Archive for September, 2017

No pet left behind. Royal Caribbean comes to the rescue for 4-legged stranded by storm

Sunday, September 17th, 2017


St. Martin – One of the heartbreaking aspects of any evacuation is everything that must be left behind. And in the wake of Hurricane Irma, people across the Caribbean were being asked to make a singularly painful sacrifice: evacuate without their pets.
For many, it wasn’t a choice at all. After Hurricane Irma left St. Martin in shambles, Jack Schultz, 38, said he had to turn down two military evacuation flights and the offer of a boat ride because they wouldn’t let him take his mutts, Tillie and Corbin, with him.
That changed, however, as Miami-based Royal Caribbean International began offering an exit, pets included. The Majesty of the Seas — occupancy 2,767 two-legged guests — was rerouted to pick up evacuees in the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Martin, the shared Dutch-French island in the Caribbean.

Read the whole story at the Miami Herald…

As Hurricane Irma hit, this hotel opened its doors — and sheltered nearly 1,000 dogs

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

As many Floridians prepared to evacuate their homes in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, some dog owners didn’t know what to do with their furry friends at first.

But thanks to one hotel in Orlando, they didn’t have to make a tough decision.
Over 800 dogs became temporary guests at the Hyatt Regency Orlando last weekend as Irma, then a Category 5 storm with viciously fast wind speeds, barreled toward the state, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

Aside from the high volume of pups, it’s nothing new for the hotel.

“We’re always dog-friendly,” hotel manager Kevin Kennedy said to the Sentinel.

There were some attractions for the human guests, as well, including a multipurpose room with a pool table, games and movies.
In an email to The Dodo, a marketing manager for the hotel wrote that the cleaning fee for guests with pets was lowered from $150 to just $50 as Irma neared Florida. “We proudly welcomed over 4,500 guests and over 900 dogs during Hurricane Irma,” wrote Katie Satava, the marketing manager.

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Phoenix Sky Harbor to soothe stressed travelers with therapy dogs

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Travelers frazzled by long lines and delays, anxious about flying or simply missing their mutt have a new ally at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: therapy dogs.

Beginning Monday, trained therapy dogs will roam Terminal 4 with their owners under a pilot program modeled after popular pet therapy programs at dozens of airports across the country and in Canada.

The Navigator Buddies program, staffed by volunteers and their certified therapy dogs, is an offshoot of Sky Harbor’s 17-year-old Navigator volunteer program.
Instead of purple jackets, the Navigator Buddies will wear purple vests. The vests will say “pet me” so travelers, airport workers and visitors know they can approach them, unlike police or TSA dogs.

Misty Cisneros-Contreras, Sky Harbor’s customer service manager, said the airport hopes the animals make passengers’ trips through the airport a little less taxing. The airport is already dog friendly, with pet parks and pet relief areas.
“We’re really just hoping to create a positive travel experience for our travelers,” she said.  “We understand the airport is a unique place that sometimes does provide a stressful situation.”

For the full story and a video