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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have looked through all the posts in this forum and didn’t find what I was looking for, hopefully someone can help me out! I have to take a 6 hour flight across Canada at the end of September, with my hedgehog Kenya. Westjet’s policy states that hedgehogs are not allowed in the cabin, cargo only. (My flight is booked with Westjet, but Aircanada has the same policy anyways.) My vet said that there is no way Kenya is healthy enough to fly in the cargo, it’s too cold, loud, and stressful. As some of you may know Kenya is getting old (around 5 yrs) is displaying the first signs of WHS, she also has had two tumors removed in the past year, the most recent one being just 2 weeks ago. So overall she’s fairly old and frail at this point, not the healthiest hog. I wouldn’t be travelling with her if it wasn’t necessary. I am moving home to be with my ill father for four months and there is no one here that can look after Kenya, she has to go with me. I am wondering if anyone can give me advice or suggestions on how I can get her there safely. I’ve contacted Westjet and pleaded with them a few times and received a very solid NO, in regards to changing their policy on hedgehogs being allowed in the cabin. I read on here that Westjet did make an exception for someone in Edmonton once in 2004, I brought this to their attention but they still refused. They suggested I look into animal transportation services. I figured the hedgehog community was the best place to start, as I don’t trust just anyone with my baby! Does anyone know any good companies that would take care of my sick girl while travelling?? She’s a rescue that I got about 5 years ago, and they didn’t know how old she was at the time so she’s a pretty old lady.

(Kenya would be going from Victoria, b.C. to anywhere near Toronto/Kitchener/London/ etc.)

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!
Shauna & Kenya
 

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Air Canada has actually just changed it's policy and is now allowing cats and dogs to travel in the cabin again http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/ ... /pets.html

It may be worth calling them to see if a hedgehog would be allowed - I can not see any reason why not.

If you can make the switch it would be so much less stressful for the both of you.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply! I just emailed Aircanada, hopfully it will be easy to switch flights if they happen to allow me to bring Kenya in the cabin!

Shauna & Kenya
 

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The cargo that the animals are in is climate controlled. Last December, three hedgies flew Westjet from Vancouver to Toronto. Their owner was on the flight but they were in cargo and they did fine. She was very pleased with the service and the way they were handled. Of course being in the cabin with you would be best for her. Hopefully Air Canada will allow it. A hedgehog would be less of a problem than a cat or dog. Certainly quieter. :lol:
 

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I spoke with Air Canada about this just a few days ago. They will not allow anything but small cats and dogs in the cabin, no exceptions. Also the cats and dogs have to be able to stand u in a 9 inch tall carrier with 1 inch between their back and the top of the carrier, so that would have to be a very small cat or a tiny dog. They wouldn't give me a reason why just that that is their policy and they will make no exceptions.
 

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Climate controlled only means the same temperature as in the cabin - I know I'm always cold on the plane.

Did you try Porter Airlines?
 

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Yes, climate controlled is the same as the cabin and an alternate heat source needs to be given just like it does at home.

The girls that I spoke of earlier had stick on heat pads stuck to a baby receiving blanket folded and put in the bottom of the carriers. Then they had fleece pads over top and lots of fleece to snuggle in. They were toasty warm upon arrival and this was the middle of winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello,

I am aware that the cargo is temperature controlled as is my vet. The temperature isn't my only concern, nor is it my vets. It's loud, and the animals get bumped around a lot in loading and unloading. My vet actually told me that Kenya SHOULD NOT go in the cargo; she said it's literally not an option for her, considering her health.

Since Westjet and Aircanada both won't work - does anyone know of any reputable animal transport services in Canada? I've only got a few weeks left to figure this out.

Thanks,

Shauna
 

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What about Via? I know it would greatly extend the trip length but you could be safer? They might even have an option to get a cabin or a bearth & keep the hedige with you.
 

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I would try and coordinate with rescues. Sometimes they have to move animals to different shelters or transport them to people. They might be willing to help you find a way to get your hedgehog to Toronto.
 

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Unfortunately, the rescues in western Canada are few and far between and I imagine arranging a train would be impossible. It would also be a very long stressful trip for her. Being on a noisey plane for a few hours would be preferable to days or a week of driving from person to person.

Via might be an option. Yes it would be a long trip but if you had a cabin she could be with you the whole time.
 

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Having just travelled across Canada by VIA Rail I can tell you what I know.

You would have to pay for a cabin for two in order to have enough room for the cage/portable home. The cage would then have to be on the bottom bunk and you on the top. You would need to have them leave the beds (at least the bottom bunk) made up during the day, otherwise they put them away into the wall and your hedgie cage would have to be on the floor. The vibrations through the floor may bother your hedgie and the metal clanging from the trains might also. It is very expensive to get a cabin and a berth or cabin for one is just large enough to lay down in and the berth only has a curtain. So no room for hedgie unless you get the cabin for two. The doors to the cabins cannot be locked either, so during the day anyone can wander into your room. The temperature is controlled by a small wall mounted fan and a "fresh air intake" vent that brings air in from outside. Some nights I found it very hot and other nights very cold.

Also, it takes 4 days to get to Toronto from Vancouver. It is very loud (I had to use earplugs to sleep and I am not usually bothered by noise) and the movement of the train is quite erratic and jerky at times. I am not sure they allow pets anyway, but even if they do it might not be your best bet. :(
 

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What about renting a car and driving?

It would take awhile (7-8 days) to get there maybe? Some car rental locations (Avis for sure and probably others) allow you to rent from one location and drop off in another. You would have to find some motels and stuff along the way, but at least you know Kenya will be safe.

Just an idea :)
 

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I looked into Porter Airlines out of curiosity...this is what i found

1. they only service Eastern Canada and US
2. this is their animal policy
Can I travel with my pet on Porter airlines?

Porter Airlines does not allow pets in-flight either checked or in the cabin. Service animals for special needs passengers are permitted providing the passenger has a service dog license. Please contact the Porter Call Centre to make service dog arrangements
 

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It would take about 3-4 days to drive from Victoria to Toronto, if you slept a little every night. On the bus it takes about 2.5 days, not that you could take a bus with the hedgie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hello,

Thank you to everyone for the replies. Unfortunatly at this point it's too late to change the way *I* travel, I have a flight booked with WestJet for the end of the month.

What is the best way for me to get into contact with rescues across Canada?

Thank you again,

Shauna & Kenya
 

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Rescues in Canada are few and far between and it is highly doubtful you would be able to arrange a train for her as the distances are too great. http://www.hedgehogwelfare.org/
There are only rescues in Alberta and Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Everyone,

Looks like the reply I wrote a while ago didn't go through!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I did everything possible to get Kenya in the cabin with me, my uncle even knows the owner of WestJet by name, but he said it wasn't even worth asking him because they're so set on this policy. But he ensured me that he's seen the animal cargo area and its warm, pressure controlled, even quieter I think. I'm still really worried about her, as my vet didn't think that I should put her in cargo. I plan on putting two 12 hour heat packs in the bottom of the carrier with blankets over top, plus a few small bankies to hide under, and her favorite hat.

Can anyone reccomend where to get rescue remedy and how much to use? I was thinking of giving her some before and after the flight.

Kenya will probably only be making this flight once. While I am flying back to BC in january, I imagine (and so does my vet) that she won't be around at that point. Her WHS is progressing very fast, she was just starting to knuckle with her back legs a few months ago, and now she falls over several times while making her way across her cage. Shes losing weight and quills at a rapid rate, I'm trying to make more fresh food for her as she's not as interested in her dry food and it doesnt seem to be keeping enough weight on her. The vet also said that she has a mass in her abdomen that isn't related to WHS. My little girl is going down hill fast, hopfully I can make her last few months comfortable.


Shauna & Kenya
 

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I'm sure she'll be fine on the plane with some mitten warmers and lots of fleece. You can get rescue remedy at health food and natural products stores.

I've only had one with WHS but I Cinder lasted almost a year from when she started to tip over. I found she went downhill in spurts. She'd be the same for a couple of months and then suddenly go down but would then stay at that level for more months. Hopefully she will remain the same for many months.

Wishing you both a safe trip.
 
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