moving a beloved dog
We have been struggling with how to get our wonderful 140 pound Mastiff to the islands. We have been quoted anywhere from $2500 to 5,000 by pet relocation companies to get her from the Chicago area to st. Thomas. That is just out of out price range. I know some time back a group of people were trying to work together to get a charter going. How did that work? My two big problems is that she is so large and needs the biggest crate possible and that she is a mastiff so some airlines are reluctant to transport due to weather. I am so depressed about having to leave our little girl behind but it doesn't look like I have any other options. Any suggestions?
Polly, we shipped our 3 rotties through Continental animal cargo. Their number is 800-575-3335. Our largest was around 150 lbs. Their animal cargo is temperature controlled. They did not fly into St. Croix but they might to St. Thomas. We flew ours to San Juan and then a charter to St. Croix. I think our cost on Continental was around $400 a piece. The charter was with Mike Foster. I will try and find his number. I think we were charged around $1,200 for the 3 dogs. Hope this helps.
Another alternative is to look into going via ocean freighter, you and the dog at the same time.
Although it is not allowed for freighters to transport passengers between U.S.A. ports, you could get on a freighter going to lets say Miami to the Bahamas or B.V.I., etc.
And then hop on one going to the U.S.V.I.'s
The best part is you and your dog are not stuck in a crate and a seat the entire trip and you can roam the deck for the most part.
That would be ideal but you would have to be aware of the foreign destination's policy on allowing pets in. Check out this site:
i am wondering why you wouldnt just put your dog on the plane with you?? if it is not summer the dog can get in the cargo hold. dont know how much that is but it sure would beat the price you were quoted. when i flew to stx i brought my cat with me and he was 100 bucks. course cats are smaller and he did not have to go into the hold but we have friends that shipped their great dane in the cargo hold of the plane they flew on.
The problem with Delta & AA is that they classify a Mastiff as a snub nosed dog and therefore they won't allow it to fly to anywhere over 70 degrees.
Call Bohlke Airlines 800-653-9177. They do charters and sometimes will be aware of someone who is willing to split a charter with dogs.
Polly, we're working on the same problem with our two retired Greyhounds, Gunner 83# and Holly 67# who were comfortable with crates while still racing. We're moving from Minnesota, probably not till March or April and so far have figured the best way is to ship our goods via common carrier to Managed Freight and drive to Miami with the dogs, purchase crates, give the car to Managed Freight to ship to STX along with our goods, and then take the path of least resistance at the time to STX, either Miami to San Juan to STX or Miami direct to STT and then ferry to STX. We figure it will the cost to get the dogs to STX will be around $700.
I just moved to St. Thomas in December, the planning was horrible. Keep at it. I flew American Airline with 2 dogs and a cat in cargo, each at $150 a piece from Detroit to St. Thomas. There are weather restrictions, but now is a good time, because as long as you have a vet cert for flying between 20-40 degrees you should be able to schedule afternoon flights from Chicago and then land in Miami and eventually in the islands late evening when the temp is down under 84. You have to make a LOT of phone calls and inquiries, but be persistent, ask for supervisors, etc. Not all airline personnel are up on the restrictions, I had some tell me that they didn't fly at all. PM me if you want more details, I will gladly help.
I am taking my dogs down on American this Saturday (had to come back and get them). When I was talking to them, they said that as long as the temp in both the departing and arriving city was over 50 degrees I was good. Also, they had a 100 pound restriction, which is to no concern to me. I am flying two dogs, and they are allowing them to travel the same (large) crate for $150. Now mind you, I have two Chihuahuas, so it is not like they are going to be crowded. Also, another restriction that they (AA) have is that from the time you check them in to the time you land has to be less then 12 hours
This seems like a daunting task but it may not have to be. If you can have your ticket agent schedule your flights so you leave Chicago early fly through Atlanta, do an overnight stay (Marriott Residence Inn's allow dogs - typically for a $50 or $75 cleaning fee as I recall), and then get booked on the first Delta jet flight which flies direct from Miami to St. Thomas at 10:00 AM. You'll leave early enough to not hit heat restriction in Atlanta and if I recall from my experience your destination temperature may not matter since it's the end of the line and you'll get your dog shortly after arriving (this was the case with American flying into St. Croix, not sure about Delta.)
Looks like this is an old thread, but just in case someone else is now working on a similar issue... If you want to skip the hotel fee for dogs, stay in a Motel 6. Most cities/towns have one, and they're much nicer than they used to be. There's never a fee for a dog, your dog can be any size, and all you have to do is let them know you have a dog when you book your room. You can also cancel your reservation free of charge up till 6pm on the day of your stay, so it's good for delayed flights, etc.
I don't work for Motel 6, I promise. 🙂 Just had a really good experience at a couple of them last month with my dog.
If you are flying into STT with large dogs (forget what the weight limit was 70 lbs ?), the only way to get them here is thru Delta Cargo. We brought our 86 lb lab in and she had to go cargo with Delta. You do not need to be on the flight. It was very expensive, think $870 or something and she had to overnight in ATL so that she could make the early am flight.
Always check the airline website, and call, call, call, call again and again. Make notes, take names and dates. Health cert is a must for dogs stating that they are fit to fly and up to date on immunizations. Rabies is not required. Must have FAA hard crate, water bowl, bag of food, certificate and leash taped to crate top.
It is an ordeal, but when you get them at the airport there is not a better feeling when they see you and lick your face!
St. Croix has different carriers that fly in. Tammy used Continental for her Rotties, but they don't fly into STT. Delta Cargo (which is totally different that regular Delta) was our only option into STT.
Hope this helps