For a shipping container all you need is a dog crate. If you have two pigs that don't get along you can divide the crate (at least if you fly united you can). You will need to get health certificates for all of your pigs, up to 5 can go on one certificate. It cost me $200 for the exams and the certificate. It was 96.70 at my vet for the cert. and 35.95 for the special exam. You will need 2 different types of health certs. 1 that is bilingual for the Germans and one that is just english for the airline. You have to provide the bilingual one (which can be found here for Germany http://www.germany.info/contentblob/3444102/Daten/2094425/Pets_Document_Annex2.pdf)
Then you have to take that to you states USDA office to be endorsed. They expect you to know the requirements of the pet you are shipping, lucky for guinea pigs there are no requirements. They review the paper work to assure it is filled out properly and will stamp it. This costs $34 (most require an appointment to do this, it also may be a bit of a drive we drove 2 hours!) Then you are ready to fly!
It cost me 582.50 for their ticket after taxes and fees. If you are flying the same day as your pets make sure you give yourself PLENTY of time to drop them off. They can be dropped off between 2 and 4 hours before their flight. But I had a bit of trouble dropping them off more than 2 hours before. It took me an hour and a hald to get them checked in and ready to go. They will keep you pet in a climate controlled room up until they get loaded into a climate controlled area of the plane.
When we went to pick them up we had to go to the pet lounge, they gave us some papers to take to the vet. The vet's office charged 73 Euros(about $90) to review all papers and stamp them. We took those to customs, customs looked at them and stamped them, I paid nothing to customs because they had no regulations for guinea pigs. We walked back over to the pet lounge and paid 29 Euros (about $35) and then picked up my boys down stairs!!!
WE did have to register to get out of the parking lot of the pet lounge building. After everything I paid about $1,000 to ship them (thankfully the Army should refund that to us) so it wasn't cheap but it was pretty easy and worth it! So as long as you save some money your piggies should be able to go with you!
Thank you again to feylin for all of your help!!!!
I would just add that checking with the cargo office at the air port you fly out of a few days before can save a lot of hassle. People frequently dont know the answers to the questions you call to ask, and it's best to just go find out what the people who put your animals on the plane will want. It's not always the same as what's in the airline's rulebooks.
- 4 the Good of all Pigs
Did you, the original poster, fly them on your flight or was it on the Continental PetSafe flight?
STF if you do get in touch and she wants to fly them let me know, I can send you the links to the paper work she will need to have completed by a vet and signed by the USDA office.
She if full of it unfortunately. If you love your pets you will do whatever it takes!!! That is so sad she is probably going to dump the poor things on CL.