Transporting Large or Unusual Pets


Horses and Ponies

Your horse or pony can be transported commercially via air freight or by a horse transporting company, or you can tow it in a horse trailer behind your motor vehicle. If you are making an out-of-state move, you will need the health documents required by the destination state.

Towing Your Horse or Pony By Yourself

If you need a rental trailer, look in the Yellow Pages under "Trailers-Horse." Be advised that you should only tow your horse if you are familiar with trailering, or have plenty of time for practice before you move. On trips that will take more than a day, it is best to plan overnight stops in advance. Be sure to inquire about local facilities for horse care. Motels, particularly in rural communities, will sometimes grant permission for a horse and trailer to be kept in the parking area overnight. If you are camping, make certain that horses are permitted in the campgrounds or somewhere close by. A horse or pony can generally be boarded overnight at reasonable cost at stables along the way. Most stables will ask to see the animal's interstate health certificate and negative Coggins (equine infectious anemia) as requirements for admission.

When trailering a horse, park occasionally at rest areas to unload and exercise it. On an overnight trip, stop at a reasonable hour, so there will be plenty of time for evening chores, including feeding, watering and so forth. The horse may be kept in the trailer overnight without harm.

Horses By Air

Cargo airlines only accommodate horses on non-stop flights between your origin and destination cities. An attendant must accompany the animal. You will be required to provide a shipping stall constructed according to airline specifications, along with loading and unloading ramps. Any tack shipped must be labeled and weighed separately.You are responsible for prepayment of shipping charges and attendant's fare, delivery of animal and tack to the air terminal on time and pickup at destination.

Some companies will make all the necessary arrangements for air shipment of your horse or pony, for a fee. Look in the Yellow Pages under "Horse Transporting." Horse transporting companies engaged in the interstate transportation of horses are required to have Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) operating authority. Transportation charges are based on a point-to-point mileage system with door-to-door pickup and delivery; minimum insurance is usually included in the rate quote. Shipping requirements differ from one transporting company to another; you may be required to furnish hay for a long trip. Some tack may be shipped with the horse at no additional cost. During the trip, horses are exercised at regular intervals, or at the driver's discretion. Any necessary overnight accommodation is included in the transportation charge. Charges are payable in cash, certified check, or money order. Depending on company policy, transportation charges are either payable in full prior to unloading at destination, or 50 percent in advance and the balance at destination prior to unloading.

Unusual Pets

Unusual pets include but are not limited to monkeys, boa constrictors and other snakes, lizards, alligators and skunks. These can be transported via air (check with individual airlines for specific regulations) or in your motor vehicle. However, many states have specific regulations covering the entry of "wild" animals, and you should get in touch with the regulatory agency of your destination state prior to moving to be sure yours will be admitted.

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PCS Pets