,” said Michelle. “As I researched and I spoke to several veterinarians, Air Animal was a name which kept cropping up. I contacted the company and was immediately confident that this was the company we wanted to be dealing with the very complicated requirements the Australian government insists on before an animal can be imported into Australia.
“Dr. Woolf runs the company. He has a very personal involvement with the process, and our pet move specialist Michelle was delightful and thorough. As you can imagine we were very concerned that we were doing the right thing inflicting such an arduous journey and involved quarantine process on such an elderly dog. The staff at Air Animal were very reassuring. They convinced us that Annie would be handled with care and kindness during the entire process. Michelle helped immensely with the complicated documents that needed to be compiled. She had a reassuring grasp on the veterinary timeline that needed to be managed to conform with the Australian quarantine requirements,” she said.
“The most important step is selecting a pet mover with lots of experience. The rules for pet transportation change all the time. That’s why expertise is critical. Today, pets must fly as manifested air cargo into Australia, the UK and many other destinations. They cannot fly in the cabin. We use five basic steps with our families,” said Walter Woolf, VMD, founder and chairman of Air Animal Inc. based in Tampa, Fla.
- Microchip the pet for identification purposes.
- Rabies vaccinate the pet with an approved vaccine after microchipping, recording the microchip number on the Rabies vaccination certificate.
- Wait times before travel or entry varies by destination. Our website has lots of resources about destination requirements.
- Visit an accredited veterinarian within 10 days of flight departure who issues the international health certificate if you are moving overseas.
- For some destinations, pets must be treated for internal parasites or external parasites.
Professional pet shippers know which airline to use for pet air cargo flights across the U.S. and worldwide. They are familiar with each airline’s conditions for accepting pets, seasonal weather restrictions and they stay current on the ever-changing pet import rules around the globe. While moving a pet internationally is not low cost, it is high benefit. Using an expert pet transporter reduces expensive delays and unplanned quarantines. Many countries like Australia have very detailed regulations which can take six months.
“You don’t want to find yourself in a situation like actor Johnny Depp. His illegally imported Yorkies were threatened with extermination unless they left Australia. In addition to the normal protocols, we’re recommending dogs receive a flu vaccine before traveling because the canine flu is rampant right now,” said Dr. Woolf.
When contacting a pet transportation company, ask if they have a streamlined health certificate program which makes it simple for local veterinarians to certify their relocating patients. Ask if they offer VIP door-to-door service and other service levels that meet family relocation budgets. Air Animal offers these services and custom travel kennels. Pet Moving Made Easy® is Air Animal’s motto. “That’s one reason why we’ve built an app for Android and Apple that lets our clients have everything about their pet move in the palm of their hands—even a map of their pet’s journey during the move,” said Dr. Woolf.
“To complicate Annie’s return to Australia, she failed the initial rabies titer which extended her timeline to export,” Michelle explained. “Air Animal handled this hiccup admirably. It meant Annie had to be in kennels and with friends in Tampa after we had flown home. The staff at Air Animal worked with all involved and kept her preparations on schedule. Dr. Woolf even went to the kennel to complete one of her required blood tests!”
Air Animal has moved over 100,000 pets for relocating families moving around the globe. Recent relocations included a quarter horse, a turtle and several guinea pigs in addition to dogs and cats. Air Animal is an IATA-appointed and endorsed air cargo sales agent working with all airlines that move animals. Air Animal is an indirect air carrier cleared for pickup and delivery of live animals by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.
Australia animal import rules require quarantine. “Ten days in quarantine was actually good from our perspective. Quarantine gave Annie time to get over her jet lag in a quiet, restrained environment. When we collected her, she was rested and happy to interact with her family. Annie was so rested from her time in quarantine when we stopped for lunch on our drive home to Canberra she immediately spotted some ducks, jumped in the local pond and swam off in chase! Apart from having a wet smelly dog in the car we were really pleased that our old Annie had come home to us safely.”