There is a fine legal line when it comes time to owning wildlife as pets. Many state and federal regulations ban ownership of animals that exist in nature from living with families, and you will often require a permit to own an exotic animal in your home. Needless to say, if the family moves, the animal goes as well since it is no longer adapt to living in nature, and has become dependent on humans for food and shelter.
When this is the case, it is of the utmost importance to move the exotic pet carefully, assuring they are relocated in as much comfort as possible. This guide is a brief tutorial that gives tips on moving wildlife with you when you relocate.
Moving with wildlife
Before you even consider moving any wildlife that you have made one of your family, contact the State Department of Agriculture and inquire about the pet laws and regulations in your new community. Once given approval to relocate the pet, now you can begin making preparations. Since every animal is different, needing and wanting special sources of comfort, it is important to know the best way to move the particular pet; however the following are a set of basic suggestions that apply to almost all animals no matter how many legs, wings or fins they have.
- Escorting your pet. Suffice to say, the best way to move wildlife is to do it yourself. As noted, the animal that was born to live in nature can become anxious traveling, which is why it is so important owners stay close so the pet can see them during the entire journey. Transporting pets can be tricky, so make sure you are prepared to travel the distance with your furry or scaly friends. If you are unable to travel with your animal, no matter how exotic, you must follow all airline regulations for transporting pets if you will taking them with you via air rather than road.
- Paperwork. There is a very good chance you will need to travel, car or plane, with documents depending on the type of animal you have. There are state regulations for keeping certain pets, particularly wildlife, and if you are caught traveling without the proper paperwork and permit to prove you rightfully own the animal, you can be charged and fined, even having the animal removed by authorities in the worst case scenario. Though the paperwork needed will depend on the state you are traveling from and to, it is always wise to have a letter from a veterinarian stating it is safe for the animal to travel.
- Never leave alone - When traveling with your pet it is never, ever wise to leave it alone even for the shortest amount of time. If you have to remove yourself from your pet for any reason while traveling with it, you should always have someone watch the animal while you are gone. Needless to say, leaving a pet alone in a hot vehicle should never be done no matter what the circumstances.
- Collar or ID tag - Depending on the type of animal you have, this suggestion may or may not apply. Obviously while a cat or dog would wear a collar during travel in the rare case it got lost, a bird, reptile or fish would not. This is why it is so important to have paperwork for the animal, keeping it close by your pet at all times.
Containing wildlife during a move
Whether you drive or fly, your animal should always be contained during transport. As with a collar or ID tag, the type of container will vary greatly depending on the type of pet you have. It is safe to say it will be some type of pet carrier since using traditional pet cages when traveling is not recommended.
It is important to make sure the container has excellent cross ventilation and is leak proof. It is also essential to keep fresh water and food close to the container so you can provide your pet sufficient nourishment during the journey. Always keep some sort of paper bag and paper towels near should the animal have to release said nourishment while having an unexpected bowel movement. Of course it is always a good idea to line the container with the animal's favorite blanket or toy if they have one to provide the pet extra comfort during the move.
Settling in with wildlife
After arriving safely with your animal in tow, it is important to spend time adjusting a pet to its new environment. Spend some time with the animal, always remaining calm and attentive while doing so. After making your pet comfortable in its new digs, schedule an appointment with the local veterinarian in an effort to introduce your animal to the doctor, who will likely care for the pet in the future or in the case of an emergency.