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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 do most of our transport with KD Critters and Transport, J & T 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 travel dishes, a snuggle bag, extra bedding, and extra food. Here are the general price quotes for each transporter:
KD Critters and Transport: $200 for up to four hedgehogs, plus $10 for the transport supplies. So, it would total $210 for up to four. KD requires prepayment at time of booking, paid via the breeder. Health certificate is optional with KD; my vet charges $30 for the paperwork fee plus $50 exam per hedgie.
J & T Transport: $200 per hedgehog, plus $10 for the travel cage, for up to four. Totaling transport fee and cage, it would cost $210 for up to four hedgehog. When using J & T, the $10 for travel supplies is paid to the breeder. $50 is due to J & T at the time of booking, then the reamaining $150 is due at the time of delivery. Health Certificate is optional.
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 $50 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.
In addition, we have a local courier who offers a regional special of $75 for animals delivered within about 125 one way miles of our home base in Iola, KS: this includes Tulsa, Springfield, Kansas City, and Wichita. He will deliver as far as St. Louis or Oklahoma City for $200. No health certificate required.
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 transporters, and let you know who looks like they will have a route going your direction first. There is waiting involved in this step as the transporters aren't able to message when on the road, and taking care of the animals each night can mean they are too tired to answer messages that don't require immediate reponse.
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 and Menagerie Express are small companies 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. Deliveries are generally between 8 am and 10 pm, but not always.
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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