When the fur needs to fly, airlines are making it tricky, costly to bring your pets. Blame COVID-19

A Brazilian diplomat had to move from New York City to Sao Paulo last April, but when airlines imposed flight cuts and restrictions as the coronavirus hit, he had to leave a beloved pair of parrots behind.

After giving the African grey and Senegal parrots to a friend for temporary care, he called in a pet transportation service. Following months of permits and red tape, the birds finally winged their way home to South America, via Germany – after their happy owner parted with about $10,000 for the airlift.

Such is the complicated new world of trying to reunite pets with their relocating owners in a global pandemic, said Sally Smith of Airborne Animals in Boonville, New York, who handled the globetrotting parrots and related their story. 

“I have never worked so hard with so few jobs,” Smith said. “Everything takes longer, everything is more emails with airlines.”

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