Hedgehog Shipping Policy

To only way to ship hedgehogs is through an airline. It is NOT possible to deliver mammals of any kind with the US Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, or any other similar shipping company – this is a federal USDA law. If you live in NC or SC or even elsewhere on the East Coast, we offer delivery on a limited basis. Please see the Hedgehog Delivery Policy page for more information about this possibility.

We have been shipping hedgehogs and other exotic animals on airlines for more than 20 years and have found it to be very safe shipping on an airline and no more stressful than driving them for an equal amount of time. Hedgehogs do very well shipping despite what some sources may say.

Shipping with an Airline within the US:

Shipping on an airline is available at the buyer’s expense within the United States. We prefer to ship within the United States using United Airlines PetSafe Cargo since this airline guarantees the animals will be kept in climate controlled areas at all times. We will not ship on any other airline in very cold or hot weather and if the temperature for either the departing or arriving destination is too hot or cold we will have to reschedule the flight. As a part of this service, United Airlines must use their larger planes that have room in the cockpit with the pilots for the animals in their crates. Thus, the number of flights are limited per day and only go to MAJOR International Airports.

Because United Airlines does not have as many available flights that can accommodate animals as other airlines, only MAJOR US continental cities (and Anchorage, Alaska) are possible destinations and the times are limited as well (no weekend flights are possible). The cost of shipping with United Airlines Pet Safe Cargo has recently gone down! The total cost to ship with United Airlines within the US is now only $150 without a health certificate or $210 with a health certificate. A health certificate is not required to ship hedgehogs within the US, so this is only needed if the buyer requests it.

If you need the hedgehog(s) shipped to a smaller airport or if the times won’t work for us to ship using United Airlines then the other possibility is to use Delta Cargo. The total cost to use Delta Cargo would start at $280 without a health certificate and $330 with a health certificate. However, Delta requires a “DASH” rate to be charged if the connecting flights are within 2 hours of each other which adds $110 to the cost. The total cost is not known until we book the flight and booking is only allowed within 2 weeks of departure.

Shipping cost is determined by the total weight of the animals and the crate they are shipped in combined. Generally, it is possible to ship up to 5 or 6 babies for the lowest price – older animals weigh more and thus fewer can be shipped for the same price. The weight limit for the prices quoted above is 9 lbs. including the weight of the crate. The next weight limit is up to 50 lbs. and generally costs $50 to $150 more depending on the airline, but this is not a quote and the exact additional cost will need to be determined at the time of shipping.

If you need to ship 2 adult males (over 3 months old) or males and females together in the same crate, then the crate can be divided in half for an additional cost of $20.

Shipping to Canada:

We have shipped to Canada many times and the air fares are similar to the US prices (however we have not shipped to Canada since United lowered their prices so we would have to contact the airline to see what the rates are currently for Canada.) Canada does require a vet inspection upon arrival at the airport which is an additional cost that the buyer will need to pay and find out the details about (in the past it has been an additional $100, but costs may have gone up recently). A health certificate is also required to ship to Canada. The current cost for us to get a health certificate in NC is $60.

Shipping to Other Countries other than Canada:

We have shipped international in the past, but laws are getting stricter making it more difficult. It is up to the buyer to find out all the laws of their country in regards to importing hedgehogs before contacting us. We will only ship to other countries (other than Canada) if the buyer is purchasing at least 6 hedgehogs. To ship internationally, the receiving country often requires added health tests (salmonella cultures, etc.) which add to the total cost. And many times there are vet health inspections up entry or quarantine periods required which all adds to the cost of shipping internationally. The buyer is responsible for all costs (even if the attempt to ship is unsuccessful do to strict receiving country standards.)

To ship internationally we must ship the hedgehogs from our closest city of Charlotte, NC to a major city such as New York or Chicago and then they are transferred to an international airline depending on the final destination. So the cost will be for the domestic US flight (and to pay for someone in one of those cities to physically take the hedgehogs to the international terminal and to the USDA office located at those larger airports (we know many people in either of those cities that can do this for us, but we would not ask them to this for free – the handling fee would be based on their time, driving expenses, and any parking/toll fees.)

Shipping with a ground, pet service:

We are no longer offering ground delivery with a separate company due to some bad experiences lately. We have never been thrilled with the service provided by any of the companies we have used. For the most part, the hedgehogs are put in vans (often minivans) that are packed with other dogs and cats that are barking and meowing which is stressful for a hedgehog. The services are also not easy to schedule with and are often days later than originally planned. And it takes days for them to drive between states since they are stopping often to walk dogs and meet up with other people who are picking up their pets or putting them on the vans. We recently had a bad experience where the hedgehogs were not offered water and were extremely dehydrated upon arrival and needed vet care (we were not even offered a refund which is very poor service). We definitely prefer to use an airline (United is our preferred carrier) since it much less stressful and faster for the hedgehogs and much more convenient for the humans’ planning.

Contact Us for more information about shipping with any of these methods.

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