What is the ARK at JFK

What is the ARK at JFK

Did you know that the USDA requires all horses to be in a quarantine stable near the airport of departure for a minimum of 2 hours prior to being loaded.  New York’s JFK Intl Airport has one of the busiest rest and inspection  facilities in the country.  

Ensuring Safe Travels For All

Thousands of people pass through JFK International Airport daily, and many don't even realize they're not the only ones traveling. The ARK at JFK serves as both a departure point for animals embarking on a journey and a welcoming arrival for animals worldwide. Whether destined for competition, breeding, or just a new, loving family, each animal must be safely quarantined upon arrival and, in some cases, before departure.

The ARK has a veterinary staff available 24/7 to see to all the health needs of their visitors. A major objective of the ARK is to provide the safest possible environment for all the animals in its care, regardless of the unpredictable factors that accompany air travel, such as delays or cancellations.

What Accommodations Are Available?

Initially, the ARK was designed not just as a holding facility but created with the input of engineers, designers, architects, and industry leaders, including the USDA and Cornell University. This also means that the ARK at JFK is a USDA-approved Equine Import and Quarantine Center, the first in the United States.

At other airports, a pet that's too big to fly in the cabin with their owner may be able to travel as checked baggage. Since an animal typically yields more attachment than a suitcase, The ARK has found a better way. JFK Airport's pet policy states that all animals traveling as cargo pass through the ARK. In turn, the ARK is designed as an animal handling facility and strategically built into the cargo terminal at JFK, making for safe animal transport.

Pre-Flight Accommodations

Created with animals in mind, The ARK offers a number of accommodations both available to all animals and specific to equestrian travels. First and foremost, the ARK is equipped with experienced staff to provide 24/7 observation for all traveling animals. This, paired with their commitment to cleaning and disinfection protocols, helps to provide high-quality care.

For equine import and quarantine, the ARK provides an additional ante-room to store the horses’ equipment and supplies and twice daily feedings with special feed upon request.

Furthermore, the ARK allows pre-approved groomers and handlers to care for the horses while they reside. If a horse doesn't have their own entourage, The ARK provides daily grooming services and hand walking on request. Making sure each horse is healthy to travel is essential, and measures like daily hand walking allow staff to notice any changes in health or behavior. Along with 24/7 observation, the ARK provides bio-security oversight by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to identify any warning signs of herd-related diseases.

In-Flight Accommodations

At The ARK, every animal's needs have been meticulously anticipated. This allows an animal’s travel experience to be as low-stress as possible, reducing the likeliness of sickness.

Boarding the ARK (Direct Loading)

For horses, their whole journey can be managed smoothly, with one trip from their home farm to entering their stall at the ARL. Loading into the equine jet stalls can also be done directly from the ARK, helping to reduce the number of changes in both environment and staff. This can ease a potentially stressful experience for horses and their owners, trainers, groomers, and families.

Climate Controlled Stalls

In addition to 47 dog and 12 cat kennels, the ARK features 48 12x12 climate-controlled stalls for equine import and 23 non-slip stalls for export. Climate-controlled equestrian stalls guarantee environmental consistency while avoiding dangers like heat stress. These stalls also allow staff to decrease condensation and humidity while increasing ventilation. If you were a half-ton horse, you'd be thankful for a good climate control system too!

Natural Lighting

Keeping their commitment to high-quality care, The ARK offers natural lighting in each stall to harmonize with the horse's circadian rhythm. This natural, internal function is engrained into all animals, including humans, and relies on sunlight to function properly. Unsurprisingly, The ARK considers this and provides natural lighting to ensure that your horse leaves and arrives in the best condition.

Animal Air Travel at The ARK

While it’s not uncommon to face some unpredictable factors throughout air travel experiences, the ARK strives to anticipate the needs of animals to make every moment, from arrival to departure, as smooth and safe as possible.

The staff at the Ark coordinates with all airlines served at JFK to provide just-in-time delivery of your pet or animal to their vehicle. They ensure every animal receives rest and care upon arrival, during layovers or quarantine, and before departure. Thorough attention is paid to safety and biosecurity at the ARL, with isolation facilities, quarantine rooms, and cleaning and disinfection routines, making it a truly remarkable animal travel experience.

Just like the Ark of olden times preserved animals for the benefit of future generations, the ARK at JFK utilizes modern technology and planning to help animals travel in the safest, most secure, and most comfortable means possible, both for the animals and their humans!

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