Special Mission: Species Survival

In addition to flying dogs and cats to safety, we sometimes help transport wildlife as well. That was the case in late July, when we helped the Niabi Zoo‘s conservation program by transporting two baby Fennec Foxes – Bitti and his brother Bikku. The transfer was done at the recommendation of the Fennec Fox Species Survival Program, for the purpose of sustaining Fennec Fox captive populations and spreading the educational messaging of this incredible species.

PTTR Pilot Wes Kautzmann flew from Elkhart, Indiana to Moline, Illinois to pick Bitti and Bikku up from their caretakers at Niabi Zoo and fly them 1,100+ miles to Ellenville, New York. There they were met by Animal Embassy Founder Chris Evers. The next morning little Bitti continued on to Buttonwood Zoo in Massachusetts.

The flight cut several hours off the duration of their trip and was a huge improvement over flying cargo from a safety and comfort standpoint. “Flying animals or transferring in general is always a stress filled process” said Niabi Zoo Assistant Director Tammy Schmidt, “however having the honor of flying our little kits with Pilots to the Rescue was quite a relief. Thank you for this smooth transition for the boys.

These two adorable foxes will both become Animal Ambassadors – Bitti in Massachusetts and Bikku in Connecticut, helping to educate and inspire society to protect wildlife and wild places and helping the public learn about the importance of Species Survival Plans.

MAJOR AIRLINES Alaska Airlines – Pet in cabin – $100.00 USD each way Pet in baggage – $100.00 USD each way. Animal doesn’t have to be owned the traveler and can be a rescue pet. • The pet carrier counts toward your carry-on bag allotment. You may bring either a pet carrier and a personal item, or a pet carrier and a standard size carry-on bag. You may not board the aircraft with a pet carrier, a standard size carry-on, and a personal item. • A customer may travel with a maximum of 2 pet carriers in the main cabin, only when the adjacent seat is purchased by the same customer. • Pets allowed in the passenger cabin are dogs, cats, rabbits, and household birds. Dogs and cats must be at least 8 weeks old and must have been fully weaned. • Up to 2 pets of the same species and similar size may travel in the same carrier, provided no body parts protrude from the carrier and the animals are not in distress. Brachycephalic or “short-nosed” dogs and cats are not accepted for travel in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines flights (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest, or PenAir). Dogs: boston terrier, boxer (all breeds), bull dog (all breeds), bull terrier, brussels griffon, chow chow, english toy spaniel, japanese spaniel/japanese chin, mastiff (all breeds), pekingese, pit bull (all breeds), pug (all breeds), shih tzu, staffordshire terrier. Cats: Burmese, Exotic Shorthair, Himalayan, Persian. All pets traveling in the cargo compartment on Alaska Airlines (including flights operated by Horizon, SkyWest and PenAir) must have a health certificate dated within 10 days of initial travel and 30 days of return travel, when the return flight is booked in the same record. Pets traveling on a return flight booked in a separate record are required to have a health certificate dated within 10 days of that flight. A health certificate is not required for pets traveling in the cabin with their passenger; however, many states have specific importation health and vaccination requirements.
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