Author Topic: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?  (Read 5704 times)

redeyedtreefr0g

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Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« on: March 06, 2012, 10:58:05 PM »
I figured I might ask here in case someone has more experience in this.

We're having family issues and the only real solution is to move two adult males, a cat, toy poodle, and pit bull from Florida to Oregon. One has a license but will not be able to rent a vehicle himself due to a horrible driving record, and the other drives a bicycle without being licensed. They do not own a car in Florida they can use to get here. They will only be bringing what they can carry.

My husband and I have a car, but we are already in Oregon. We both have a spring break coming up so there is a break in work/schooling to allow travel.

Do we:
-Drive our car down there to pick up said needy family members?
-Fly one person down there and rent a car to drive everyone back?
-Fly both persons and pets one-way? The pets are not up date on vet visits at all, and while the small two could be carry-ons, the pit bull would likely be scared to death about a flight.  Nevermind, a Pit Bull will not be allowed to fly at all anyway.

-Some other solution I don't know about?

So far it looks like plans are shaping up to have my husband and his mother (who we just flew out here to visit us last Sunday, it's the rest of that household we are now moving) make the horrendous drive twice to go down and get them (they are both licensed and can tag-team to drive non-stop), but that seems ridiculous to my logical brain. Isn't there a better way?

Money can be rearranged to get it done. We're estimating the car trip to get them at about $1680.00 fuel only (13 miles per gallon [city and/or towing-camaro mileage], 22 gallon tank, 5867 miles)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 06:42:51 PM by redeyedtreefr0g »

Treechunk

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 11:17:03 PM »
Don't forget Amtrak, which isn't necessarily cheap, but could provide some better pet solutions than an airplane.  Also, a friend of mine used http://www.doortodoor.com/ to move all his stuff from Chicago to California, and I believe it was fairly inexpensive.  There may be other similar services that are cheaper, but I know my friend had great results.

redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 11:30:10 PM »
I did not see where pets were allowed on Amtrak, it seemed only service animals might be permitted. Do you know if they would be able to ride?

And the Door-to-Door seemed to be just for stuff, not people and animals. We already determined that the stuff is not important and will be left behind.

However, Jake the pit bull is a family member and will not be left behind. *

Thanks for the ideas!

*I know very well the risks with this breed as my mother's very lovable and perfectly obedient dog just snapped once while visiting a friend during a house-hunt. The friend had a goat, and the dog nearly killed it before noticing the horse, at which point she decided the horse had to die. The dog had to be shot 6 times (hollow point bullets, and not a single one missed), and I had nightmares for a week. My mother's dog wasn't the one shot, it wasn't in that creature anymore.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 11:49:46 PM by redeyedtreefr0g »

Parizade

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 01:23:50 AM »
Depending on the situation, OTRA might be willing to help transport the dogs.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OnTheRoadAgain/

"On the Road Again (OTRA) is a volunteer animal transport group dedicated to aiding rescue animals in moving to their forever/foster homes. We combine over-the-road truck drivers, pilot cars and personal vehicle transporters for quicker and more efficient transport of our furkids.
The picture on our site is that of Tarot, a tiny blind Chow, which we helped to save, assisted by wonderful transport coordinators, rescues, foster/forever moms, and, of course, our truckers. "

Mike Key

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 05:28:29 AM »
Give the pets up to an animal shelter, and get over it. (I'm serious and sorry if it feels insensitive.) Then fly both the parties back to Oregon. Less expense and hassle.

Otherwise someone is either driving there and back or flying there and spending money on a rental and driving back.

Which btw, you need to count the greater costs of just fuel. Most rental companies are going to charge between .16 and .27 cents every mile you drive that car over X amount of miles a day. Entreprise and Budget both do this. And some have NO PET policy in the car. With 3 animals, you're still going to need to rent more than an econobox, so count a higher rental cost for larger vehicle, decreased fuel savings, and a national average of about $4.00 a gallon.

$$$$$$$$$$$


So if you drive there yourself, you have time+gas only. Do the math.


BTW, are you towing a vehicle back? You put in your first post (city/and or towing-camaro) if so, there is another reason why you won't be renting a vehicle.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 05:32:58 AM by Mike Key »

AJ

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 09:56:17 AM »
You don't need to pawn the pets off on a shelter to fly, you can fly with pets. The pit would probably have to ride cargo because of the size, but the cat and toy poodle can be taken as a carry on. Your vet can give you a sedative so they will just sleep the whole time. I'm not sure, but two one-way tickets for them looks like it would be cheaper than gas.

Melissa

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 10:16:39 AM »
You said your mother was there for a visit?  Are these her pets?  If they are and she is returning to Florida, why bring them to Oregon at all?  If that's the case then I think boarding them would be a much cheaper option.


redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 11:24:24 AM »
Mike Key, I understand for some people pets aren't terribly important, but ours are to us. We won't leave them, whether that is a smart decision or not.

The mileage quoted for the black car was during last summer when that car was loaded and towing a vehicle during our own move out here. I figured it was a nice low number to estimate with for a ballpark cost with a little wiggle room.

AJ, flying the animals doesn't look like a viable option based on several things. The airlines I looked at online all have breed restrictions prohibiting the transport of a Pit Bull at all, even if the other two could be checked as carry-ons. Also, they are not up to date on vaccinations and such, and we simply don't have the money to do everything at once. We'll need to find a place for everyone to stay once they all arrive, also.

Melissa, when my husband and I first considered moving away from Florida, we were all living together, and the plan had been for all 4 (or 5, with hubby's half-brother) to make that move. In the end it was just my husband and I. Now, we flew his mom up to visit us, and realizations have been reached that the reasons they stayed behind were no longer valid, so they want to come out to be with us. So we have a mom-boyfriend and hubby-brother to transport, plus the family pets. It makes no sense to send the mom back after her vacation visit, when we still have no way to get everyone here.



After some poking around, it seems like a much better option to rent a more efficient car than drive our own. costs look like they can be at $40 a day, so that's $280 in rental cost, plus gas cost (30mpg, $4.00 a gallon) at $782. Would total just over a thousand dollars. That would be a $600 savings over rough estimations to drive our own car, assuming food stayed the same.

As for those asinine things like charging per mile to go out of state (for our trip, 5867 miles- that would cost an extra $1200 or so, since they give you 150 miles per day free, then charge $0.25 per mile after that), I'd like to punch someone.
You're telling me I can drive anywhere I want within the state of Oregon, but if I want to actually GO somewhere, you'll charge me extra? I'm putting the same wear-and-tear on the car, the same risks, and there are branches of a car rental company everywhere, not to mention I'm returning the car to the same place I got it anyway. That's bull.

That's like charging more for a hotel room with the exact same size bed and other comforts when there is a married couple needing a room, versus one person alone. (Mom's flight was delayed and she missed her connecting flight. We had to stay over-night and it was too cold to sleep in the car. $39.00 advertised, but we had to pay $50 because we didn't lie. SAME room)

Mike Key

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 11:48:12 AM »
Mike Key, I understand for some people pets aren't terribly important, but ours are to us. We won't leave them, whether that is a smart decision or not.

I love my dog, but at the end of the day, my dog is a animal and not a human being. But to each their own, I understand your personal attachment.

To answer your qualms about the car rental charging for out of state, there is greater risk of loss and or damage (statistically) with you driving the car out of the state. Budget, Enterprise, Avis are all franchises and independently owned. Even uHaul operates as franchises. Each company has it's own internal system for the transfer of fleet vehicles between locations, but they're extracting the risk when you sign on the dotted line. :)


AJ

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 12:35:00 PM »
Mike Key, I understand for some people pets aren't terribly important, but ours are to us. We won't leave them, whether that is a smart decision or not.

I love my dog, but at the end of the day, my dog is a animal and not a human being. But to each their own, I understand your personal attachment.

You don't have to think of dogs as people to want to take them with when you move. Pets are a responsibility that you assume when you buy/adopt them. Reasonable vet bills are part of that, so is transport. If keeping a pet was going to bankrupt you, or put you out on the street, then yeah they're not people and get rid of them. But if it just costs a couple hundred extra bucks to travel in a way they can come, I think that is just part of the package. You pay extra deposit when you rent, you pay extra for their food, certain breeds require extra for grooming, and I think you sign up for those expenses when you make the decision to get a pet. No, they're not human, but neither are they furniture.

Mr Mark

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 01:38:21 PM »
check Amtrak. You must be able to transport animals on a train. Way safer and easier than driving.

It's like a mini-holiday in itself!

sol

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 02:42:19 PM »
Yes, pets are important to some families.  Just be aware that you're talking about spending an extra $1500 to salvage an animal that could find a new loving home in Florida, and you could help save another dog from being put down in Oregon, and you would avoid the associated resource consumption and pollution associated with an extra cross-country trip.  If you're willing to spend all of that, go for it. 

Then, buy an endangered redwood tree and build a big campfire with it so your doggie can stay warm.

You did say this was an emergency, right?  Just checking.

Mike Key

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 02:51:43 PM »
Yes, pets are important to some families.  Just be aware that you're talking about spending an extra $1500 to salvage an animal that could find a new loving home in Florida, and you could help save another dog from being put down in Oregon, and you would avoid the associated resource consumption and pollution associated with an extra cross-country trip.  If you're willing to spend all of that, go for it. 

Then, buy an endangered redwood tree and build a big campfire with it so your doggie can stay warm.

You did say this was an emergency, right?  Just checking.

Wow! Thought I was being harsh.

You know, I called my vet, it's only $25 to have my dog put to sleep. No questions asked.

onehappypanda

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 03:35:42 PM »
Yes, pets are important to some families.  Just be aware that you're talking about spending an extra $1500 to salvage an animal that could find a new loving home in Florida, and you could help save another dog from being put down in Oregon, and you would avoid the associated resource consumption and pollution associated with an extra cross-country trip.  If you're willing to spend all of that, go for it. 

Then, buy an endangered redwood tree and build a big campfire with it so your doggie can stay warm.

You did say this was an emergency, right?  Just checking.

Speaking as someone has a similar point of view as the original poster on  family pets, I absolutely would spend all that for my pet. It would be worth it, because my pet is a commitment and a responsibility to me, not a piece of property. I don't break a lifelong commitment just because it becomes a bit of hassle, and I would consider that deeply and horribly unethical. We all have different ethical boundaries when it comes to pets, and that's okay. I think the above poster has made it clear what her ethical boundaries are, and it would be best to respect that. I'm sure she's aware of the magnitude of sacrifice she's making for this pet, and has decided ultimately that it's worth it.

onehappypanda

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 03:45:27 PM »
Here's a resource for the pitbull, for what it's worth:
http://www.pitbull-chat.com/showthread.php?7169-Flying-With-Dogs

If you google "shipping a pet" there are some options.

I would highly recommend looking up low-cost or charitable pet services in the area, as they can often get you routine vaccinations and checkups for free. Would they be able to get to a walk-in clinic? While you're at it, see if there are any pit-specific rescues that can advice you as well, they generally are aware of resources that accept pitbulls. I would also recommend trying to get a vet to give you a prescription for a sedative for the pets, it will make the travel a lot easier any way you do it.

This is a tricky situation, it sounds like having one of you fly down and renting a vehicle to drive back up might be the best option. But if you can find somewhere that would ship the pets (or at least the pit) so you can fly the rest, that might be a good option too.  Either way, best of luck.

Bakari

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Re: Emergency Travel! Cheapest option?
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2012, 05:18:58 PM »
Hopefully OneHappyPanda's advice can help with the pets.

Assuming there is a way to ship them, Greyhound is much much cheaper than any other option that has been mentioned for transporting the people.
One way, FL to OR is $378 - for TWO adults

https://www.greyhound.com/farefinder

Select "companion fare discount"

redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Emergency Travel with pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2012, 06:41:40 PM »
I think at this point we're looking at renting a hatchback vehicle and taking it to Florida and back, without being truthful, if need be. It wouldn't be the first time we've had to not volunteer information...
Jake can sit in the way-back, people in the cabin, and clothes, cooler with food, and anything else necessary can be put back there with the dog or under feet. I really appreciate everyone's help, and I hope this thread might be useful to anyone else whose had a limited budget and the need to travel with pets.


onehappypanda, thanks! Many of the links there were useless or generic, but the Delta information about shipping a live animal as cargo without the owner was interesting. Looks like maybe it would be $311 to ship him (based on rate of $4.45 per pound for 70lb dog- crate would be more weight, and add in any other fees or taxes)

Bakari, thank you also. Greyhound for that price would be great, but they don't seem to allow the smaller pets as baggage :(

Mr Mark, I've looked and Amtrak will not transport pets:

"Service Animals and Pet Policy

Animals Not Allowed Except for Service Animals
Amtrak does not permit pets on trains or Thruway services, in passenger areas of train stations, or in checked baggage.

The following are examples of types of animals that are not permitted:

Comfort animals: Animals not trained to perform a specific task, but which are said to provide emotional support or to relieve anxiety simply by their presence (for example, by the passenger holding or stroking the animal).
Pets: Animals for which no claim of any service is made.
Search and rescue dogs:* Animals that are trained generally, but not to assist a particular passenger.
Police dogs:* Other than dogs brought on trains by the Amtrak Police Department.
* If the passenger or agency feels an exception needs to be made for search and rescue dogs or police dogs, contact the Amtrak Police Department for assistance."
« Last Edit: March 07, 2012, 06:43:34 PM by redeyedtreefr0g »

Bakari

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Re: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2012, 09:53:57 AM »
If you plan to go from OR to FL to pick them up, and bring them back in a rental, you could still save some money by taking Greyhound from OR to FL, and getting the rental in FL.

National rental companies allow one-way rentals, I've done that before when we were traveling from NY to SF and our RV broke down (we had to not mention all the details too, as I was the only licensed driver over 25, and no-way I was going to drive the entire way myself with 3 other adults in the car!  We only stopped for fuel, and made it in 3 days.  Our cats hated every minute of it, and let us know by crying non-stop)

I've also traveled via rental truck (2 people in front, 4 in back!) although of course that would be both illegal and dangerous and I'm not actually recommending it, just throwing it out there.  Could be more or less expensive than a one-way car rental.

AJ

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Re: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2012, 10:30:59 AM »
I've also traveled via rental truck (2 people in front, 4 in back!) although of course that would be both illegal and dangerous and I'm not actually recommending it, just throwing it out there.  Could be more or less expensive than a one-way car rental.

Depending on what it did to gas mileage, this might be a good option for taking all those pets! If you could seat three people in the truck, and tie down the cages in the back, at least you wouldn't have to hear them crying...

redeyedtreefr0g

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Re: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2012, 10:43:15 AM »
Busing down doesn't seem to be any cheaper, as the bus tickets would come to $504, and then just the rental costs would be about $300, and that's without fuel costs. I estimate $1204 with a bus/car combination, whereas renting a car and driving both ways would be faster, more comfortable (no dealing with public, no waiting around), and comes to about $1050.

amr_ve

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Re: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2012, 09:40:00 AM »
I know you've probably already decided on your transportation, but if you need help transporting your pets cross-country, there are many people that would be willing to help keep a family together. Assuming you are on Facebook, here's a link to some transport groups that are directed toward rescued animals but may be able to help in future:

http://www.facebook.com/groups/101291729972602/doc/126737540761354/

I also notice that you said your pets aren't up to date on vet visits. There are several low-cost/assistance programs for people who can't afford (or don't want to afford) routine vet care (shots, spaying/neutering, etc.) for their animals. If you contact vets in your area, they should at least give you some ideas on who to ask. Asking your local shelter about low-cost vet options may not be a bad idea either.

Kudos to you for taking care of your family!

Mike Key and Sol: As a vet student, I know you may not think much of my thoughts, but here they are: One of the hardest services a veterinarian performs is euthanasia. To euthanize a healthy dog who has a happy home is not thinking about the welfare of the animal or the psychological wear on the performing vet, who has been trained to look out for the welfare of that animal. I'm not criticizing your thoughts, but when you take responsibility for the welfare of an animal, it shouldn't be taken lightly or disposably. Also, unfortunately, most animals that go into the shelter system don't make it back out, so most shelters want you to keep your animals and will work hard to help you get appropriate care for them.

Dee

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Re: Emergency Travel with Pets! Cheapest option?
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2012, 05:54:46 AM »
I read this thread and just wanted to put it out there that I am disappointed there are so few pet travel options. My boyfriend recently got a Rottweiler puppy and, at some point, we may also face these kinds of traveling obstacles with our big pet.
Good luck getting the crew to Oregon, redeyedtreefr0g, and safe travels!