Jet setters have long been able to make the most of travel with special lounges and sections designed for their comfort. Now, New York's JFK airport is offering similar arrangements for animals — without the champagne and caviar, of course — in an area called the Ark at JFK. Yup, it seems this ark will welcome horses and domestic pets such as cats, dogs, fish, birds and allegedly even sloths, those slow-moving creatures vacationers to South America are always keeping an eye out for.
Services at JFK's the Ark
This is no ordinary holding pen or waiting area for animals. The Ark is spread out over 80,000 square feet and offers things like spacious stalls with all the trimmings for horses, "pawdicures" for dogs needing a quick buff and trim, and even a nice, quiet quarantine area for birds not feeling up to snuff. While only partially completed and opening in stages, the Ark will offer services that range from the most basic of needs to the luxurious. For some reason Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous comes to mind . . .
Vetport Animal Center
The new Ark is said to be extremely ambitious as compared to the old animal center the airport previously housed, known as Vetport, which closed its doors back in December. Customers inclined to use the new and improved facility are also being offered an option within the Ark called Pet Oasis for transit animals. Once these creatures are off loaded onto the tarmac, the staff can whisk them off to the roomy Pet Oasis (4,000 square feet). There, the menagerie are cared for by Ark/Oasis employees who feed, water, groom, walk and play with the animals until the next leg of their journey.
Paradise 4 Paws
For more pampering, an animal resort already calling airports home will purportedly be coming aboard the Ark early this summer. It's known as Paradise 4 Paws, and travelers to Dallas, Denver and Chicago might already be familiar with it, because they have locations within those cities' airports as well. Slated for 20,000 square feet, Paradise 4 Paws will primarily cater to dogs and cats of travelers, airport employees and nearby residents. The resort will offer 150 private suites with a 24-hour webcam feature for pet owners to keep tabs on their little buddies.
For sick animals and those that need to be quarantined upon entering the country, the $65 million Ark provides veterinary services as well. Currently being overseen by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the Ark takes the health of these animals seriously. By law, birds, horses and certain other animals entering the U.S. must undergo quarantine for anywhere between three to 30 days in order to monitor their health and treat them, if applicable, before being released.
So, the next time you travel via New York with your pets, make sure JFK is the airport you're flying through, if you want your furry, feathered or scaly pals to be able to take advantage of all the perqs the Ark has to offer.