The COVID-19 pandemic put a temporary pause in the high-flying lifestyle of Valerie Sherriff-Tandy's beloved pet pooch Zach.
"My daughter lives in Melbourne, so ever since I brought him [Zach] he's flown back and forth with me to visit," Ms Sherriff-Tandy said.
"But then with the border closures due to COVID, the commercial carriers said they weren't taking animals because they didn't want any issues when they got to their destinations."
Ms Sherriff-Tandy was notified by a friend about Pawmobile, a pet flight service starting in the state this week.
"I gave them a call immediately," she said.
"They have someone on the plane looking after your pets and ensuring that they're comfortable, it seemed like a really good idea."
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Run by Tasmanian expat Fi Millhouse, Pawmobile aims to help owners who are looking to travel or move interstate out.
"I set up a pet taxi business in Melbourne 18 months ago, but during COVID I started to get requests for interstate transport," Ms Millhouse said.
"I did my research and saw there was a great big hole in Tassie for flight services, because of the restrictions on normal commercial flights, it has an impact on people wanting to travel or move with their pet."
Pawmobile will be doing its first flight into the state this week.
Ms Millhouse said the point of difference with the service is the level of care.
"We have someone in the cabin who looks after the pets at all times and makes sure they're comfortable, you only need to get to the airport right before boarding and there's no having them waiting on the tarmac" she said.
Ms Millhouse has fielded enquiries for a variety of different species - including cats and dogs, as well as guinea pigs and finches.
"If I can carry them safely, and they are in flight-appropriate cages, then I will fly them," she said.
Prices for the service will depend on the crate size and weight of the animal.
Ms Millhouse will be running one flight per week, with capacity for more based on demand. The service will be discounted for the elderly, as well as for rescues travelling interstate to meet their new owners.
Flights will go between Devonport, Launceston, Hobart and Melbourne initially.
More information can be found via the Pawmobile website.
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