Dogs can now travel in style by passing through the new 178,000 square-foot pets terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport.
The building, called ARK, isn’t just for dogs. The transport hub is designed to also temporarily house cats, horses, chickens, and other animals that travel to the United States via JFK, according to The New York Post.
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It replaces Vetport, an overcrowded, outdated animal holding station that was built in 1951. “Right now, animals can wait four or five hours on the tarmac or in the cargo facility, because there is no other way to process them,” says John Cuticelli, whose company Racebook Capital, built the $65 million facility. “The ARK will be focused on the safe and humane transportation of animals,” he continued.
Some of the highlights include specially designed rooms and bays designated for various species. Pet containments also include anti-microbial wall coverings and high-tech air filtration systems, which ensure that two animals don’t have to breathe the same air. Each year Cuticelli estimates 5,000 horses, 10,000 cats, dogs and other small pets and thousands of birds will make their way through the facility.
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Cuticelli told The Post, the facility staff must be screened and approved by a host of federal agencies including the USDA, the TSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Customs. “I visited animal care facilities all over the world to see what everyone was doing. I wanted to be one of the only people in the world who understands the discipline completely,” Cuticelli told The Post.
The terminal is slated to open later this month, which bodes well for all the new pet owners coming off filming our new original series Finding Fido, where aspiring canine-parents get matched up with their ideal rescue dog.
Do you have any stories about traveling with pets? Tell us about them in the comments below.