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Tips, Facts, and Scam Information-- For You and Your Pet

Scam Alerts:

The intent of this listing is to inform the public of known scams and misinformation. It is presented for information only and is not intended to be a complete listing. Listed below are reputable organizations that Scammers frequently, and falsely, claim association.

 

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) is an international trade organization that represents over 90% of the scheduled international airlines. Many of these airlines transport animals. There are some scams purporting to be members of this transport organization. If you have any doubts or just want to verify that their name is being used legally, please contact them at: Larper@iata.org or via hotline +1 514 390 6770. Also IATA does not endorse, certify or approve any particular container manufacturer, brand, make or model. Nor does it organize, broker or sell shipping or delivery services. For further information about IATA visit http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live_animals/index.htm. For information on pet travel and a copy of the applicable container for cats and dogs or how to measure your dog, visit: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/live_animals/pets.htm
  • IPATA (Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association International) is an organization of professional pet shippers who arrange for transport of pets anywhere in the world. There are scammers that purport to be members of this organization. IPATA, as an organization, does not transport pets. Their members do but under their own company names. If you are contacted by anyone using IPATA as part of their company name or email address, it is most likely a scam. If you have doubts or just want to verify that IPATA's name is being used correctly, please go to this web site: http://www.ipata.com/page.php?rp=33. If you are contacted by anyone who says that they are a member of IPATA, you can verify this yourself by looking up their company on http://www.ipata.com/page.php?rp=17. If they are not listed, they are not a member!
  • Airline Approved Kennel: There are no pet transport kennels that are pre-approved by any Airline, or IATA, or IPATA, or USDA even if stated on the labels. Please ensure that you purchase the strongest and most secure kennel you can find regardless of misleading labeling. See below for more information.
  • Fake Sellers: For those sites that list an USDA Number, please verify the number by going to this web site and reviewing the pdf file of all registered pet handlers: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/index.shtml. If they do not list a USDA handler registration number, you should ask for one. Pay particularly attention to the name the number is associated with as scammers will often use a slightly altered name.

For More Information on Scams, there are several web sites that list Frauds. One such site that publishes pet related scams is Fraudwatchers at http://fraudwatchers.org . You can also do a web search using a term such as "pet scam" to find information on scams. One useful page has information on what a scam email looks like. It is at: http://www.fraudwatchers.org/forums/view.php?pg=fw_anatomy

Important -- Travel Container: 

Many injuries, deaths, and escapes can be attributed to either the pet trying to escape the kennel and as a result hurting its paws and/or gums, or due to actual escape. Escapes can be due to a variety of causes. For example  a dog can chew its way out of the kennel if it can get its upper and lower teeth between slits or holes in the plastic sufficient enough to apply force; dogs and cats may be able to push the door open or partially open and escape; the kennel lock is broken or not properly latched; or the kennel itself  is not properly and securely assembled.  For further  information on the  types of injuries of  transported pets, please go to the Department of Transportation consumer report page at:  http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/index.htm  Go down the long report to the very last page for animals incidents. The reports are by month and year.

    Tips on Selecting a Travel Container for your pet:

  • Look for one that is put together securely, e.g., locking bolts
  • Look for metal doors instead of plastic (pets may be able to chew through or bend/buckle plastic doors
  • Stronger doors have 4 metal rods that fasten the door to the container
  • Ensure door lock mechanism is strong and effective
  • No wheels -- most - if not all - airlines will not accept a container with wheels
  • Airlines or Air transport organizations do not certify containers. Statements such as "airline accepted" or "IATA Approved" are misleading.

Acclimate: 

Be sure to "acclimate" your pet to the kennel it will be traveling in. Let it spend varying lengths of time in the kennel several days before travel so that it is familiar with it.  Some pets are stressed severely by being placed in a strange cage. Also, you may wish to put some article of clothing that you have worn into the kennel during transportation.  This may help calm the pet.  An old T-shirt that you have slept in for one or more nights will work well.

Sedation:

Sedation of your pet is not generally recommended for air travel. The pets safety is at risk. Please refer to a statement from the American Veterinary Medial Association (AVMA)

Travel Abroad:

Always check with the destination a month or more in advance of your trip. Each country has their own set of rules, some simple, some complex, and some require quarantine. Please Go to this page: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/regulations/vs/iregs/animals/. Also check with one of our State offices for more information and/or to have health certificates "officially" endorsed (some countries require government endorsement). You can find your state office here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/

Don't Forget:

Many Animal Welfare Organizations have information on pet travel on their websites. It is easy to find these organizations through a web search on such words as "pet travel" etc.

 

USDA APHIS
Last Modified: April 7, 2009



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