British expats warned over Spanish pet transportation scam

British expats warned over Spanish pet transportation scam

British expats warned over Spanish pet transportation scam

If you’re emigrating to Spain and can’t bear to leave your beloved pets behind, beware of social media recommendations for pet transportation companies.

For British would-be expatriates whose dogs and cats are their beloved family, ensuring they’re able to be transported safely is one of the trickiest aspects of moving overseas. Pet transportation is now big business, but choosing the right company is important but can become a nightmare. Admittedly, social media can be useful as regards recommendations by past users but, as with almost everything online, seeing is believing and checking for genuine reviews is essential.

As one furious cat-owner found, even checking wasn’t enough when she needed transportation for her cat from London to her Spanish home. She’d contacted Pet Taxi Transport whilst getting ready to leave after seeing a recommendation on Facebook, and had checked further but found no negatives before she paid €300 in full for the service. Subsequent refusals by owner Jeremy Griffiths to provide his basic company information caused his client to check further, finding damning local media articles covering several years including incidents where dogs had died.

Immediately cancelling her order, she demanded a refund without success and has now reported the Malaga-based business to the police after using another, reputable pet transport company. Subsequently, media reports noted one expat’s dog had died and another customer reported his three dogs had been transported in a van with holes drilled in the floor for air. As a result of the scandal, a reputable pet transportation firm is advising pet owners on how to spot a scam or behaviour which puts much-loved pets at risk.

Checking the legality of a Spanish-registered business is the first step, including insisting on seeing a hard copy of the form’s Transporter Authorisation and, if using a UK company, its Type2 number. If the license doesn’t show a validation, walking away is the wise choice, and verifying your pet’s passport may also be necessary.

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