Transporting Dogs Safely

Throughout 2012 we transported around 240 re-homed rescue dogs to the UK from Spain, over 100 dogs to Germany, Holland and Belgium, and brought 25 dogs from the UK to Spain for people starting a new life here in Spain.

With our new, larger van, we have increased our capacity for 2013 to 360 dogs to (and from) the UK, and 240 dogs to Germany, Holland and Belgium.

The dogs safety and comfort always has been and always will be our number one priority. Both our vans are DEFRA certified and we hold the required transporter license for the transportation of cats and dogs across Europe.

I don’t think we will ever stop learning or striving to improve our service, but there are a number of guidelines we would advice when looking to transport a dog safely.

1. Windowless Vans: DEFRA will certify vans with windows but it isn’t something we advice. In our experience the dogs travel much better in the darkness of an enclosed van. The strobing effects of the sunshine through the windows can agitate them. In addition windows allow people to see into the van and advertises the fact you have dogs on board. Again DEFRA require that transporters identify that they have live animals on board but they agreed with us that these signs could be removable so that once stationary they could be removed to protect the animals. With numerous stories of animal thefts across Europe in our view it is prudent not to expose the dogs to additional risks. As such we never leave the van unattended while we have the animals on board. Also, windows increase the heat inside the van, as evidenced by the fact that anyone wanting a Spanish transporter license will only be allowed to use a white panel van to reflect the heat.

2. Use Your Own Leads: you would be amazed how many frayed leads, collars and harnesses dogs are sent with. At 6am in a cold Calais the lead is all that stands between the dog and a bolt for freedom. The dogs safety is our responsibility so we use our leads as we know they are strong and in good condition.

3. Trust Your Own Judgement: with the greatest respect to those sending the dogs, whether they are a flight risk, timid, aggressive, in need of company is the decision of the transport company. If anything goes wrong it will your arse on the line so back your own judgement and make your own decisions. Nobody will be interested in a disaster that starts with “We were told ……..”

4. Access Dogs Inside The Van: is your chosen transport companies van large enough so that the dogs can be loaded and unloaded into their cages with the van doors secure? With our small van this isn’t an option, but with the large van we can access the cages with the van door closed.

If you have any questions regards the safe transport of your dog we would be delighted to answer them.

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