I used Paws n Claws to transport my two cats during my move from Illinois to California for August 2011. I scheduled my pick up about 90 days in advance. At first they were very courteous and answered all of my questions and eased all of my worries about having to make my cats travel such a long distance.
About 1 month before the scheduled pickup estimate and two weeks before my move date, I contacted Paws n Claws and confirmed the arrangements told them I would like to see their setup in their van and how the animals are kept during travel. I referenced that my pets were scheduled to leave the second week of August. Robbin simply said, All Aug transports are now pushed back to late Aug. Due to July transports running behind and van maintenance when they return. No explanation, no apologies. This was the first I was hearing about any delay and they didnt even contact me about it.
This is when I should have backed out and found a different company, but I realized they are a very small and fairly new company and figured I would give them the benefit of the doubt. [continued below]....
..... Also, I was moving in two weeks. I didnt know if I had time to make new arrangements with a different company. I decided to just stick with it. My mistake. From this point on they were a complete nightmare to deal with. They rarely pick up their phone and even more rarely do they answer emails.
I tolerated the delay and hoped for the best. They had a van break down and it required repairs. I can understand that. Then about a week before my cats were scheduled to be picked up again, I called them and told them I had not received any payment invoice or pickup notice. At this point, I was already in California. Robbin told me that my pets pickup had been delayed again. That is twice the transport has been delayed and twice they neglected to contact me at all. And twice I received absolutely no apologies. There wasnt much I could do at this point because I was in California and my cats were with my sister in Illinois. I just had to wait for them to get their van repaired and back on the road.
About a week before the THIRD scheduled pickup, still no invoice or any notice of an upcoming pickup. I called Robbin and she said she would email it to me. I received nothing. I called again a couple of days later and told her I still didnt get anything. She finally sent it to me and the arrangements were finalized September 1 and Robbin told me she would contact me the next day with the estimated pickup date. I received no call or email. I called her Saturday (2 days later) and she told me the cats would be picked up tomorrow morning. I was completely shocked! I wasnt even going to get a call that they were coming. They were just going to show up at my door and expect my cats to be ready to go!
I regret not finding a different company. But my cats were finally on the road in a newly repaired van. I called the driver every day to check on the health of my cats. The driver, Tab, was absolutely wonderful. Very friendly and it sounded like he cared about the well being of the animals he was transporting. I felt that my cats were safe. About 2 days before my cats were scheduled to be dropped off, I called to check up on them and Tab had told me the van broke down and they wouldnt be able to even start getting it repaired until Monday (It was Friday at this time) because they cant find a dealership thats open.
I kept in contact with Tab and Robbin over the course of the TWO WEEKS their van was getting repaired. During this time, they would often not pick up their phones. There were a couple of times I would call and leave messages with them once a day for three days in a row and I would hear nothing back from them. Absolutely among the worst customer service I have ever experienced. The entire duration of this two week delay, they kept telling me they should be on the road again in the next day or two. They told me that the reason why the repairs were taking so long was because they had a Mercedes van and they had to get special parts ordered in. And numerous things needed to get fixed in the van and every time something was fixed, the van still wouldnt start. Well, wasnt I surprised when they finally showed up, not in a Mercedes van, but a Chevy! The only two kinds of vans they even have are a Dodge and a Chevy. The pictures are on their website. Why would they lie about what kind of van they have? And what else did they lie about?
On September 26, my cats were returned to me caked in litter all over their paws, legs, stomach and tail. They each lost 2lbs. I do not completely fault Paws n Claws for this because there is little they can do when a frightened cat retreats to their litter box and sleeps there. And I expected the cats to lose some weight during travel, but 2lbs seems like a lot for cats. But they spent a total of about a week in a van and 2 weeks in a hotel room. It doesn't seem they should have been that filthy. I was told that they were eating and drinking normal every single day and they were playing and appeared to be happy. That was obviously not the case. I do not expect any cat to handle travel well. I expect them to be frazzled when they finally come home, but why do they lie about it?
When my cats arrived, Tab and Robbin dropped them off and left real fast, before I could even say anything to them. And they had left with all of my cats documents that I had requested to be given back, collars, toys, food measuring cups, etc They still gave no apology. I wanted them to offer me a partial refund because of the 2 month delay in transporting my cats. But they just dropped off the cats and ran off like they had just robbed a bank.
I called Robbin about it and she said she would mail everything back to me when she arrived back in the office. I sent her a reminder email once every week until she finally sent the package one month later. I never received a package. The collars, toys, medical documents probably all thrown out because Robbin didnt feel like mailing it out. I sent her a couple of emails asking if she got tracking for the package she sent out and as I am writing this review, I still have not received a reply from her. And not a single apology either.
If you are considering using this company for a pet transport, be warned. This company is not registered with the Better Business Bureau or any review websites. If something happens to your pets, you are on your own. Paws n Claws is not worth risking your pets health and safety, and certainly not worth the headache dealing with their poor service. This company has no backup plans if something goes wrong during their trip. No rental or backup van, no alternative options, nothing. There are other businesses to choose from. Additionally, they only allow good testimonies to be published on their website. They refused to publish mine or respond to it.