ALStrays Pet Transport Newsletter: August 2013

Welcome to our 8th newsletter of 2013. In theory we are ‘on a break’ but ……. we have been chartered to go to Bosnia again (12th August) so agreed to do an additional TRACES transport for the Protectora (9th August) at the same time, to include 10 PETS Scheme pets.

Year to date we have been able to transport 609 animals (259 cats and 350 dogs) and have visited: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Bosnia, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, England, Scotland, Wales and Scotland. We have spent the best part of 20.000€ on fuel, 5.500€ on tolls, and 3.500€ on the Shuttle.

During the summer we will be updating the blog to reflect that we will only be transporting for private individuals who genuinely qualify for the PETS Scheme, Registered Charities and Organisations who are able to facilitate a TRACES transport, and our Preferred Travel Partners for whom we will facilitate TRACES transports. The blog will also respect the projects that we will be concentrating on over the next 12 months, as we look to help more rescue animals.

For the remainder of 2013 we will run a monthly PETS Scheme transport to the UK for up to 15 cats and dogs and a months TRACES transport to Europe and the UK (10 cats or dogs). We will also be concentrating more on the Charter side of the business. As for 2014 we are going to look at the possibility of just the one transport each month to combine TRACES to Europe and the UK and PETS Scheme to the UK.

One reason is that we need to be realistic as to how many transports we can do each month given our other commitments, but also it is increasingly obvious that the PETS Scheme is going to come under even more scrutiny, and quite righty so! If you are in any doubt (or denial) take a look at this:

amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC as regards the animal health requirements governing intra-Union trade in and imports into the Union of dogs, cats and ferrets from January 2015 all pets maybe subject to much tighter restrictions when moved between EU countries.

We have removed ourselves from the majority of re-homing and rescue groups.

We also have a HUGE project that we will be working on over the summer break (see below) ready for 2014.

Future Transports


We have two transports scheduled in July

The first transport in July is a PETS transport which will leave Spain on the 6th July, arriving in the UK on the 7th July. We will leave the UK again on the 9th July arriving back in Spain on the 10th July.

This transport is FULL

The second transport is our TRACES transport to Europe and the UK. This is run ‘under contract’ for the protectora that we work for but a few spaces tend to be available so if you are registered to provide TRACES please feel free to enquire. This will leave Spain on the 13th July.

This transport is FULL


6th: TRACES transport to Europe

21st: PETS Scheme transport to UK: 10 spaces currently available


14th: PETS Scheme transport to UK: 3 spaces currently available

25th: TRACES transport to Europe


9th: PETS Scheme transport to UK : 15 spaces currently valuable

22nd TRACES transport to Europe


6th TRACES transport to Europe and PETS Scheme transport to UK: 10 spaces available


PETS Transport Scheme

There still seems to be some confusion as to the use of the PETS transport scheme. In brief it can only be used for the transportation of a personal pet, when the transport is necessitated by a move (permanent or temporary) by the pets owner.

A rescue animal can not be transported under the PETS scheme, and requires an additional health certificate.

We have posted a guide on the site which you can read here. This is a really important issue as DEFRA and the AHVLA are both getting more vigilant regards the transportation of pets and rescue animals into the UK, and quite rightly. From our perspective we will trust the information that we are given on the booking form.


We provide a monthly TRACES transportation for the local protector that we have been working with and for for several years. We have limited spaces that we can make available for other cats and dogs going to Europe, but you must be able to sort out their TRACES paperwork.

RTFM Dummy

Back in the 1980’s the customer service desk at ICL cleared an average of 80% of it’s calls with the phrase RTFM (Read The F****** Manual).

I am reminded of this almost daily as I continually invite people to read the site before asking questions. We ensure that the current prices, schedule and availability are all on the site and updated. We keep the current terms and conditions on the site, clearly differentiate between TRACES transport and PETS Scheme transports and have photographs of how your pets passport should be completed.

We provide guidelines for how to ensure your pet or rescue animal travels safely and comfortably, and we provide a specific password protected page for each transport with the schedule Google Maps Links for pick ups and drop offs.

Still every week we are asked for prices, availability, what is required for the transport etc.

Frustrating to say the least, and occasionally it can cause a real problem.

For example. On a recent transport we were taking two cats for an organisation who had never used us before, and had shown very little inclination to listen or to read the site. They had continually been directed to the relevant part of the site, and we had to repeat information several times.

When we are transporting cats we make two specific suggestions: 1) that the water container is secured to the door of the cat box and 2) that the bedding is left out of the cat box until the cat has been delivered to the pick up location and we are ready to load. Reasons? Cats will play with the water bowl and if it isn’t secured you are guaranteed a wet cat. As for the bedding, if a cat is nervous, a bad traveler, or has been fed in the morning then they are more likely to soil their box early so easier to clean if no bedding in, and far more pleasant for the cat.

So in this particular transport the two cats were delivered, passport checked, and scanned. They were then left with us as the person for watever reason didn’t want to stay and ensure they were loaded safely. Maybe the reason was that the cats had free standing drinking bowls which couldn’t be secured so our options were a) no drinking bowl in the cat box, or b) the cats were going to get wet. Mid July, long journey to the UK, it was a no brainer, the cats were going to have to get wet. Or maybe the reason was that one cat had peed in the box which was resembling a swimming pool. and the the other cat had diarrhea and was in a right mess. It took us 30 mins to get the cats cleaned up. Not ideal start for the cats, delayed everybody else, and if it wasn’t for the help of others that were dropping off their animals it would have been too high risk to do without risking the cats escaping. Poor cats started off their journey smelling of pee/poo and slightly stressed at their experience.

All of which could have been prevented if the person had read the site, listened to the advice and cared about the cats they were bringing to the transport.

For one cat it got worse. We arrived at the UK destination ahead of schedule having confirmed with the owner that they knew where the pick up was (Motorway Services are pretty easy to find) and that they knew the time. As they had accessed the Transport Page which had the Google Maps Link, postcard and address it wasn’t exactly hard, and they confirmed they lived only 15 minutes away. Having prepared the cat i.e. ensured the box was clean and dry, and that the water bowl was filed up we then waited 90 minutes for them to arrive. Seems they didn’t know the way! After 90 mins they still managed to arrive at the wrong side of the motorway, which meant the poor cat having been delayed for 90 minutes was then subjected to a walk across the car park, across the motorway bridge and across another car park to their car. They were made aware that the water bowl was in the box still, and given a suggested way of carrying the box to avoid spillage. Result? Apparently when the cat was taken out of h xbox it was wet (that would be the unsecured water bowl having been walked across two car parks and a motorway bridge) and smelt of pee (that would be the way it was dropped off in Spain).

The cat of course was fine. Anybody that has transported cats knows that they have to travel in their cat box for safety reasons and that unlike a dog they can’t be taken out and walked so it is inevitable that they will soil themselves from time to time. It isn’t ideal, but safely getting the animals from A to B in as quick, safe and comfortable a manner as possible is the priority.

But please RTFM!

Next Transport Availability

2013 Schedule & Availability

More Information

Transport Details
Transport Schedule
Transport Costs
Pet Passport Requirements
Transport Checklist


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