By Kim Betts…
Summer is very nearly here and it has been a busy spring for KAR Pet Travel with an even busier summer coming so it seems.
The Spring Imports – all wanting to get here before the summer heat – came from a variety of destinations Russia, Turkey, USA, UAE, India, EU and UK to name just a few. Many flew in on Turkish Airlines flights with their owners and often the Customs hall at Ercan resounded with excited barks as the dogs saw their owners after being parted from them during the flight.
Others (cats and small dogs) were carefully carried into the Customs hall by owners who had flown with their beloved pets by their side (or feet) in the cabin.
Customs officials and airport staff are still often amazed at the distances some of the pets have travelled and yet they arrive often excited and happy – rarely do we hear a growl, hiss or screech.
KAR Pet Travel representatives (meeting incoming pets) are regularly approached by other travellers wanting to know why there are cats/dogs/birds in the Customs hall. For some it may be the closest that they have been to a dog/cat/bird and their questions are wide and varied. These travelling pets show them that animals can be part of the family and are very much loved – something, sadly, that many travellers had not realised or thought of before. Many a time after speaking to us and the pet owners we have responses such as “I did not know that you could bring animals here“, ” I did not think that they would survive a flight” and “How can I bring mine” and so it goes on. It is a real learning curve for some – one that they have learnt via KAR Pet Travel, our travelling pets and their owners.
Other pets fly into Larnaca or Paphos and are, after being cleared at the airport by colleagues in RoC, transported into TRNC and delivered home by KAR Pet Travel. During the entry process at the border we are often approached by the public with questions. It seems that there is nothing like a large dog in a large box to attract their attention!
Their questions are answered but we always ensure that, although they may be able to see the pets in their boxes in the van, they cannot touch or pester them – they are still strangers, however well meaning and inquisitive! The welfare of the pets is paramount and we do all that we can to minimise any stress for them.
The delivery to their new home can sometimes cause us more stress than the rest of the import process. It is often dark and we are trying to find properties following directions made during daylight hours. The road signs cannot be seen, landmarks are not easily visible in the pitch black, there have been new roads and properties built after the directions were written.
However, the one thing remains the same wherever we are – there will be lights ablaze at home, owners will be pacing up and down either inside the property or as they hear/see us approaching outside in the road. They are desperate to be reunited with their pets. All they want is for their pet to be out and have cuddles – lots of them. They know that they have been well looked after during their journey and will have had updates, but it is not the same as physically seeing them finally here in their new home in the TRNC.
Often after we have finished with the formalities and have said our goodbyes there is a tear in my eyes as we drive away. But it is a HAPPY tear at the very real and HAPPY scene that we are leaving behind.
We have loved meeting our spring import pets and owners and we look forward to meeting those travelling with us in the summer and autumn.
Kyrenia Animal Rescue (KAR), our charity animal Rescue Centre is high in the Besparmak Mountains of Northern Cyprus which provides refuge for over 200 dogs and cats.
KAR rely solely on donations for funding, please help us to help the animals of Northern Cyprus. Bank Details: HSBC Sort Code: 40-21-02 Account Number: 11364812