PCSing with pets

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Eric Summers
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Families are not the only ones moving during the permanent change of station season, some families are also accompanied by their pets. When doing this, owners should first contact the transportation management office.

TMO can assist in the scheduling of pets on Air Mobility Command airlifts. However, if space is not available on the aircraft, the owner is financially responsible for shipping the pet on a commercial airline.

After taking care of the financial responsibilities, pet owners are encouraged to visit the veterinary clinic after visiting TMO for any paperwork that may be required.

"Owners should not forget to pick up their pet's record from the Yokota Veterinary Clinic because all animals need to have a health certificate issued before travel," said Tech. Sgt. Antoinette Hazel- Cannon, 374th Logistics Readiness Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of the passenger terminal. "Health certificates are valid for airline travel for 10 days from issue."

"A lot of people don't understand that owners have to pay for their pets to be shipped," said Sonyia Vasquez, 730th Air Mobility Squadron transportation technician. "The payment for boarding is due at check-in on the day of departure and can be paid in either check or cash."

The payment amount for the pet's boarding varies by the weight of the pet and kennel.

"If the combined weight of the pet and kennel is up to 70 pounds the price is $92; 71 to 140, $184 and 141 to 150, $276," said Ms. Vasquez. "If owners are shipping more than one pet, the pets must be kept in separate cages.

"Pet owners should also keep in mind that the pet's kennel cannot be soft-sided, only hard-shell, non-collapsible cases are allowed," said Ms. Vasquez. "Pets should be able to stand up and turn around in the kennel."

Owners are allowed to ship only two pets when moving and are limited to cats and dogs only.

Pets can be checked-in either the night before or at least one hour prior to boarding. It is advised that owners give food and water to their pets before check-in. Once pets are checked in, they are put in a secure insulated area and cannot be visited.

"When pets enter the terminal, they must remain in their cages for their safety as well as the safety of others," said Ms. Vasquez.

After owners have checked in their pets, the animal is placed in a cool, secure holding area which ensures the Yokota terminal does not have a heat embargo, which would prohibit the shipping of pets during high temperatures.

"Typically, commercial airlines have heat embargos during summer months preventing them from putting pets in a holding area before transporting them to the aircraft," said Ms. Vasquez. "Our cool holding area allows us to load the pets onto the aircraft directly before departure."

Pet owners should first visit TMO and then the veterinary clinic to help make the move smoother on everybody. For more information, call 225-5661.