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Ground transportation is a service provided by USDA licensed persons who schedule routes across the continental US and pick up/drop off animals along the way. Essentially, they pick up your hedgehog at my door and then bring it to you. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about ground transport:
We currently work with three companies: KD, Tiggywinkle Transport, and Paws n Claws. I have shipped multiple animals with each of these companies and I trust them with my babies. They all are experienced with hedgehogs (an a variety of other animals) and know how to ensure their comfort and safety. We will provide a transport cage, food/water dishes, a snuggle bag, extra bedding, and extra food (cost $10). Here are the general price quotes for each transporter:
KD: $140 for up to 4 animals, plus $10 for the transport cage. So, it would total $150 for up to four, when adding the cost of transport plus cage. Health certificate is optional with KD; my vet charges $30 for the paperwork fee plus $40 exam per hedgie.
Tiggywinkle Transport: $150 per hedgehog, plus $10 for the travel cage. Totaling transport fee and cage, it would cost $160 for one hedgehog, $310 for two hedgehogs, or $460 for three.
Paws N Claws: $150 for up to four hedgehogs, plus they require a health certificate. Our vet currently charges $30 for the paperwork fee plus $40 per hedgehog for the exam. Totaling transport fee, cage, and health certificate, it would cost $220 for one hedgehog, $260 for two hedgehogs, or $300 for three. Paws N Claws work closely with Holm Small Animal Transport, whose range covers most of the US. The base cost for Holm is $160, with cage and heath certificate requirements same as Paws N Claws.
Each of the transporters cover slightly different parts of the country. They do not transport to places where hedgehogs are not legal so please do not ask. KD covers most of the US, other than the northeast past NY. Paws n Claws tend to cover the central parts of the country, though they also sometimes include routes a little further east or west. Tiggywinkle are based out of Dallas and transport within about a 600 mile radius of the DFW area, so we are on the northern end of their range.
If you would like to schedule to have a hedgehog transported to you, your first step is to message Hedgehog Valley to let me know what hedgehog you would like and where you will need it transported. I will contact the transporter of your choice first, and let you know who looks like they will have a route going your direction first.
When I have confirmed that there is a route that is being planned your direction within the next month, I will confirm. At that time, you will need to provide me with your name. address, and phone number for the transporter and for my USDA paperwork. Then, you will have 7 days to complete your reservation by making full payment for the hedgehog(s) and transport related expenses. Once payment is made, I will pay the transporter and provide them with your contact information, and confirm with you when it is completed.
The next thing that we do is what I call the waiting game, while we wait for the route to be scheduled. KD has a FaceBook Group (On the Road Updates) you can join to watch as routes develop. Paws n Claws uses messenger group chats that you can request added to, in order to follow their routes. Tiggywinkle Transport are a small company so your animal may be the only one on their route and you can message them directly through their Facebook.
Sometimes routes are added quickly, if your path is on an existing route with space. Sometimes it takes up to a month waiting for a route to form. The transporters are very busy and carry many animals. They sometimes have to deal with delays due to weather, cars breaking down, traffic, and health. They are making sure that all animals in their care are getting safely to their destinations and they will take the same care with your hedgehog. We have to be very patient during this time.
When I see the route posted that I will be sending your animal on, I will message you as soon as I know. Sometimes routes are only done two or three days at a time, so I might only know the date the hedgie will be leaving me at first, and will update as soon as I know the estimated time for arrival to you.
On the anticipated arrival day, you will need to make sure that an adult is present to sign for and receive the hedgehog. KD typically has a single driver at a time, so deliveries are generally between 8 am and 10 pm. Tiggywinkle and Paws n Claws may have two drivers per car so their deliveries may arrive in the wee hours of the night.
If you have to be somewhere else when your hedgie is scheduled to arrive, then make sure that you have someone at your home or that you let the transporter know in advance that the delivery will have to go to an alternate location. The transporter will text or call you when they are getting close so that you know to be ready. If they are running early or late, please do not be upset with them as many things happen on the road over which they have no control.
When you receive your hedgehog, you will be asked to sign paperwork indicating that you received your hedgehog. It is appropriate to tip your transporter and they do appreciate snacks. Be sure to visually inspect your hedgehog as soon as it arrives to ensure that everything is well. If you have any concerns, let the transporter know. They do have experience with hedgehogs and know what is and is not normal. If there is a problem, the transporter can call me so we can take care of any issues immediately.
Please be sure to leave feedback on our FaceBook page and post update pictures for us occasionally- we love to see our babies getting spoiled rotten in their new homes. And of course, please message us any time you have questions or need support!
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