Pet Airways Founders Dan & Alysa
Where do you live? When we’re not traveling as we run Pet Airways, we live in Florida.
What do you do? Our goal with Pet Airways was to create a safe and comfortable alternative to flying pets in cargo. We want to be able to provide this service to all the pets in the country.
We are also working on ways to help pets in shelters find forever homes. We’re disturbed by the euthanasia of so many pets and have dedicated our Pet Airways resources to helping end this awful tragedy.
What’s the best part of your jobs? When we see that we have made a difference for a pet and a pet parent. Seeing the pets come off the plane, happy—and knowing that we took great care of them.
Tell us about your own pet. We lost Zoe, our Jack Russell, last year at the age of 18½ . We were and continue to be devastated by it. We cannot bring ourselves to have another pet yet. It’s too emotionally hard. But we do have another dog in the family—Motzie. He is Dan’s sister's family dog; a 1-year-old toy Yorkie. We tend to spoil him.
What were some of Zoe’s favorite thing to do? Zoe's favorite activities were to sunbathe and swim. It was really hard to get her out of the pool. Sometimes, she’d come to the door, bark at us to get us to watch her and take a flying run-and-leap into the pool—and paddle away. When she was younger, she would swim for two hours at time. In later years, we would only let her in the pool with her life vest. We wanted her to be able to enjoy the pool and know she was safe.
What was your favorite way to spend a weekend with Zoe? Zoe went everywhere with us. We used to go on road trips and she would sit up in the middle armrest and help navigate. She loved when we’d go to drive-thru restaurants, KFC was her favorite special-occasion treat. Give her four chicken strips and life was good!
What was your favorite place to vacation with Zoe? We liked going to the mountains with her. We would go on short hikes and look for places where she could jump into a stream or lake.
What are your must-pack pet essentials for a day trip or weekend away? Definitely water and a bowl. We didn't have to worry about much else with Zoe. She was very well behaved, would not run off, and listened to our requests to come, stay, etc. She did need her rubber chicken, her favorite toy, though. We didn't tell her, but we went through about 20 rubber chickens. She thought they were all the same, but she was rough on those poor rubber chickens! So we kept replacing them.
If your pet was a movie star, who would they be and why? Zoe is sort of a movie star. As the Chief Executive Pet of Pet Airways, she became famous when we launched our service. You can find her in our commercial, on TV footage about the company, and in many print and online stories about Pet Airways.
What’s your top pet-travel tip? Don't be afraid to include your pet with you when you travel or go out for the day. Most pets are very flexible, will accommodate themselves to your needs and to the environment. It’s a great way to share your life. The only thing I would say is: please don't put your pet in cargo. Cargo is no place for your best friend.