Flying with Your Pet this Holiday?

Flying with Your Pet this Holiday?

Below is a helpful checklist for your flight:

BEFORE YOU GO TO THE AIRPORT

❏ Book your pet on your flight by speaking directly with a person at the airline. No U.S. domestic carrier allows online booking of pets. Clarify whether your pet will be flying in-cabin with you or as checked baggage/cargo.

❏ Carefully inspect the carrier/crate. Check all zippers, seams, locks, screws and connections. If there are any structural problems, purchase a new crate or carrier before flying.

IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO

❏ Fly non-stop to your destination, if at all possible.

❏ Purchase zip ties online or at your local hardware store (approximately $5.00 US for 100). Pack them so they will be readily accessible at the airport.

❏ Drill holes at the top, bottom and both sides around the door of the crate. This will allow you to add the zip ties. AFTER the Transportation Security Administration’s inspection of the crate.

❏ Post your cell phone number on all sides of the crate with instructions (in English and Spanish) to contact you immediately if needed for the handling of your pet.

❏ Post a sign that says “DO NOT OPEN EXCEPT IN EMERGENCY & ONLY IN AN ENCLOSED ROOM” on top of the crate, above the door. (Include Spanish translation as well.)

AT THE AIRPORT – CHECKING IN

❏ Require that TSA screening be done inside secure enclosed room. When checking in, have the ticket agent call a TSA agent over or ask where to take the crate to a TSA security station for inspection to be done before handing your pet over to the airline for travel.

❏ After TSA inspects the crate they will place a Homeland Security tag on the carrier or crate.

IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO

❏ Apply zip ties to the door and sides of the crate to further secure your pet after the TSA inspection.

❏ Ask the airline personnel to immediately notify you if any additional security checks are needed.

❏ Ask where your pet will be kept until loaded.

AT THE AIRPORT – AT THE GATE

❏ If your pet is travelling in the cabin, keep the carrier securely closed. Do not risk losing your pet now!

IF YOUR PET WILL BE FLYING AS CHECKED BAGGAGE OR CARGO

❏ Go to your gate and watch the crate being loaded. USDA regulations state that pets are last to load and first off the plane.

❏ Tell the gate agent you are waiting for your pet to be loaded before you board the plane.

❏ Keep your cell phone on until the very last minute.

AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT

❏ Upon arrival, make sure your pet's crate was taken off the plane.

❏ Do not remove your pet from the carrier until you are in a secure location

HAVE A GREAT TRIP!

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Meet Our Team

  • Dr. Bob  Sarsfield Photo
    Dr. Bob Sarsfield
    Veterinarian in Harrisburg, PA The chief medical officer and owner and has been with the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County since 1979. He started out working in the kennel and then attended Penn State University, which he graduated from in 1985. He received his DVM from Purdue University in 1989. His professional areas of interest include feline and canine medicine and surgery, ultrasound, and low level laser therapy. Contact the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County today and make an appointment ...
  • Dr. Heather  Balmer Photo
    Dr. Heather Balmer
    Dr. Heather Balmer (Zanes) is managing veterinarian and has been with the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County since 1999. Dr. Balmer first worked as a kennel assistant and then as a veterinary technician assistant. She received her undergraduate degree from Juniata College and her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009. Dr. Balmer was raised in Penbrook but currently lives with her husband, Matt, and grandmother in Hummelstown along with their four-legged ...
  • Dr. Kelly  Allen Photo
    Dr. Kelly Allen
    Dr. Kelly Allen joined the staff of the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County in 2011. She is a graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, PA. She enjoys talking to clients about their furry family members. Dr. Allen has a keen interest in animal behavior and enjoys helping new dog and cat owners as they experience the joy (and sometimes frustrations) of introducing an animal into the family. She lives with her husband, Todd, and one ...
  • Dr. Jennifer  Fletcher Eckenrode Photo
    Dr. Jennifer Fletcher Eckenrode
    Dr. Jennifer Fletcher Eckenrode, CCRT joined the staff of the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County in 2011. She attended Colorado State University where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Originally from Boston, Dr. Fletcher grew up in Michigan. She has lived in California, Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, and even Perth, Australia. She lives in Mechanicsburg with her husband (also a veterinarian!) and daughter, their Heeler-Lab mix, Colbie, ...
  • Dr. Audrey  Zajac Photo
    Dr. Audrey Zajac
    Dr. Audrey Zajac joined the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County in July, 2013. She became interested in animals at a young age, spending her summers working on her grandparents’ dairy farm and riding horses at 12 years old. Dr. Zajac attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and headed off to Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn, AL. After graduation, she returned to PA in 2009 where she worked with dogs, cats, and horses ...
  • Dr. Whitney  Wolfgang Photo
    Dr. Whitney Wolfgang
    Dr. Whitney Wolfgang joined the Animal Hospital of Dauphin County in June 2016. Growing up in Hummelstown, PA, Dr. Wolfgang always knew she wanted to work with animals in some capacity. Early in her college career, she fell in love with veterinary medicine. She graduated from Towson University in Maryland with a dual degree in Biology and Animal Behavior. She traveled to South Africa for a veterinary experience with local community outreach and wildlife veterinary medicine. Dr. Wolfgang earned ...
  • Dr. Lloyd V.  Reitz, Jr. Photo
    Dr. Lloyd V. Reitz, Jr.
    Dr. Lloyd V. Reitz, Jr. grew up on his family’s fourth-generation dairy farm in Shamokin, PA. In addition to caring for cows, he grew up with a wide variety animals, including horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, and even a couple of emus. Dr. Reitz pursued a degree in Biology from Messiah College, graduating in 2001. He then continued his education at Bucknell University, obtaining a Master’s of Science in Cellular Biology in 2004. After receiving his M.S., he moved to Richmond, VA, and ...
  • Dr. Jamie  Putt Photo
    Dr. Jamie Putt
    Dr. Jamie Putt is a native of Harrisburg, PA. She obtained her B.S. in Animal Bioscience from Pennsylvania State University in 2001. She attended veterinary school at Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and obtained her D.V.M. in 2005. Dr. Putt is a current active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry, the mission of which is to educate the public about the importance of oral health in animals. Her special ...
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