Vet Candy a fresh resource for Veterinarians reached out to Dr Nelva Bryant of When Pets Fly in September 2020 to interview her about the unique approach to service animals in this industry. Recognized as "The Pet Travel Expert", Dr Bryant is often contacted to consult, provide tips and guidance a to best practices with animals flying. You can read the conversation below.
Air travel for pets has come a long way in recent years. After the industry faced criticism for several pet deaths that garnered media attention, many airlines began looking for ways to ensure pet travel was as safe as possible.
Since 2018, Dr. Nelva Bryant has been the veterinarian in charge of making changes to air travel for Delta Air Lines. Her efforts have made pet travel a more comfortable and safe way for pets to get to their destination safe and sound. Part of her role was to look at the pet's experience of travel, and find ways to make it easier on the animal in question in order to reduce the stress of flying as much as possible.
She's also one of the few veterinarian's out there with the unique skill set needed for this kind of job. She has experience in pathology, small animal care, and also with the regulations set down by the CDC thanks to past experience working in their quarantine branch.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit the travel industry hard, and she was laid off due to the drastic drop in air travel caused by the pandemic. While she does hope to return to Delta Air Lines when the travel industry stabilizes, she is determined to continue helping pets as much as possible in the mean time.
Today, Dr. Nelva is doing so through her new startup, DVM Transportation Consultants. Through her consultation firm, she not only helps airlines but also vets and pet owners navigate pet travel safely. Although only rabies certification is required coming into the United States, pets can accidentally bring novel diseases to the US. Full vaccinations and treatment for parasites can help reduce the risk of this transmission, just one important example of changes that should be made.
Moving from the United States to another country has challenges of its own. This is a much needed field due to the extremely confusing nature of pet travel. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out, and even if something isn't required by law, you may worry there are things that need to be done to keep your pet safe. Should you microchip your pet? What vaccinations do you need? What diagnostic tests are important?
These can run anywhere between optional or required depending on where you are moving to. In some cases, you may not even be able to find out what the requirements of moving are without contacting an embassy. Dr. Nelva's role is to help pets make it to their destination as safely and smoothly as possible.
She can help research what is required for moving the pet, make recommendations for the individual animals, or help suggest large scale changes for big companies. She can also help navigate newer changes in place due to Covid-19, and help companies and owners keep abreast of changes while they travel to their destination.
Her hope is to help continue to make pet travel safe through this crisis, and beyond.
Follow her journey on Linked In.