A Tampa-based company that built its reputation around transporting pets -- from tiny birds to giant horses -- across country when families move is adding jobs and expanding services due to growing demand.
Air Animal Pet Movers
transports an average of 2,000 pets, mostly dogs and cats, each year. The company currently employs 15 staff, including two added recently. They also are outgrowing their 3,600-square-foot location on W. Cypress Street on Tampa and are looking for a new location.
Founded in 1969 by practicing veterinarian Walter Woolf and his late wife, Millie, Air Animal thrives by providing peace of mind while managing the moving process from start to finish. Moving anytime anywhere with a pet can be stressful, Woolf says, from researching the safest travel option to booking the actual accommodations.
In the beginning, as part of his veterinary practice, Woolf worked with local airlines to provide services for pets arriving at night. In 1977, the company incorporated as a full service pet travel agency.
The company organizes pick-up of a pet at a residence or airport, handles all of the associated airline reservations and required paperwork, and ultimately delivers the pet to the final destination – whether it be a residence or an airport pick-up. They have transported pets to and from destinations across the world, from Lima, Peru to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Woolf’s experience with and knowledge about the relationship between pets and family members was the basis for getting into the business. He wanted to provide the safest, most humane way to minimize stress on families during relocation. "Today, the pet is a very, very cherished member of the family," says Woolf, Founder and Managing Director.
The company recently received the 2014 Impact Award from CARTUS, a relocation network they have been working with since 1994. The honor recognizes innovation and outstanding customer service.