A few more details

I may have failed to mention that we have 5 cats and 2 dogs. As you can imagine this complicates things quite a bit, especially because our dogs are Pugs. Here are the game rules I’ve discovered:
– UK thankfully doesn’t require pets to go through a quarantine period any more, instead you can have your certified vet issue a health certificate, have a rabies titer test done and make sure your pet is micro-chipped and you’re good to go.
– Most airlines don’t accept snub nosed breeds in the hold. I think this is a good thing, the more I read the more I realize that the risk of things going horribly wrong for them is way to high. In the cabin they will be close to us which will help ease their stress.
– Our pugs just about fit within the guidelines to travel with us in the cabin.
– UK does not allow travelers to bring animals into the country via the cabin, they have to travel in the hold
– Airlines do not allow traveler to be accompanied by more than 2 animals
– The only airports that seems to be accepting incoming pets are Heathrow and Gatwick
– There is no pet cargo out of Detroit for the cats. I’ve checked everything I can think of and the closest pet cargo seems to be Toronto but none of the airlines I’ve spoken with (and the number is pretty high) know their schedule more than 30 days ahead.

The solution that we’ve pretty much settled on is the following:
– The cats will travel to the UK a few days before us. We decided this because we’re a bit worries about the cats being in the house while all the furniture is being packed up and moved out. It seems like a very stressful time for them so if they are going to be stressed we may as well get them in a plane and settled in a cattery for a few days where at least we know they’re safe. Especially as they can’t all travel with us at the same time or be in the cabin with us. We still need to secure a cattery for them to stay in, it’s on our to do list and I’m procrastinating a bit, partly because of the 30 day schedule limit thing.
– The Pugs will travel with us in the cabin. This means we’ll have to go via Paris, the next closest international airport with a direct flight from Detroit. This also means we’ve got to travel from Paris to UK which comes with it’s own difficulties. Car rental that crosses international borders is ridiculously expensive but neither ferries not the Eurotunnel will allow foot passengers to travel with animals. That’s where Folkestone Taxi Co. comes in (http://www.folkestonetaxi.com/index.html). They will pick you and your dog up in Calais and take you through the Eurotunnel. Lifesavers!! We can take the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport, then the taxi across the channel and pick up a rental car from somewhere on the UK side. At that point I’m not really fussy where we get the car. It really depends on if we are picking the cats up on the way to our final destination or coming back for them and there are a few too many moving parts around that at the moment to decide now.

In the meantime we’ve been doing a bit of unloading of stuff on Craigslist and have made a punch-list of bits and pieces around the house that will need to be fixed before we exit.

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