How To Become An Animal Transporter

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How To Become An Animal Transporter

The rescue world is in need of animal transporters (also called pet transporters) every day.

This is a great opportunity to earn a little extra income while doing good for the animal rescue community.

Oh, and there is the added bonus of being able to snuggle furry friends.

Keep in mind, this is also an opportunity to do good by donating your time as a pet transporter time too.

What Is An Animal Rescue Transporter?

animal transporter in a jeep

These critical wonderful humans transport pets all over the country.

Animal rescue groups are always looking for drivers to help bring animals from high-kill shelters to foster homes.

Pet transporters can also help with more local transportation needs like bringing pets to veterinary appointments or adoption events.

They will use their own car or van to transport these animals where they need to go.

Some requests may be local while others may be inter-state requests.

In New Jersey for example, we often bring up dogs from southern states where adoptions may not be as high as they are here.

By having someone drive animals up here to be adopted, it can mean the difference between life or death for an animal.

Check out our other jobs for animal lovers!

How To Become An Animal Rescue Transporter

Most rescues do not have too many requirements to become an animal transporter.

Below are a few things you should have though:

A reliable method of transportation – car, van, etc.

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Valid and clean driver’s license
  • Auto insurance
  • Ability to lift animals into the vehicle
  • Patience with fearful and possibly aggressive animals

Will A Rescue Pay Me To Transport Animals?

Yes! You may be surprised to know that you can in fact get paid to transport animals.

While some rescues do ask that people donate their time, others that have bigger budgets and more resources are willing to pay.

Many pet transporters may get paid anywhere from .50 cents to .75 cents per mile.

While you can negotiate higher rates, but keep in mind you are working to help organizations that have little funding these days.

Non-Rescue Pet Transporters

Maybe you want to do pet transport more than a rescue needs you.

Or maybe you want to make it more a career than just a once-in-a-while job.

Well, there is more opportunity out there than just for rescue needs.

We know that there is no shortage of pets that have been killed in-flight on airlines.

So, now there is a need more than ever for people to have their pets safely transported to locations without putting them at risk on an airline.

Pet owners are looking to for reliable animal-lovers that are willing to bring Fido or Fluffy from a specific starting point to an end point safely.

How To Become A Professional Pet Transporter

If you are not interested in working with animal rescues, that is OK!

There is a lot of need from pet owners as well who are looking to transport their pets safely to different locations.

So, let’s cover the basics of how you can get started in this job.

  • Pick a business name
  • Register your business name
  • Get an EIN (employee identification number)
  • Register as an LLC to protect your personal assets from your business (check with your state to ensure you are covering yourself properly)
  • Apply for a USDA transport license which will give you an edge when applying for jobs

Once you have done the above you then have a few choices for getting business.

If you are doing your own thing, you can create a website and Facebook page and start spreading the word that you are available.

You can use a platform like CitizenShipper that will allow you to bid on different projects.

We have provided more details on this below.

You can look for jobs on websites like Indeed or ZipRecruiter to look for full or part time opportunities near you.

Organizations like ASPCA’s, pet transport companies and even doggie daycares may have opportunities.


citizenshipper interface

CitizenShipper offers you the opportunity to list yourself as a designated animal transporter and begin quoting transportation requests from users.

They even offer a full course on Teachable to help you get setup and offer tips for success.

As a pet transporter you can choose to work full-time or part-time and create a schedule that works for your lifestyle.

Becoming a transporter on CitizenShipper can help you find opportunities and it is easy to join.

While CitizenShipper is a platform to ship anything you can think of, the animal transportation is definitely a big one.

Wondering how much animal transporters can make?

Here are a few animal transports listed on the website and amounts paid to the drivers.

  • American bully from Green Acres, FL to Aurora IL for $475
  • 2 labradoodles from Wilmington, DE to Little Elm, TX for $700
  • Cats from Jeffersonton, VA to Woodlands, TX for $600

These are longer transports which would require an overnight stay, so there is a cost for the hotel and of course gas.

But still not a bad payday for a day or 2 of work.

If you have a camper for transportation, then you have even more profit.

How CitizenShippers Works

Simply sign up and enter your contact information and driver’s license details.

CitizenShipper does offer a driver onboarding team to help you improve your chance of success on their platform.

When a request is made in your area, you will receive a notification about it and you can contact the customer to ask for additional information.

Once you have everything you need you can make a bid.

Once a transport is complete drivers will then be rated and reviewed.

Important: Every transporter is screened and has a background check done to ensure there are no felonies or driving record issues.

Addresses and provided details are verified by CitizenShipper as an added level of security for their customers.

CitizenShipper offers a 3 month free trial and a 30 day money-back guarantee. The subscription fee is $29.99 per month.

International Pet And Animal Transportation Association

If you are interested in starting as a pet transporter then joining this organization is a good step.

You must first be legally registered as a business in your state, county, province or city.

You will need to provide proof you are a registered business when you apply for membership.

The International Pet and Transportation Association (IPATA) offers potential transporters the opportunity to be registered as a professional animal transporter on their website.

It also offers mentorship opportunities to help those that are new to the industry build their practices and business policies.

It offers everything a pet transporter needs to ensure their business is meeting with regulations.

There are state specific pages that talk about the needs each state has for transporting animals to help you prevent any legal issues from occurring.

Jill Caren CharityPaws

Jill Caren

Jill is an avid animal lover who spends her time helping animal rescues by photographing homeless pets and through her work on CharityPaws.

She is currently owned by Cleo, an American Pit Bull Terrier and Snoopy Cat. Her inspiration comes from her girls Ginger and Riley (RIP) – pit mix sisters who were loved family members for almost 15 years.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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