About Animalcouriers

Animalcouriers provides comprehensive, professional pet shipping and animal transport services covering the UK, mainland Europe, and the rest of the world. With our domestic and overseas pet transportation service, we help a wide range of animal owners — including pet owners moving house or emigrating, smallholders, commercial breeders and enthusiasts — to move their domestic pets, livestock and other animals, safely and reliably.

Bunch and Harry are on the road towards the UK

Near Pisa we met up with Bunch the Pug and his uncle, owner Lorenzo’s brother. Lorenzo and his family left for the UK a little while ago, and are very excited about seeing Bunch again.

Also travelling with Animalcouriers is young puppy Harry, who’s been staying with family friends in France, waiting for his passport to become valid. Despite his diminutive size, he’s very brave and ready to bark at anything, even if it’s 20 times his size!

A goodbye hug for Bunch from his uncle

A goodbye hug for Bunch from his uncle

A closer look at that cute Puggy face

A closer look at that cute Puggy face

Fearless young Harry who is heading to London

Fearless young Harry who is heading to London

Zarly very excited about her walks

Zarly very excited about her walks

Perfect togetherness — Boxoh and Bilia

Perfect togetherness — Boxoh and Bilia

If this lion looks slightly surprised, it's because Hector barked at him!

If this lion looks slightly surprised, it’s because Hector barked at him!

Here's Hector himself, still being very stoical. Only two things have annoyed him. One was the lion, the other a pair of cyclists. When they heard him barking, they turned to look, then took off at a considerably increased pace!

Here’s Hector himself, still being very stoical. Only two things have annoyed him. One was the lion, the other a pair of cyclists. When they heard him barking, they turned to look, then took off at a considerably increased pace!

Meet Dexter and Lucy who are on their way to London

Brother and sister Border Collies Dexter and Lucy are taking travel in their stride. Just seven months old, they’re very confident passengers and seem to be enjoying their adventure.

Animalcouriers collected them from their beautiful country villa near Avignon in the south of France, and are transporting them to their London address. These two darlings are set to become ‘frequent flyers’ as they split their time between their two homes, enjoying a very different lifestyle in each.

Lovely Lucy not too approving of the increasing wind and rain as we travel northwards

Lovely Lucy not too approving of the increasing wind and rain as we travel northwards

Dear Dexter's not too keen on the change of weather either — what happened to the blue skies and sunshine?

Dear Dexter’s not too keen on the change of weather either — what happened to the blue skies and sunshine?

Both dogs are kitted out with their favourite beds and blankets…

Both dogs are kitted out with their favourite beds and blankets…

…just perfect for chilling out on the road

…just perfect for chilling out on the road

Ginger-and-white Whiskey from Rome joins our journey to the UK

Animalcouriers drove from Athens to the port of Igoumenitsa to catch the ferry to the Italian port of Brindisi.

We then headed to Rome to meet Gennaro and his cat Whiskey. Gennaro has lived all his life around Rome and Naples but now, at 90 years young, is off to live with his son and his partner, Irene, in the UK. Whiskey is going on ahead, and will be waiting to greet Gennaro when he arrives.

Whiskey was all ready for the off when we called in to collect him from Gennaro

Whiskey was all ready for the off when we called in to collect him from Gennaro

A closer look at handsome Whiskey

A closer look at handsome Whiskey

Gennaro came out to our van to oversee Whiskey's settling in

Gennaro came out to our van to oversee Whiskey’s settling in

Gennaro told us he was pleased that Whiskey had a 'nice cage' for his journey

Gennaro told us he was pleased that Whiskey had a ‘nice cage’ for his journey

Boxoh having a bit of a bad hair day on a windy walk

Boxoh having a bit of a bad hair day on a windy walk

Zarly completely understands the problem. Very snug in her little jumper, though. And what a smart collar tag!

Zarly completely understands the problem. Very snug in her little jumper, though. And what a smart collar tag!

Hector is so annoyed about being on this journey that he doesn't want to look at us. But he still goes stoically on his walks.

Hector is so annoyed about being on this journey that he doesn’t want to look at us. But he still goes stoically on his walks.

Hector finally deigns to have a chat with courier M about what life in London will be like…

Hector finally deigns to have a chat with courier M about what life in London will be like…

…And even shows us his best side for a photo

…And even shows us his best side for a photo

Bilia spots Jason and would like to play…

Bilia spots Jason and would like to play…

But Jason has other plans. Did I see boats over there?

But Jason has other plans. Did I see boats over there?

Pretty Pouca manages to leap about very gracefully on her three legs. Eugenia tells us that Pouca was found, aged two months, having been hit by a car and left to die. The girl who found her took her to the vet, who did the surgery to amputate her leg and tail, and nursed her back to health, free of charge. When Eugenia took her dog to the vet, she saw Pouca, heard her story, and immediately offered to adopt her.

Pretty Pouca manages to leap about very gracefully on her three legs. Eugenia tells us that Pouca was found, aged two months, having been hit by a car and left to die. The girl who found her took her to the vet, who did the surgery to amputate her leg and tail, and nursed her back to health, free of charge. When Eugenia took her dog to the vet, she saw Pouca, heard her story, and immediately offered to adopt her.

Beautiful flowers spotted on the Greek mainland as we passed the Ionian islands

Beautiful flowers spotted on the Greek mainland as we passed the Ionian islands

A closer look reveals honey bees, hard at work

A closer look reveals honey bees, hard at work

The hives were just across the other side of the road. We're intrigued by these wonderfully colourful hives which are dotted all over Greece. Perhaps if bees are driven by the colours of flowers, this is some kind of clever colour-coding?

The hives were just across the other side of the road. We’re intrigued by these wonderfully colourful hives which are dotted all over Greece. Perhaps if bees are driven by the colours of flowers, this is some kind of clever colour-coding?

Ladybirds were also out, enjoying the spring sunshine

Ladybirds were also out, enjoying the spring sunshine

We passed this perfectly happy dog on the way to Igoumenitsa, but don't think we'll be adopting this style of transport any time soon!

We passed this perfectly happy dog on the way to Igoumenitsa, but don’t think we’ll be adopting this style of transport any time soon!

Must be a nightmare trying to build anything in Greece. You only have to dig your spade in and up pops another ruin!

Must be a nightmare trying to build anything in Greece. You only have to dig your spade in and up pops another ruin!

News of Jim, who travelled from London to France with us. Faith tells us: "The sun shone at lunchtime and we were able to sit on my sheltered terrace and sunbathe while Jim helped with me with some mending. He's slotted back in to French village life effortlessly..."

News of Jim, who travelled from London to France with us. Faith tells us: “The sun shone at lunchtime and we were able to sit on my sheltered terrace and sunbathe while Jim helped with me with some mending. He’s slotted back in to French village life effortlessly…”

Renaming our van ‘the Argo’ as we leave Athens with Jason, Hector, Ririkos, Bilia, Boxoh, Dusty, Zarly and Pouca on board

Kiki, Martha, Marguerita and other dear friends, we miss you! The Greek government has placed a halt on the movement of rescued pets out of Greece. So six dogs and cats who were due to travel with us to wonderful new homes in the UK now have to wait — or may never even be allowed to travel.

TRACES certificates are a legal and reliable way of recording the movement of rescued and rehomed dogs and cats from one EU member state to another. But sadly for many dogs and cats, Greece has withdrawn TRACES certificates. We (and many others) are hoping it’s just a temporary measure and that the certificates will soon be available again. After all, they are an EU directive and all member states should fall in line, including Greece.

As always, however, we have pets joining our trip who are travelling to rejoin their owners. Yesterday we collected Pouca, whose odyssey took her from Chios via a number of other islands to meet us in Athens.

Hector — all 55kg of him — is named after the Trojan prince and mighty warrior who features in the Iliad. Hector is all those things and handsome too! He’s travelling with Jason, named after the Greek hero who made an epic voyage on his ship, the Argo, to rescue the Golden Fleece. Owner Elias named him Jason because he was originally a street dog and a wanderer. Their feline companion, Ririkos, was a street cat who adopted Elias and his family many years ago.

Frances brought us Boxoh, a Chihuahua, and Bilia, who has a Griffon look. The two dogs belong to Ioannis who’s moving with his wife to Basingstoke, to be with their daughter Lila. The trip has been planned for months, and now at last the day has come for the dogs to travel, so Ioannis can fly out to join his wife and daughter.

Next on board was cat Dusty, who moved with her owner Lisa to Athens about a year ago. Now the time has come for them both to return to the UK.

Last but not least we have Poodle Zarly, who belongs to Stelios and his family. They’ve been keeping an eye on our blog and our trip timetable, waiting for an opportunity to send for little Zarly.

Elias with Hector (L) and Jason (R). Jason looks to be planning his next trip. Left towards the ocean, or right towards the railway?

Elias with Hector (L) and Jason (R). Jason looks to be planning his next trip. Left towards the ocean, or right towards the railway?

A closer look at gentle giant Hector

A closer look at gentle giant Hector

Ririkos, feline friend to Hector and Jason

Ririkos, feline friend to Hector and Jason

Courier M (L) with Bizou, and Frances (R) holding little

Courier M (L) with Bilia, and Frances (R) holding little Boxoh

Bizou is a lovely friendly fellow

Bilia is a lovely friendly hound

Little Bilia was quivering so much her holdall was rattling!

Little Boxoh was quivering so much her holdall was rattling!

But with lots of cuddles, Bilia was finally persuaded to emerge, looking very waggy tailed. Oh, it's not so bad, she seems to be saying — and I have Bizou to look after me.

But with lots of cuddles, Boxoh was finally persuaded to emerge, looking very waggy tailed. Oh, it’s not so bad, she seems to be saying — and I have Bilia to look after me.

Lisa brings us her cat Dusty for the journey

Lisa brings us her cat Dusty for the journey

Wonder what's caught Dusty's attention?

Wonder what’s caught Dusty’s attention?

Nick and Eutuheia bring us Mini Poodle Zarly

Nick and Eutuheia bring us Mini Poodle Zarly

Pretty Zarly is looking forward to being reunited with her family

Pretty Zarly is looking forward to being reunited with her family

From reunions in Stoupa to Athens, to meet Pouca the cat

When Animalcouriers reached Greece by ferry from Italy, our first stop was Stoupa, to reunite cats Mr Pickles and Douglas, and dogs Murphy and Twiglet with Sharon. Overnight accommodation in the area is a bit sparse at this time of year but we were lucky enough to end up in a rather nice little cottage.

With the weather howling and storming outside, we took advantage of the open fire which had been laid ready for us. Along with the firewood was a plastic bag full of amazingly effective firelighters — pieces of cardboard soaked in olive oil. Sacrilege! we hear you cry, using Kalamata extra virgin oil in this way. But the smell suggested the oil had already been used for cooking. So in fact, an excellent approach to recycling and less grease down the drains.

From Stoupa we drove through the hills towards Athens via Kalamata. We stopped for coffee in a small mountain village between Kalamata and Athens to look around a tiny church that caught our eye. A local lady passed us with her flock of ewes and their lambs, bringing traffic to a halt while she chatted with a number of villagers before guiding her flock off the road.

In Athens we headed to the port to meet up with Eugenia’s cat Pouca. This dear little tortie girl was brought to us by boat by a friend of Eugenia’s. Pouca seemed quite unfazed by her journey and simply ready for cuddles and supper!

Our olive-oil firelighters. Courier M says he uses something similar at home — kitchen roll used to wipe out the frying pan. But Mrs M objects somewhat to the smell of fried bacon and onion!

Our olive-oil firelighters. Courier M says he uses something similar at home — kitchen roll used to wipe out the frying pan. But Mrs M objects somewhat to the smell of fried bacon and onion!

We are very aware of the difficult lives led by stray cats around dustbins. As we left Stoupa we spotted a group of 12 or more round this bin. Even though we approached very slowly, most of them scuttled away over the wall, leaving just a handful on guard. Who were rewarded with some cat treats.

We are very aware of the difficult lives led by stray cats around dustbins. As we left Stoupa we spotted a group of 12 or more round this bin. Even though we approached very slowly, most of them scuttled away over the wall, leaving just a handful on guard. Who were rewarded with some cat treats.

Driving through the hills behind Stoupa en route for Kalamata, we passed many beautiful wild flowers. We think these may be orchids.

Driving through the hills behind Stoupa en route for Kalamata, we passed many beautiful wild flowers. We think these may be orchids.

Wonderfully bright poppies

Wonderfully bright poppies

IMG_20150327_151019_edit

Daisies are hard to beat for that spring-time feeling

Wish we knew what these striking flowerheads are. Any ideas?

Wish we knew what these striking flowerheads are. Any ideas?

Mimosa (we think)

Mimosa (we think)

Traffic jam in the mountains

Traffic jam in the mountains

We thought this little church was derelict when we first caught sight of it…

We thought this little church was derelict when we first caught sight of it…

…but on pressing our noses to the glass in the door, we saw its marvellous tiny interior

…but on pressing our noses to the glass in the door, we saw its marvellous tiny interior

Ancient-looking paintings inside

Ancient-looking paintings inside

Some paintings were made directly on the stonework

Some paintings were made directly on the stonework

Graffiti at the church's entranceway

Graffiti at the church’s entranceway

Eugenia's friend arrives with Pouca

Eugenia’s friend arrives with Pouca

Pouca peeping out, keen to know what's going on

Pouca peeping out, keen to know what’s going on

Pouca is such a pretty little girl! We discovered she's missing a leg and part of her tail. She's cuddly, purrs loudly, and loves eating!

Pouca is such a pretty little girl! We discovered she’s missing a leg and part of her tail. She’s cuddly, purrs loudly, and loves eating!

Collecting Blair and Putin in Germany for their trip to the UK

At much the same time as couriers J and M reached Greece, courier S found herself in rather exalted company in Berlin.

Blair and Putin have been living in this fine capital city for a couple of months while their passports and travel arrangements were finalised. With promises of a large garden and fresh west country air to look forward to at their new UK home, these two cats are anticipating good times ahead.

They’re proving the perfect travel companions, sharing a hotel room with courier S last night and everyone enjoying snacks in bed. This morning they’ll cross to the UK by Eurotunnel, and spend the night in Surrey before being reunited with their owners tomorrow.

Handsome black-and-white Blair

Handsome black-and-white Blair

Gorgeous Russian Blue Putin

Gorgeous Russian Blue Putin

Like the Swiss, the Germans are also lucky enough to have Easter egg trees!

Like the Swiss, the Germans are also lucky enough to have Easter egg trees!

A colourful sight that brightens up a somewhat grey day

A colourful sight that brightens up a somewhat grey day

Bibi and Odin are reunited in Switzerland, and Ruben, Hugo, Red and Jim arrive in France

After reuniting cats Fleur and Mittens with their owners, Mike and Debbie, in Normandy, we drove into Switzerland to deliver Bibi and Odin to Alan and his family. It was hard to say who was more excited at the reunion — humans or dogs!

Then it was back into France to drop handsome trio Ruben, Hugo and Red at Le Jardin des Chats, a super cattery in the Montpellier area, where they’ll have a short stay until their owner Susan catches up with them. And we left Gentleman Jim with mutual friends, for collection by his owner Faith.

The next day, with Mr Pickles, Douglas, Twiglet and Murphy still on board, we motored on to Italy, staying the night in Florence before heading to the port to catch the overnight ferry to Greece.

Bibi and Odin were so excited at being back with Alan and his wife that they quite forgot all their good manners for a few moments!

Bibi and Odin were so excited at being back with Alan and his wife that they quite forgot all their good manners for a few moments!

But it really didn't take long for all that training to kick back in

But it really didn’t take long for all that training to kick back in

Proof that in Switzerland Easter eggs actually grow on trees

Proof that in Switzerland Easter eggs actually grow on trees

Easter bunnies collect the eggs and deliver them to all the boys and girls (and grown-ups!) who've been good so far this year

Easter bunnies collect the eggs and deliver them to all the boys and girls (and grown-ups!) who’ve been good so far this year

Mr Pickles (top) and Douglas are just about the nosiest pair of cats who've ever travelled with us!

Mr Pickles (top) and Douglas are just about the nosiest pair of cats who’ve ever travelled with us!

Meet our passengers from the UK: Odin, Bibi, Murphy, Twiglet, Mr Pickles, Douglas, Jim, Hugo, Ruben, Red, Fleur and Mittens

Animalcouriers set off from the UK with a fine group of feline and canine passengers on board.

Odin and Bibi are travelling with us to Switzerland, to join Alan and his family. Although they’ll primarily be the family’s pets, they’ve also been trained by Len from K9 Protector to protect and look after all the family members. Len says he’s really enjoyed training these two — we must say, they are a very soft and friendly pair of dogs.

Family of four Mr Pickles, Douglas, Murphy and Twiglet are relocating with Sharon to Greece. Their journey started in Devon, and their new home is in the hills just south of Stoupa, with wonderful sea views to enjoy.

Tuxedo cat Jim joined us for one of his regular trips from London to the south of France. Now 15 years old, he sadly recently lost his twin brother Jules, and is travelling alone for the first time. We’re pleased to say he’s very relaxed and taking everything in his stride.

Three more familiar faces are also on board: Hugo, Ruben and Red. This trio of cats travelled with us from the Languedoc to York last year. But their owner, Susan, missed the warmth of the south of France, so the family are now on their way back, and will be managing a campsite at Saint Mandrier sur Mer.

Mum and daughter Fleur and Mittens are on their way to Normandy, to be reunited with Mike and Debbie. The two cats homeboarded with us while Mike and Debbie went on ahead to get everything ready for their arrival.

Trainer Len admitted to an especially soft spot for Bibi and said he'll really miss her

Trainer Len admitted to an especially soft spot for Bibi and said he’ll really miss her

Handsome Odin is a little younger than Bibi. Len says that he very much followed Bibi's lead during training.

Handsome Odin is a little younger than Bibi. Len says that he very much followed Bibi’s lead during training.

Twiglet (L) and Murphy (R) soon get settled in

Twiglet (L) and Murphy (R) soon get settled in

Mr Pickles has a head for heights — here he is sitting on top of the box in the compartment he's sharing with Douglas

Mr Pickles has a head for heights — here he is sitting on top of the box in the compartment he’s sharing with Douglas

Dear Douglas has no tail and not many teeth — so obviously his favourite activities are jumping around and eating!

Dear Douglas has no tail and not many teeth — so obviously his favourite activities are jumping around and eating!

Douglas gets a tickle…

Douglas gets a tickle…

…and Mr Pickles wants in on the action, too!

…and Mr Pickles wants in on the action, too!

Gentleman Jim (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr Pickles) in pensive mood

Gentleman Jim (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Mr Pickles) in pensive mood

Creamy ginger brothers Ruben (L) and Hugo (R)

Creamy ginger brothers Ruben (L) and Hugo (R)

Tired of posing, Ruben and Hugo gently nod off

Tired of posing, Ruben and Hugo gently nod off

Fluffy Red is a more nervous character than either of his brothers, but is starting to relax

Fluffy Red is a more nervous character than either of his brothers, but is starting to relax

Fleur, perhaps showing how she got her name?

Fleur, perhaps showing how she got her name?

Mittens on arrival at their new home in Normandy, taking a close look at the front door

Mittens on arrival at their new home in Normandy, taking a close look at the front door

Now it's Fleur's turn to examine the front door. You can see both cats thinking: we came in this door, so logically… Both did a lot of scurrying and sniffing — a cat's flight instinct drives it to try and run away, perhaps back to where it came from? But as is the case with many of our cat passengers, within an hour or so, they were well settled in thanks to familiar smells and the sound of their owners' voices. Debbie and Mike will keep them in for about three weeks to give them a chance to adapt properly to their new environment.

Now it’s Fleur’s turn to examine the front door. You can see both cats thinking: we came in this door, so logically… Both did a lot of scurrying and sniffing — a cat’s flight instinct drives it to try and run away, perhaps back to where it came from? But as is the case with many of our cat passengers, within an hour or so, they were well settled in thanks to familiar smells and the sound of their owners’ voices. Debbie and Mike will keep them in for about three weeks to give them a chance to adapt properly to their new environment.

Why do cats love boxes? It may well be because small spaces make them feel more secure

Occasionally clients comment that cats who travel with Animalcouriers don’t seem to have very much room in their compartments. But cats are big fans of small spaces, as they help them feel more secure, especially in unfamiliar or stressful situations.

Think back to when you adopted your cat — to help your cat settle in you were probably advised to confine him or her to one room in your home initially, then gradually introduce everywhere else. Does your cat jump into an empty box whenever you leave one lying around? Or try to fit into seemingly impossible tiny spaces for a snooze?

Scientific research shows that enclosed spaces, like boxes, help cats feel secure and cope better when they’re stressed. Boxes also offer cats a safe place to sleep without being disturbed and may also help them to keep warm.

So when a cat is being transported, giving them a relatively small space and somewhere to hide, such as their own carry box or a tunnel bed, is actually very good for their welfare.

This article tells you more about the research.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Danai from Greece has a new home in the Netherlands; can you help Rita find a new home too?

Do you remember Danai? She was in the care of the Filozoikos Shelter in Athens Central Park since being left there as a puppy with her six litter mates. Danai had a serious eye condition — a dermoid cyst — that needed operating on. But at around €700, the cost was beyond the budget of the shelter. So Kiki, Martha and their colleagues set about raising funds.

Many people were moved by Danai’s story. Alexandros, a friend of the shelter, ran the Athens marathon to help raise money. Others — including followers of this blog — made donations. Everyone’s generosity meant enough money was soon raised and the operation could quickly go ahead. It was a complete success and Danai made a full recovery.

The latest great news about Danai is that she has a new home with Hans and Erica in the Netherlands. Conrad, part of the UK team that supports the shelter, says:

“Hans and Erica are the most special, caring and lovely people, and Danai has a wonderful and much loved life to look forward to. We thank so many different people who were deeply touched by Danai’s story, and helped out generously with her progress since she was first found abandoned and brought to the shelter, through her successful eye surgery and her foster home, to helping out her marathon running sponsors, and by spreading the word far and wide as to what an adorable dog she truly is.”

Danai flew from Athens to Amsterdam to join her forever home

Danai flew from Athens to Amsterdam to join her forever home

Danai, looking beautifully behaved, with Erica

Danai, looking beautifully behaved, with Erica

Hoping to be as lucky as Danai…

We recently heard from Cordelia who is looking for a home for Rita who is currently in the care of Nine Lives Greece. Cordelia describes her as follows.

Rita is a precious little soul, who has all four limbs and both eyes but, for whatever reason, has still not been adopted here. She is so gentle and easygoing and loving, just the easiest kitty.

If you can give Rita a forever home, please contact Nine Lives Greece directly.

Rita

Rita

Rita

Rita