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Thread: Pet transport hell - rant, long, sorry! Mega stressed!

  1. #1
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    Default Pet transport hell - rant, long, sorry! Mega stressed!

    I am going out of mind with worry at the moment. We have just moved to NZ from UK and decided to take our much loved 4 yr old moggies with us on the basis that although they arenít too keen on travelling, they are young, fit and v healthy and should be able to handle a couple of days in a cattery/flying. Also they are very attached to us (and vice versa) so there is no way we could split up our little furry family.

    I did my research on and ended up booking the services of an expensive professional transport company to handle it, well in advance.

    This is turning out to be the most stressful experience of my life. It started with just little things like the pet export agent sending us incomplete forms for the first parasite treatments but is now escalating into a nightmare.

    We flew out on Monday, the cats were supposed to be going on the same plane but we found out on the Thursday before that DEFRA had failed to process their paperwork so they would be going on the Tuesday flight instead. I was a little bit annoyed with the pet export agent for letting this happen, we booked well in advance and we feel she should have been more proactive in chasing them up especially given how much this has cost us. They were the most expensive option but we went with them based on location and service claims.

    As there was nothing we could do about this change of plan so we grudgingly accepted the flight had moved to Tuesday Ė headed off for our flight (which we were unable to change) and asked her to please let me know by email if they got on the Tuesday flight or if there was a further problem.

    When we get to our final destination in the Manawatu (some 30 hrs later) we log on to find no email and no idea if they made the Tues flight or not. We then hear from the quarantine station who say they have spoken to the airline and they are on the Tues flight. Or so we thought.

    The next morning, it turns out they had in fact missed that flight as well because the airport van had failed to pick them up in time!!!! Aaaurgh!!!! Useless idiots!

    And of course our pet export agent didnít even realize herself until the morning and there was a miscommunication with the airline. Again, although this was in the hands of 3rd party, I feel she should have been aware of this Ė surely itís their job to schedule the van and make sure it picks up? Even if it was out of hours they claim there is always someone on site so someone should have taken responsibility for this and the moment the van didn't appear get on phone and chase?

    So now they were on the Weds flight (48 hours later) and getting dangerously close to their first flea/parasite treatment being out of date if there are any more delays.

    They were supposed to arrive in Auckland at 5.30am ish this morning and the online tracking number hadnít updated with progress so I made the decision to call the airline cargo company myself to see if they have arrived and also check they are OK.

    After an hour of them not answering the phone (despite the fact they are supposed to open at 7.30am I finally get through to someone and after much waiting they say they did arrive in Auckland (phew) and will be on their way to Wellington (their final destination) this afternoon. Phew

    I then made the mistake of asking if someone could check they are ok as I now havenít seen them for 5 days and I am worried. I was transferred to someone in the warehouse who was completely unsympathetic barked Ďwhat do you want?!í really rudely. They kept saying Ďitís a dog right?í (me ďNo, 2 cats!!!!Ē) and said they would go back to the warehouse, check and call me back. After 30 mins anxiously waiting (during which time I started typing this message!) my nerves in shreds (jet lag has us only getting 3 hours sleep at the moment and waking up at 3am) they called back and were, fortunately, much nicer.

    She said Ďthey are fineí and that their wellington flight has been moved up and they would land at 11.30am. But they hadnít passed this info on to quarantine guys Ė I had to let them know. I have just spoken to the NZ quarantine station (who I have to say have been wonderful so far with their communication, unlike some of the other links in the chain!) so it looks as though this ordeal is nearing an end but until I see them I wonít relax. Itís been a whole week since they left their UK home, and 5 days since I have seen them (saw them v briefly at airport) and I am really worried about what state they will be in mentally and physically.

    Anyway sorry for the vent but just had to get it all out. Today is supposed to be happy - getting keys to new NZ home and I can't stop thinking about my poor furries still stuck in that box

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Hugs

    Aw I so feel for you. I was so worried about our cats when they joined us but happily they settled wonderfully - in fact as soon as we opened their crates they were all over us n purring then had a nice snack n snuggled up with us purring as if they hadn't just managed a huge flight.
    Big kitty hugs for your traveling kitties

  3. #3
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    Oh, bless you - ! (((()))) What a horrible thing to have happened.

  4. #4
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    I got stressed just reading about your poor kitties' ordeal! Hope they're OK - at least they have each other.

  5. #5
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    I can sympathise. I wanted to know that our little lady was safe every step of the way. We didn't have your hassles though.

    Take some comfort in the fact that they are most likely blissfully unaware of the stress that you've been going through. They are nonw the wiser and all they will think is that they had a few days' extra "holiday" and have then be locked in their crates in a very noisy car for a long time.

    If it's Shado-Lans that are picking them up, they're very good. Our lady spent 30 days with them last year and they were really accommodating about visits etc.

  6. #6
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    Animals have a good way of dealing with stress, they tend to just sleep so they in fact are probably in a better state that you. I would agree that the service you have recieved has been pretty poor though. take care and hope its all turned out ok.

  7. #7
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    Hopefully its all sorted by now. We chose Golden Arrow and they were just nice in dealing with everything and from your experience I'm glad we chose the best in market.

    From your experience it just feels like your pet movers in UK made such silly mistakes....all said and done.


    Have a great day and congrats for your new home.

  8. #8
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    Hope that by now you are happier having been reunited with your pets. I know they have quarantine to do now, but ours were remarkably happy on landing and within a couple of days you would not know that they had ever been anywhere else.

    They were a bit jet lagged in teh first couple of days and asking for food at odd times but that soon settled down.

    Hope that the hassles and stalls are now over.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2011
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    HI thanks for the replies, sorry for the delay updating. Have bought a farm over here and no internet! (waiting for satelitte to be installed)

    Anyway since I posted I have seen them at Shado Lans. Both have lost weight. Our girl cat seems in better shape, was rolling around enjoying the sun and watching the birdies. Our boy cat though is still pretty traumatised and has lost a huge amount of weight. He is the one who struggles the most with transport and catteries so I was really worried about the effect an extra 2 days woudl have.

    The first time I saw him he was hiding under the cat bed and he was so thin I nearly didn't recognise him. He was being reluctant to drink water at first because they only had one bowl between them (he likes his own) and it probably smelt differently. He now has his own bowl though so thats good. He is really fussy and although staving hungry (kept appraoching food bowls and licking lips) we observed him for an hour and he didn't like their biscuits!

    Anyway we are getting there now, I brought in some tuna food in jelly yesterday (similar to what he had in uk occasionally) and he loved that - wolfed it down! I only gave him 2/3 pack in case he was sick but left the rest with them. Going back today and have brought some Hills science from vet (the biscuits they have at home) so that should help too.

    He is still v nervous and jumps everytime he hears a noise but once we get him to his new home I'm sure he will get better.

    I have emailed UK pet exporter to say how disappointed I was with the delays and how I felt they could have been avoided had more care been taken and if they had been more proactive. No reply yet due to time difference but will let you know what they say.

    Shado Lans have been fantastic!

    Anyway apart rom that, we are loving our new lives

    Thanks for listening
    Sx

  10. #10
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    Glad things are looking up. They'll be enjoying their new lives with you in no time. Shado-Lans are great and they kept me more up-to-date than our pet transporter (IPT in the US).

    Is the French guy still with them? Nick I think he's called. He was lovely and seemed like he wanted to take great care of the animals. Not sure if he was just the dogs or both though.

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