View Full Version : What do I do now?

06-22-2004, 12:16 PM

I posted a question about Fed-Ex earlier. I had called them a couple weeks ago and was told I didn't need an account to ship Leoaprd Geckos, all I needed to do was fill out a form every time I shipped. O.K., I didn't get the persons name. My mistake. I called today to confirm because I have a customer who wants me to ship. They now tell me I have to go through the whole account process which could take a few days to weeks. I called UPS (I know, not the best shipper) and I set up an account today. They said someone will be calling tomorrow to talk to me about shipping live animals. In the meantime I have this customer waiting for a shipment. I did my research, I called and confirmed things but was lied to. Are there any other ways of getting a live animal shipment out to this customer? Like I said, I'm in the process of getting an account at Fed-Ex and UPS, but I'm stuck in the meantime. Thanks for any help.

Glenn Bartley
06-22-2004, 03:41 PM
Hmm I just answered this post and thought this would be my second posting but somehow my first answer did not register. Oh well, here I go again:

You can legally use USPS Express mail to ship small harmless cold blooded creatures like Leopard Geckos as far as I am aware. I am not vouching for this method but just letting you know this is another choice. I must point out though that anything I have ever mailed by Express Mail has gotten to its destination by the next day as far as I recall, although I don't think I ever shipped animals this way. Another thing to note is that the post office will hold such parcels at the delivery facility for pick up during inclement weather (too hot or cold) if requested by the sender (you). I often receive live feeder insects that I have held at the Post office rather than having them leave them on my door step.
If you consider this Express Mail, remember there are certain places to which they will not deliver overnight, even though you use Express Mail service. Make sure your destination is an overnight location or that overnight delivery is possible at all from your local PO. If you are too far out in the sticks this may not be possible.

There are also various regulations about how the animals must be boxed and labeled so make sure to check the regulations. Here is the link to the regulationshttp://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub52.htm If clicking on the link does not work then cut and paste it into your browser.

This is a very long 'page' and some of the regs you are looking for are about 1/3 of the way down the page under section, 52_, 522, 523, 525, and 526.. Read these carefully.

Here are some excerpts (note I said EXCERPTS) from the above linked page:

522.1 Container Construction
Shipping containers for mailable live animals must, at a minimum, be made of 275-pound test, double-wall, corrugated, weather-resistant fiberboard (W5c) or equivalent.

522.2 Security and Ventilation
Containers must be constructed to prevent escape of animals, prevent the crushing of the container and contents during normal handling, and provide adequate ventilation for the animals at all times

522.3 Marking
Each mailpiece must bear a complete return address and be marked on the address side with a description of the contents (i.e., "Live Animals," "Live Honey Bees," etc.). A mailpiece marked "If Undeliverable, Abandon" may not be accepted for mailing. Actually this is not completely correct and the species name must be included on the outside of the box as per the Lacey Act.

Of course the postal people can refuse to accept your package but as the regulations state they need a good reason:523 Acceptance for Mailing
A mailpiece containing live animals that cannot reach its destination in a viable condition should not be accepted. Factors that can be taken into consideration in assessing the viability of a mailpiece containing live animals include use of proper packaging methods that protect against suffocation and crushing during transport, expected time in transit, and very extreme weather conditions that exceed the normal weather pattern along the transportation route.
This provision does not extend to postal personnel the authority to refuse mailable animals that are properly packaged or to impose local black-out periods based on temperature conditions, heavy mail volumes, etc. Postal acceptance personnel must have reasonable justification to refuse a mailpiece. Before refusing any mailpiece that contains a mailable type of animal, acceptance personnel are to confer with the manager, business mail entry at their district office or their RCSC, as appropriate. Also note that if the parcel becomes non-deliverable within certain time frames it will be 'disposed of', by which I imagine they mean destroyed.

Here are non-mailable types of reptiles:
525.3 Reptiles
All snakes, turtles, and poisonous reptiles are nonmailable.

Here is what is mailable:
e. Other small harmless cold-blooded animals, 526.6 and Exhibit 526.6.

Here are the special requirements for the mailable reptiles:
Exhibit 526.6
Requirements for Mailing Small, Harmless, Cold-Blooded Animals
(Except Snakes, Turtles, and Turtle Eggs)

General Requirements:
All animals in this group:
* Must be able to reach their destination in good condition in the normal transit time between the mailing and address points.
* Must not require any food, water, or attention during transport.
* Must not create sanitary problems.
Must not create obnoxious odors.
Specific Requirements by Animal:
Baby Alligators
Baby Caimans
Reptiles and Amphibians
* Tadpoles and Toads Animals must not exceed 20 inches in length.
* No additional requirements other than the applicable standards in DMM C022.
* Packaging must comply with DMM C022.3.10.

Please note again that all of the above quotes are from the linked postal page above.

While some may think, oh my gosh, this is a lot of regulatory red tape, I think it very nice of the Post Office to list all of this so plainly on their web site. Not difficult to follow or comply with at all. The difficult thing is sometimes getting the postal clerk or the post master at your local PO to go along with these rules and accept the animal for shipping. If they don't, and if they don't give you a very good reason as to why they don't, then you can file a legitimate complaint with the Post Office.

Hope this was helpful.

Best regards,
Glenn B;)

06-22-2004, 04:09 PM

Thank you so much for your post, you have given me some other recourse to try and get this shipment out as I have promised my customer. I will call the local post office now and see what they say. I will also get their name, so if I go tomorrow and someone else says no, I'll know who I spoke to. I should be certified by UPS within a few days, hopefully and Fed Ex within a few weeks. But, for this one shipment I might go this way. The customer is very anxious and will be home at the time of delivery. I've been pulling my hair out all day, trying to deal with these shippers. UGH!!

Again, thank you so much for your thoughtful post. I really appreciate it.

06-22-2004, 04:18 PM

Just wanted to let you know, I called my post office (in Allentown, PA) and they will accept the shipment. I'm so happy. This will probably be the only time I'll have to use them, but at least I can keep my word. :)