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Inside The Ark: Where Traveling Pets Get Pampered At JFK Airport

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Putting your pet on a plane can be scary, but a new venture at John F. Kennedy Airport looks to ease your worries.

CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock takes us inside The Ark, where pet parents, pet shippers or airlines have the option of keeping companion animals before or after a flight.

Founder and chairman John Cuticelli, Jr. said The Ark is a private venture with exclusive rights to operate at the airport for the next 30 years.

“We were actually awarded this opportunity by the Port Authority,” Cuticelli said. “We will provide the very best service, it’s a really needed service.”

Cuticelli said the name speak to its occupants. Plenty of dogs, cats, horses, African grey parrots, rabbits and turtles have all stayed at The Ark.

Upon arrival animals first get checked out by veterinarians.

“Whenever we have a pet enter the facility we always want to do a thorough exam to make sure that the pet has not become distressed in flight or anything that had happened prior to flight,” Dr. Lauren Neuendorf said.

The Ark also has what Cuticelli describes as the “Ritz Carlton of horse export facilities.”

Horses preparing for flights out of the country typically stay in the export facility for about five hours. The animals are fed, watered and kept calm with opera. They also get weighed before boarding.

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