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Review: CitizenShipper For Dogs

Written by Jay
BsC (Hons) Animal Behaviour & Welfare graduate with a passion for advocating for misunderstood animals.
Published on
Tuesday 24 August 2021
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Review of CitizenShipper For Dogs
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CitizenShipper for dogs might not be your first thought when you hear that the service is a “two-sided shipping marketplace”, but the pet transport section of the platform is booming. There are many drivers across the USA who are ready to take your pet on a safe and comfortable journey to wherever they need to be.

Ready to find out more about CitizenShipper for dogs? We have teamed up with CitizenShipper’s team to learn more about how they transport dogs and let you know what benefits they provide. Read on with us!

What Is CitizenShipper

citizenshipper logo

CitizenShipper connects people who need to transport their most important, hard-to-ship items – like pets  – with trusted, reliable, experienced transportation professionals who have passed a background check. The online marketplace makes it fast and affordable for shipping customers to find an ideal dog transporter to match their needs, budget, and schedule.

But how exactly does the platform work? What costs are involved? And is the service reliable and legitimate? Rest assured that we answer all of your questions here!

While it may sound daunting to put your pet in someone else’s care, it’s often a great option for long-distance travel. If you’re moving states or countries, the prospect of flying your pet by air can be very stressful and potentially risky. The safer alternative is a drive with a background-verified and user-rated dog transporter. The service can also be useful for transporting puppies to new owners. Beware of breeders who agree to ship a puppy to you without speaking to you face-to-face, or at least extensively over the phone. When possible, reputable breeders will always want to meet you and get to know you and your needs before giving you a puppy. However, distances between puppies and new pet owners can make a meet-and-greet challenging. In those instances, CitizenShipper has become the go-to source for breeders. 

How CitizenShipper Works For Dogs

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First, a basic level set about the nature of the transporters whom you will find on the CitizenShipper site. The transporters are independent contractors – meaning they run their own businesses. However, to make finding shipments easier, they utilize CitizenShipper’s platform. In order to use the platform each transporter pays a monthly subscription fee and must pass a basic background check and other identification verifications. In addition, each driver must adhere to CitizenShipper’s procedures and policies. Failure to do so will result in removal from the marketplace. 

The process for initiating and booking a pet transporter on CitizenShipper is detailed below:   

1. Create an account on the site and fill out a form about the pet transport being sought, including pick-up and drop-off dates and locations. There is often a spot to list any special requirements for the animal and preferred ways of contact.

2. The provided information becomes your transport “listing”, which is posted on the marketplace to attract transport bids. Again, there is no fee for the listing to go live.

3. Next, you will receive quotes from interested drivers. Overall, the quote for your pet’s journey depends on the mileage. The typical rates are between $0.56 and $0.60 per mile, with puppies often costing a little extra as they require more attention.

4. You review the quotes received and begin narrowing down your driver selection. CitizenShipper has a number of tools you can use to help arrive at your driver decision, such as previous customer ratings, verification of certifications and background checks, and the number of shipments completed.

5. Making contact with any prospective driver before the transit is booked is highly recommended. CitizenShipper has a chat feature that allows you to communicate with the driver to iron out all details, special requests, and payment arrangements. 

6. Once you book a driver, you will pay a small fee to CitizenShipper. This fee is based on the driver’s quote – for example, a quote of $250 results in a modest service fee of $49.99. 

7. Following booking, you are provided with direct contact information for the driver. CitizenShipper recommends that you continue to communicate with your booked driver to ensure the transport goes exactly as you expect. This includes setting expectations regarding staying in touch before and during the transport. You can request photos and updates throughout your pet’s journey and ask the driver if they use a third-party tracking app like LIfe 360 for additional peace of mind. 

8. Payment typically happens upon receipt of the pet and is exclusively between you and the transporter, CitizenShipper, who is not involved in the payment process. Be sure to visit our Help Center for any questions regarding the policies and procedures you agree to when using CitizenShipper and the best ways to arrange for transport payment with your chosen driver. 

How Much Does CitizenShipper Cost

pet shipping price icon

There are two costs to consider when choosing CitizenShipper: the quote, and the service fee

The Quote

Generally speaking, the quote for your pet’s journey will depend on the mileage. The typical rates for pet travel range between $0.50 and $0.56 per mile. CitizenShipper does not facilitate payments between its users. It is normal for some drivers to ask you to make a partial or full payment upfront through a third-party platform such as PayPal or Venmo. CitizenShipper recommends that any and all payments are through a vendor that allows for charges to be disputed. Some drivers, however, will only take payment once the journey has been a success. Be sure to get in touch with your driver to see what they prefer and that you both agree to the terms of payment.

The Service Fee

You will pay a modest service fee along with the quote given by your driver. This service fee is very transparent. It is simply a percentage of the bid you accept. An example is a $250 bid will result in a $49.99 service fee.

What Makes CitizenShipper Great For Dog Owners

So, why choose a CitizenShipper driver for your beloved furry friend? We’ll let the positive reviews, number of successful pet transports, safety procedures, and customer support do the talking!

Positive Reviews

CitizenShipper’s reviews are excellent. In fact, on Trustpilot, CitizenShipper boasts 91% excellent ratings and 4% great ratings. Similarly, reviews with SiteJabber herald a 4.72-star rating overall (out of a possible 5) from 806 reviews. And the company’s BBB rating is an A-.

Successful Pet Transports

The numbers don’t lie. Over the past two years, more than 42,000 successful pet transports have been completed between pet owners and breeders and pet transporters by connecting through the CitizenShipper marketplace. 

Background Checks

CitizenShipper performs a general background check for every driver through Checkr, a screening service accredited by BSCC and NAPBS. Overall, the background check is highly effective in screening for felonies and DUI arrests within the last five years to 10 years. Any outstanding arrest warrants, patterns of misdemeanors, or any reported histories of child abuse or animal abuse are also normally documented in a general background check. Please note that while a standard background check is usually spot-on they are not fool-proof.  As any law enforcement professional will tell you, a background check does have limitations. CitizenShipper addresses these rare, but possible loopholes and ensures all pet owners and breeders are aware they exist. 

Customer Support

CitizenShipper has one of the most robust customer support systems of any existing two-way marketplace. A dedicated staff provides immediate, online assistance and is available to help both owners and breeders with questions during the transport selection process and throughout a dog’s journey. Drivers are supported with tools to improve their service and can take advantage of free 1:1 discussion sessions to find solutions to any challenges they may be facing. The company realizes that both sides of the transport must be happy for successful deliveries to occur.

CitizenShipper For Dogs: FAQ

Have any more questions or concerns about CitizenShipper for dogs? Feel free to check out our FAQ!

Is CitizenShipper reputable?

CitizenShipper is a legitimate platform that carries out background checks on the pet transporters who utilize their site. The platform connects customers with drivers who meet their needs. However, it’s reasonable to be wary of pet transporters on the platform who are not clear with their plans for your pet. Be sure to browse your options extensively and have a chat with the driver of your choice to find out if they are right for your dog.

Does CitizenShipper charge a fee?

At CitizenShipper, the goal is to keep everything affordable and accessible to all – to start with, your listing fee can be made free of charge. There is no listing fee to connect with drivers, receive their quotes, or negotiate the details. The only amount you pay CitizenShipper is a modest service fee once you come to an agreement with a driver. CitizenShipper is not involved in the payment transaction between you and the transporter you select – that is strictly between the two of you.

Is my pet kept safe during CitizenShipper transport?

Maintaining the safety of dogs in transport is CitizenShipper’s number one priority. The screening that independent contractors go through to use their site is designed to give you peace of mind. One of the first things to do before considering any driver who has bid on our transport is to check for the “Background Certified” badge on their profile.

However, CitizenShipper recommends you dig as deep as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the driver you select. Check his or her profile and reviews, ask for personal references. If something seems off to you, move on to another bid. Despite all the guardrails CitizenShipper puts in place, it always makes sense to trust your instincts.

What should I expect after my CitizenShipper listing goes live?

Once you make your listing public, pet transporters can start sending their quotes via the site’s private messaging system. The first messages that you receive should arrive within a few minutes if you live in a high-traffic area. Otherwise, it could take a few hours for a suitable transporter to get in touch with you. You can answer these messages at your convenience.

Is it safer to ship dogs by ground or air?

Generally speaking, it’s safer to transport a dog on the ground than in the air! Although many pets have a safe flight, the experience of flying by plane can be very stressful for dogs. Furthermore, certain brachycephalic breeds are more at risk of distress and harm than others when flying.

CitizenShipper is a safe and reliable service that can help to get your puppy or dog from point A to B with no hassle.

3 comments on “Review: CitizenShipper For Dogs”

  1. Ellen Scherer

    Tracy did a most excellent job in driving my rescue dog Honey from CA to WA. She was kind and caring and treated Honey like her own.
    I can’t say enough good things about Tracy and I highly recommend her transport your pet to you a million times over!
    Ellen Scherer

  2. Angela

    Matt was the BEST transporter I could have ever come across! 🥰He was kind, loving and DEFINITELY LOVES animals. I would recommend him with 10 ⭐️ stars!

  3. Michael Lebert

    When you contact this company you will get offers from various transport companies. When you decline an offer some of these drives will offer a side deal that cuts out Citizen and their $120 our giving you a better price. I actually took one of these offers and lost $250. Apparently Citizen doesn’t research their drivers.

    Date of experience: June 07, 2023

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