Dr. Walter Woolf entered private practice in Tampa, FL, after earning a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Woolf Animal Hospital opened near Tampa International Airport in 1961. He cared for dogs, cats, assorted other household pets and even some farm animals.
As time went by, airline carriers sought his advice on how to best meet the needs of traveling animals. Dr. Woolf's relationship with the airlines soon grew to include caring for and boarding pets traveling through Tampa without their owners. The experience opened his eyes to the growing need for a service focused exclusively on the complex requirements for moving pets domestically and abroad.
Dr. Woolf opened Air Animal alongside his private veterinary practice in 1977. He insisted on perfection with his new pet transportation venture, so he helped set the standards for the growing animal relocation industry. He made sure that Air Animal created a safe and enjoyable relocation experience pets and their owners.
Linda Fries Woolf is Air Animal's compliance officer, conference and trade show manager and corporate secretary. Before joining Air Animal Linda earned CLU, ChFC designations covering all aspects of insurance planning, financial planning, estate and retirement issues, taxation, business insurance, and risk management. She joined Air Animal in 2006.
Over the years Linda has had many furry best friends. The pet that touched her heart the most was Tinkerbell, a miniature Manchester terrier mix. Linda and her two young sons went to a local pound to get a kitten because she didn’t want to house train another dog just then. The first cage they passed was a litter of puppies. Tinkerbell picked them. They never made it to the cat area. She was seven pounds of endless fun and joy and Linda still smiles when she thinks of Tinkerbell.
Her number one priority is to do her part to guarantee the safety and welfare of any animal touched by Air Animal Pet Movers or any of its global service partners.
Andi joined Air Animal in 2006 and today is executive vice president for the growing family-operated international pet shipper. Her number one priority is reassuring relocating families that the safety and wellbeing of their pets comes first. One of the things Andi likes best about working with clients is are always "aww" moments in her day. Andi and her family love their dog, Skippy. He was the runt of a litter born just down the street from where she grew up in Tampa. He needed a home. Now 13-years-old he’s still going strong.
Ron Parker is vice president for financial affairs and joined Air Animal in 2015. As a relatively new member of the team, Ron is very impressed with the teamwork exemplified by the staff. A large 18-wheel transport truck dropped off approximately 130 kennels and Air Animal was responsible for unloading them, organizing them and eventually storing them in the back offices for future pet owner use. They had everything done within one hour in Florida’s sweltering summer heat--and it was back to business as usual for Air Animal. Ron’s priority is being the best pet moving service business in existence. That comes from the drive to provide outstanding customer service.
Cathy is Air Animal’s senior domestic move manager for the U.S. and Canada. Her cat Ashton was one of four kittens living in a warehouse attic. He is nine. Mischief was born in Cathy’s neighborhood two years ago. Cathy enjoys hearing back from pet parents after their babies arrive safely. Her priority is giving them all the information they need to feel comfortable with her and Air Animal’s pet transportation service.
Cory is an international pet move specialist and office manager at Air Animal. She specializes in corporate moves. Cory joined Air Animal in 1989. Of all the special pet moves in her scrapbook, Archie stands out. Archie's owner moved from India to Australia but the import regulations required Archie to stay in the U.S. for six months before he could join his owner. Cory volunteered to take care of Archie. He came to the office with Cory every day and visited other staff members on occasion. Cory's priority is getting pets to their new homes safe and sound with as little stress on them and their parents as possible. Her cat Catillac loves people and travelling with her grand dog and cat.
Evelyn, one of Air Animal's international pet move specialists, joined the team in 2011. She loves her fur-babies Maya and Lady. Maya, her border collie mix running partner, joined the family two years ago. Evelyn said Maya "gave her the eyes" and she knew she was the one. Evelyn and her husband rescued Lady, a red-nosed pitbull, 10 years ago. They knew she was part of the family when she and their three-year-old daughter played for an hour non-stop. Evelyn gives rock star service - really! She helped David Lee Roth move his Australian cattle dog, Russell, from Los Angeles to Japan and back.
Jessica joined Air Animal in May, 2014. As an international pet move manager, her priority is making pet relocations easy for her clients so they have time to focus on other aspects of their move. Jessica works with individuals, corporate clients and military families relocating all over the world. "Making clients feel comfortable and reducing their anxiety, is an important part of my job," she says. Her favorite part of working at Air Animal is seeing photos of the pets and hearing the stories of how the pets were named. Her most memorable move was three Pomeranians and four domestic short hair cats to Dubai from Colorado. Jessica is a U.S. Navy veteran who has lived and traveled abroad. She has two miniature schnauzers, Bear and Maggie, who are full of energy and keep her family on the move!
Lindsay, operations manager, joined Air Animal in 2012. She keeps the gears moving as the internal support for the entire office, as well as the resident computer nerd and handyman. Lindsay's number one priority is her family, especially her daughter. At work, her goal is perfection - getting it right the first time. Lindsay and her boxer, Bella, met by chance when Lindsay was studying Animal Science at Virginia Tech.
Melissa helps pet parents who are moving all around the globe. She's been with Air Animal since 2014 and works to provide her clients with the best experience possible so their relocation is easier and smoother. She fondly recalls a relocating military service member after years of being apart from his pet. It brought her so much joy to know she was able to make this reunion possible. Melissa purchased her dog, Wall-e from a farm breeder in Washington near the Canadian border. She and her husband joke they rescued the pup because he doesn't really like the outdoors.
Michelle joined Air Animal in June 2014 and manages Air Animal's Orlando office near the Orlando International Airport. She specializes in relocating pets internationally. Michelle has successfully relocated hundreds of pets for corporate transferees, private individuals and military families. Her number one goal is the welfare of the pets and making the moving process as easy as possible for the pet owners. Michelle understands the anxiety that goes along with moving your pet and will strive to provide excellent service. She owns a Morkie named Pharaoh who keeps her and her two children very entertained. They thoroughly enjoy watching him act as their "guard dog" while chasing the squirrels and lizards out of their backyard.
Billie's top priority as an international pet move specialist at Air Animal is to ensure that pets she moves are safe and comfortable through the entire trip. She uses her hospitality background to provide an excellent pet moving experience for her clients. "I treat each pet with the same care and attention I would give my own, and I believe that makes all the difference," she said. Billie adopted cats Mace Windu and Princess Leia through a cat rescue. She saw them and instantly knew she wanted to bring them home. The Star Wars fan also enjoys traveling, exercising, cooking, reading, and snuggling with her kitties.
Air Animal's intake specialist, Vanessa, is often our client's first contact. She joined the team in 2016 after three years raising her daughter and a new Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie mix) puppy. The family's boxer, Ally, is still the big baby, she says. Vanessa enjoys the jokes and fun at team meetings. "The love, integrity and passion we all have to get pets safely to their destinations is just remarkable and an 'awww' moment for me," she said. She is dedicated to learning new things and providing top-notch client service.
Clients completing their international health certificate veterinarian visits with Dr. Woolf become familiar with Ritzy's big smile. "Assisting clients that come into our office is very special because I get to meet those lucky angels that get to travel with their loving owners. Love to have that contact with the furry babies." Ritzy is a big animal lover. Her dog Maya is a loving corgi/husky mix that she adopted from Humane Society. Mia is a Ragdoll kitty with lots of personality she adopted from a clinic. Both animals were two months old and she adopted them two weeks apart, so she calls them the twins. "My girls love each other," she added.
Maria moves pets across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada. Her favorite move was relocating four pit bulls to California. She loves pit bulls. The dogs traveled via ground transportation from Tampa to California. "They were so adorable! I put a lot of work into that move and the client was very grateful at the end. It made me very happy that the move went so smoothly and that she was so happy with the service," she said. Maria works to get her clients through their moves with as little stress as possible. Her own recent move made her strive to make things easier for her clients. Before coming to Air Animal in 2016, Maria was a high-limit blackjack and roulette dealer at a casino in Baltimore, MD. Maria has two dogs and a cat. "All my pets bring so much joy and laughter to my life. Now that I have them, I could never imagine my life without pets! They are always there to cheer you up and they are very entertaining. There is never a dull moment at home."
Maritza joined Air Animal in 2016 as the administrative assistant in Orlando. Mia is a Schnauzer who has been with her over 10 years. The newest family member is a feisty American boxer named Nahla. Maritza enjoys coming home and receiving abundant love from both of them. Her #1 priority at Air Animal is providing excellent service, guaranteeing the safety and well-being of each pet during their move and always giving 100 percent.
Jasmine's top priority is to relocate her clients' fur babies around the globe while making each move as stress-free as possible. She joined the international pet moving team in 2016 and puts her excellent customer service to work by acting quickly and nailing the details in a timely manner. Jasmine's two dogs, Minnie and Cooper, mean the world to her. Minnie, the Pomeranian, immediately stole her heart at eight weeks old. Cooper, the Maltese, was a rescue who Jasmine adopted one year later to keep Minnie company.
Air Animal's quality assurance coordinator, Charrisse, built her attention to client service and detail working for a sound, stage and lighting company that supplied live concerts throughout the U.S., Caribbean and Europe. She joined Air Animal in 2016 and most remembers helping a client who moved back to her home in England with her cat Bubba. "She was quite stressed about the move but I assured her that I would take care of Bubba like my own," she said. Charrisse's dog Dozer is all puppy! He ran around the photo studio sniffing everything. "My son surprised me with Dozer after I lost my dog Nala. He is so lovable. He meets me at the door every evening wagging his tail with excitement. I love his cute face and soft fluffy ears. You just can't resist."