NEW! As of 2014...
Because of new Delta regulations... and Delta is the ONLY airline I have access to... I will no Ionger ship.
As things stand right now, a puppy HAS to be at Delta's Tri-Cities counter at least three (3) hours prior to the flight's scheduled departure time. In Atlanta, where everything from here transfers to their next flight, Delta requires a MINIMUM connection time of two (2) hours. Often, depending on where the pup is going, that time stretches to more than three or even 4 hours. And when the puppy finally arrives at its destination airport, it takes AT LEAST another hour to be taken from the plane to the cargo facility when the new family will claim it.
That is a minimum SIX hours in the crate ON THE GROUND. It does not include any airtime.
To put this in perspective, if I were shipping a pup straight through from Tri-Cities to Atlanta... no connections... it would have to be in the crate for FIVE hours for a one hour flight.
And that is if everything goes as scheduled... no equipment problems, no weather delays, no rerouting for whatever reason, no stuck on the tarmack.
I am about a 10 hours drive from NYC, 6-1/2 from DC, 12 from south FL. The scenery is great and there is a lot to do in this area. Please plan a weekend get away or a vacation around picking up this new member of your family.
And below is what I USED to think about shipping....
First off: everyone wants to know "how much?" As of Spring 2012 I have changed the way you pay for shipping. YOU pay the actual shipping fee, $250-$350, depending on size of the puppy and the destination airport, directIy to the airline when you pick up the pup at the airport. This covers ONLY the actual fee to the airline. The cost of the crate, the veterinary paperwork (the state health certificate) and rabies shot (required if pup is 12 weeks or older when shipped) is $100 and is paid directly to me a minimum of 10 days before the projected shipping date. (ALL my pups see the vet for a departure exam whether they are being picked up or shipped. That expense is mine. The additional charges are for those being shipped.)
Second: I make all the arrangements so you don't have to worry about that.
Over the years I have tried several different ground transportation services and have found them all unreliable. If someone has had a good experience with one, please let me know as I would love to have some alternative to flying for families who cannot pick up their puppy.
As long as I have bred dogs, I have shipped them around the USA and to many foreign countries. When I started shipping, we used trains and it often took a week for the pup to get where it was going. Even so, they all managed to arrive safely... dirty and really glad to get out of the big wooden boxes, but healthy. A few HOURS in a crate doesn't usually bother them either! HOWEVER, the airline industry has become less dependable, even for human passengers, and that must be taken into consideration
I make all the arrangements. You tell me which airport and when you are available to pick up and I research the flight schedules and make the reservation. A few things to remember...
1) the airport must be serviced by Delta or a Delta connection. Not all connecting airlines carry pets, especially those servicing smaller airports so we may have to use a larger one. If absolutely necessary, I will use American Airlines. They have recently started servicing this area, but they seem to have a good reputation when handling animals. However, their flight schedule is extremely limited.
2) generally I will ship if there is no more than one connection to be made. Everything out of here (TRI) changes in Atlanta.
3) ALL shipping is weather permitting. And bad weather ANYWHERE in the country affects flights EVERYWHERE in the country. The planes carrying your puppy are subject to the same problems than can make passenger travel difficult... flight delays or cancellations, equipment problems, etc. We can plan on a particular date and flight but we have to be flexible. If I get to the airport and there is a problem, I will NOT send the pup. If I turn the puppy over to the airline and a problem comes up after I leave, the staff knows to call me to come back. Temperatures have to be between 32 and 85 degrees everywhere the puppy is on the ground. While there is no leeway with the higher temp of 85 (except for airports on Delta's "Summer program,") with veterinary clearance, I can ship if it is a little colder than 32 but I won't if it is predicted to be any lower than 25 degrees.
Your puppy will NOT be sedated for the trip. It is against federal regulations and airline personnel will reject any animal that appears to be drugged. The dogs don't need it anyway... they have no clue about crashes and don't get anxious worrying about them. The worse thing for the pups is take offs and landings as the pitch of the engines hurts their ears. Knock on wood, I've not had a puppy injured during shipment. On occasion, the pup will develop a mild kennel cough a day or two later, but it usually disappears quickly without veterinary intervention
After I have set up the reservation... no more than 14 days prior to shipping... I will email you all the pertinent information (flight numbers and times, and airbill number.) I will also send you the phone number for your local Delta CARGO office IF I have it. In all but the smallest airports, animals are taken to the CARGO terminal which is separate from the passenger terminal. You can call the local number to verify where you are supposed to pick up the puppy and to get directions.
Paperwork for your puppy will be in a plastic envelope glued to the crate. This will include a copy of the airbill, the rabies and health certificates and the pups' shot record. Also on top of the crate will be a small amount of the food I am feeding. Blankets and toys are not allowed INSIDE the crate during shipment and animals are not allowed to wear a collar.
I ask that you call me as soon as you can to let me know the puppy has arrived safe and sound, even if a little scared. I'm always nervous until I hear from you.