Now that we’ve turned the page on the challenging year that was 2020, we thought we’d give you a sneak peak behind the scenes at Animalcouriers. It’s also an opportunity for our directors to give a shout out to the whole team, who’ve shown phenomenal dedication, creativity and even courage to keep pets on the move.
Our office team. When Covid struck, our office team — Lesley, Theresa and Natalie — had to become used to working from home. They’ve worked flat out, dealing with an increase in enquiries that often finds them at their desks in the evenings and at weekends, providing help and information to as many people as possible.
The pandemic situation means that some of our clients were naturally very worried. Our office team have continued to do their best to keep everyone calm, and to organise the best available pet transport as many of our preferred options slipped away.
The team also had to quickly learn about PPE and how to get hold of it in the quantities needed by our couriers to make Covid-safe collections and deliveries.
Pets travelling by air. As people scrambled to get themselves and their pets home during lockdowns and quarantines, we were faced with last-minute changes and cancellations as airlines were hit hard. Our airfreight specialists had to be super flexible, rebooking flights and switching routes to help ensure pets got where they needed to be as smoothly as possible. Some of those changes were literally last minute, with a courier already on the way to deliver or collect a pet having to divert, say, from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Schiphol in Amsterdam.
Pets on our road trips. Our couriers Glenn, Shane, Ryan, Ricardo, Paul, Helen, Christine and Richard have shown amazing levels of patience. The difficulties of getting in and out of Calais brought the boredom of long queues and concerns about how pets were coping during enforced waits at some European borders.
Border control staff — usually so helpful — struggled with a raft of new and ever-changing Covid-related rules. We experienced lengthy delays at key Channel crossing points in particular — with a day-long wait to cross from Calais to Folkestone on Eurotunnel becoming the norm, as trains were cancelled owing to lack of demand.
Two of our couriers crossing to the continent just before Christmas were caught up in long queues at Portsmouth as the French government imposed a snap 48-hour ban on anyone entering France from the UK. Our couriers saw how frustrating the situation was for many lorry drivers who were trying to get back to their home countries for Christmas. Once the border reopened to hauliers with negative Covid tests, our couriers were able to get going — but it meant they spent Christmas Day driving through France and Italy instead of celebrating with friends and family in Greece.
It’s all about teamwork
Throughout all the trials and tribulations of 2020, we saw our colleagues keep their cool and stay focused on the welfare of the pets in their care. Everyone came together as a team, with our couriers supporting one another and sharing their experiences.
We also appreciated the support of our partner ecosystem — kennels, catteries, airport clearance specialists, pet taxis, vets and more — whose help enabled us to continue collecting and delivering pets worldwide and assuring happy reunions throughout what proved to be an extraordinary year.