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Shipping Hedgehogs-

Since not everyone lives near a hedgehog breeder, or even a store that sells hedgehogs, we often get asked questions about shipping, and would like to address some of those questions here.

Important Announcement

Following the 9/11 tragedy, the FAA has placed restrictions
on air shipments. Until further notice, we are only able
to ship with the Pet Air service. Air freight prices
typically run $139 to $169 through Pet Air. You can obtain
a quote at their website: Pet Air.
An $18 per shipment "security" fee is currently being imposed
by Pet Air. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may
cause. You may be interested in our new Shipping Buddies
program, designed to help defray shipping costs!

Update 10/03/01

As of today, USAirways and Continental have informed me that they
can take new shipping contracts from persons who have shipped
with them before. Thankfully, I have used both carriers in the
past and have put in my application for consideration. Both
carriers are a bit less expensive than Pet Air during times of
the year when heat and cold embargoes are not in place. We will
post more details as we get them!

Is shipping expensive?

YES. The only legal (and safe) way that I have available to ship hedgehogs is via air cargo. We used to use Delta, but they raised their shipping rate to $169 for air freight alone, so they are no longer our first choice. Options we have available to us are to ship on Saturdays out of Kansas City on Continental (roughly $89) or USAirways (roughly $96 to $162, depending on whether cargo is open on the receiving end at arrival time), or Delta out of Wichita on Sundays, for $169. These prices are subject to airline changes, but are the most current quotes that I have. We are unable to ship on weekdays. As of 5/23/01 we are registered with Pet Air and can ship year round, as long as temperatures are forecast to be between 45 and 85 at origin, departure, and any stopover points. Pet Air shipments are made on Saturdays.

Why not send it overnight express or UPS or
something like that?

Even though it's ok to send some birds through the US post, and some carriers may accept certain animals, hedgehogs are an exotic and unless the carrier is USDA approved to handle exotics, it is not legal. Not to mention that these services typically do not have temperature controlled shipping or delivery vehicles, increasing the chances that the hedgehog may be exposed to extreme (and potentially deadly) temperatures. No thank you!

What are the other expenses involved in shipping, besides just the hedgehog and the air freight?

In order for the hedgies to travel, they must be checked by a licensed veterinarian and receive a clean bill of health within 10 days previous to traveling. My vet charges $14 per certificate. Multiple hedgies can go on the same certificate at $4 per extra hedgie (i.e.: $18 for 2, $22 for 3, and so on). You will also need an airline approved kennel cab. This is about $16. Because we live over 120 miles from the nearest airports, we also charge a $20 transport fee, which will be waived when we can ship two or more hedgies on the same day. Pet Air is currently imposing an $18 per shipment "security fee."

How is the hedgehog shipped?

Hedghogs that are shipped through the cargo department of the airline, will need to be picked up at the airline's cargo office unless other arrangements are made for after hours pick ups. During shipping the hedgehogs are put in a cargo space that is heated and cooled just like the part of the plane where people ride. In the kennel cab there must be food available and a dish where water can be offered when the hedgie is not in the air. I always provide a hedgebag that the hedgie can hide in or under during the trip. Hedgehogs that are shipped via Pet Air are picked up at the airline's counter.

What are the weather restrictions?

The compartment where the hedgies stay during their time on the plane does a good job of staying cool when the plane is moving, but if the plane stops for any length of time, the compartment can get dangerously hot or cold. Airlines are not allowed to ship live animals if it is below 45 degrees or above 85 degrees at any point in their journey. In addition, a shipping embargo is in effect from May 15 to September 15 each year, due to airline concerns about hot temperatures. Here in Kansas, we typically also experience temperatures below 45 during the months of December and January. We are now using Pet Air and can offer shipping during other airlines' summer embargo, so long as the temperature is above 45 and below 85. See the Pet Air website for a quote on shipping.

So, how much does that cost all together?

You need to add together the cost of the air freight, health certificate, airline approved kennel cab, transport fee (if applicable), and the animal to calculate your final cost.

When do I pay for shipping?

We used to be able to ship collect, but the airlines appear to have eliminated this option. Therefore, we DO NOT ship freight collect. We will obtain an estimate of air freight charges from Pet Air, and require that to be paid by 10 business days prior to when shipping is planned. If we can find a less expensive flight, we will refund you the difference. We make every effort to find the most cost effective shipping possible (it can take me 3 hours of time on the phone calling and waiting to talk to representatives), but please understand that for some routes it will be as much as $169. Due to the requirement that we prepay your flight when we request booking, we ask that air freight be paid 10 business days in advance.

Most recently updated 10/03/01.


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Tig's Page: Hedgehogs and more...: Our main index page.
Our Herd: Meet the hedgehogs of Hedgehog Valley.

We have informed people about shipping.

Hedeghog Valley
Iola, KS