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From Canada to the US to New Zealand – Doug’s Journey Home

As with many people and their animals, our Labrador Retriever, Doug, is more than just a pet to us; he is family. We were stuck in a difficult situation during COVID-19 immigrating to New Zealand from Canada. At a baseline importing your animal to New Zealand is complicated, but this was amplified during COVID-19 as Canada was not exporting any animals. We sought out Pet Express late in the process to change from a Canadian to American pet transporter. We made this switch 1.5 months prior to our departure date and our goal was for our dog to come with us when we made the move. Luckily, Pet Express was up for the challenge.

From the very start, we had clear and direct daily communication with Pet Express agents, prompt replies and positive attitudes (thank you Lex and Khiara). They were realistic with what was and was not possible, but continued to be open-minded, welcomed suggestions and were keen to look into all options as the impact of COVID-19 on International flights and the importing/exporting restrictions were a situation that no one had previously dealt with. This allowed us to find a way to get our dog to New Zealand safely during uncertain conditions in a pandemic.

COVID challenges

A lot of planning and creative thinking went into organizing the transport from Canada to USA to New Zealand and there were several times when the plan had to adapt to suit ever-changing circumstances beyond our control. During his journey, he had a short 3-day stay at the Pet Express facility in San Francisco. During that time, we were reassured that he was happy and doing well with email updates which included pictures and videos (thank you Virginia and Bob).

Doug’s reunion with family in NZ

With every new experience our dog has with us in New Zealand, we grow even more grateful that Pet Express was able to help get him here with us. Exploring this amazing country without him just wouldn’t be the same. I would highly recommend Pet Express as a pet transport agency. They were able to quickly establish a trusting relationship, persevere during tough times and took great care of our dog. We could not have asked for anything more. It means the world to us to have our whole family together in New Zealand.


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