Travel agent’s pet project leads to canine sideline

Anna Roberto, the founder of Bertie Travel, has developed a pet transport service after helping reunite two cocker spaniels with their owners on the other side of the Atlantic.

She said her experience of transporting the pups from the UK to the US during the pandemic opened the gates to many “furry passengers” and she now has a steady flow of similar requests.

The initial request came from a family who caught the last flight available to their hometown in Miami as the pandemic took hold last year.

Sadly, they had been forced to leave behind the spaniels, Coco and Sandy, and so they called on Bertie Travel, which is affiliated to Protravel International.

“At the time of request, denial for animal transport was widely accepted,” said Roberto.

“However, after hearing how sorely missed the pups were, I made it my personal mission to reunite the children with their furry friends.”

It took a week to organise vaccines, pet passports, blood tests, chipping, kennel stays, handler forms, airport controls and arrival documentation before American Airlines could take Coco and Sandy from the UK to the US.

“I insisted that all pet handlers personally sent me pictures and video footage of the pair at each stage of the journey to reassure me that they were being properly cared for,” she said.

“I, of course, shared these pictures with my clients.”

Her clients said: “In what was a very challenging time, she committed all of her energy and truly went above and beyond the call of duty to find a way to fly our two beloved cocker spaniels.

“Not only did she arrange for them to fly on the plane, she organised the courier to pick them up and transit them through Heathrow and Miami airport.

“Even though the regulations were changing on a daily basis, Bertie [Anna Roberto] stayed on top of everything and kept us informed about what was happening.”

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