N.Y. / Region
Only the Best for Man’s Best Friend. And Woman’s Too.
By SUSAN KONIG
Have Pet, Will Travel
The Willow Pet Hotel has two options for vacationing humans: a boarding facility for cats and dogs in Deer Park and a travel agency for pets whose owners want to take them along for the trip.
Since 1969, this family-run business has been making full travel arrangements — mostly by plane and train — for clients wishing to transport their pets
Marc Rosenzweig, the native Long Islander who is the company’s executive director, said business took off immediately.
”There was definitely a need for this,” he said.
The company is registered as an intermediary handler with the United States Agriculture Department and belongs to the Independent Pet Animal Transport Association.
”We recently sent a Yorkshire terrier to Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Rosenzweig said. The company has transported animals, not only throughout the continental United States, but to and from Europe, Japan, Singapore, Israel, and many Asian and African countries.
Mr. Rosenzweig, who owns several dogs himself, compares Willow Pet’s travel agency to one that accommodates humans. ”The client advises us where and when their animal needs to be transported, and we handle all the arrangements,” he said. ”We call the airlines and take into account the best flights for pets and the price. (Avoiding stop-overs and hot times of day are important, he notes, as is adequate air-conditioning).
Animals require certain inoculations and a health certificate within 10 days of transport. ”If the client hasn’t fulfilled these requirements, we can take the animal to our veterinarian,” Mr. Rosenzweig said.
Small animals in travel carriers that fit underneath seats, and guide dogs can travel with their owners on trains and airplanes, he noted, though there is a ticketing fee. Larger ones are transported separately.
”We secure the animal 24 hours before transport and get it accustomed to the shipping kennel it will be traveling in,” Mr. Rosenzweig said, noting that such kennels must meet U.S.D.A. specifications.
A member of the Pet Animal Travel Agency at Willow Pet Hotel brings the animal to airport or train station, and makes sure it gets on board safely. ”Like people, animals need to arrive for flights a certain amount of time in advance,” Mr. Rosenzweig said.”