Jillian: Ragamuffin Kitten
Jillian, a beautiful Ragamuffin kitten was being shipped by air by her breeder to her new owner. At the security check point at the Atlanta Airport, Jillian was removed from her carrier to search it. Since she was frightened by a unfamiliar environment and sounds, she panicked and escaped.. Thankfully, after a huge concerted effort by many people, including Lisa Reber an animal communicator, who were involved in her rescue, Jillian was found and is now safe and sound in her new home, with her brother. A reward of $600.00 was raised and will now be donated to Ragamuffin Rescue.
But this scenario is not unique. Pets escape or get lost. Delivery may not be on time. And while airlines do their best to ensure the safety of pets that are shipped, these unforeseen events do happen. However there are precautions we can take to minimize the risk.
Be sure, if you are shipping a pet, that you have all the identifying information handy. Flight numbers, the name of the airline and arrival airport are important to have on hand. Mark your carriers carefully with tags and labels. When I have shipped cats, I have insured them for a "tidy" sum which alerts workers that they are handling precious cargo. The safest way to travel, however, is the have your pet accompany you on your flight in the cabin, itself. Ticket arrangements must be made in advance as only one pet per section is permitted. The airline will also inform you of any pet carrier requirements.
I have recently learned that there are secure rooms in which pet carriers and people can be searched. You must request this room. The handlers will allow you to take the pet out of the carrier, hold the pet and will return the carrier to you after it goes through the scanner You can then safely return the pet to its carrier.
When we moved from New York State to Florida in 2001, I traveled with my Siamese cat, Mousie Tongue by Air. In preparation for our journey, I trained him to be at ease wearing a collar and leash in his carrier. It was fortunate that I had the foresight to do this as it turned out that our flight was four days after 9/11. The airline schedules were understandably unpredictable, and security was at an all time high. When they requested me to take him out of his carrier, his collar and leash protected both of us. He was terrified with the crowds and noise and would probably have gotten away from me.
I am so happy that Jillian's story has a happy ending.
Have you traveled with a cat by air? Leave a comment and tell us about it.