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Sherpa Dog Carriers
HomePet Supplies For DogsSherpa Dog Carriers

About Sherpa®

“Tail” of How It All Began…
…And Where We Are Headed as told by the owner, Gayle Martz

From a gift came an idea, and then a commitment… I started Sherpa's Pet Trading Company when I was not able to find a pet carrier for my Lhasa Apso, Sherpa. I discovered that a stylish, functional, lightweight carrier didn't exist. My goal was to create a product and a procedure for people to travel comfortably with their small companions. So, I designed and photographed my product and Sherpa and I went to work. The inspiration had begun. Having over 20 years of experience working with airlines, I knew how unsettling it could be to have to travel with your precious pets and not have them by your side. I set out to change that.

My crowning success is having the major airlines change their policy regarding pets in the cabin. The Sherpa Bag is now the officially approved soft-sided carrier for in-cabin use on the following airlines: Air Canada, Alaska, American, America West, Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, United and US Airways.

The Sherpa Bag is recommended for use by veterinarians, the ASPCA, the Delta Society, Humane Society, and many four-footed customers.

Because your pet's needs are foremost in my mind, the new design and safety innovations make this the perfect bag to take your pet wherever you go.

About the owner, Gayle Martz

Award-winning entrepreneur Gayle Martz is best known for creating The Original Sherpa Bag®, the first soft-sided pet carrier endorsed by major airlines. But at the heart of her company's success is a mission she values even more: increasing awareness of safe pet travel and improving the lives of animal lovers and their pets.

Ms. Martz began her professional life as a flight attendant. During a two-decade career, her expertise was recognized through coveted assignments such as presidential charters and rewarded through industry honors such as TWA's Award of Excellence.

Though she didn’t realize it then, her diverse international travel experiences were laying the groundwork for a revolutionary business idea. In 1989, wanting to globe trot with her new pet, a Lhasa Apso, Ms. Martz designed a lightweight, carry-on bag that fit under an airline seat — thus enabling her dog to comfortably travel in the passenger cabin, rather than the cargo hold.

Convinced she had devised a stylish yet safe solution to a common travel challenge, Ms. Martz proceeded to single-handedly persuade airlines to change their policies and permit small pets to travel alongside their owners. By 1994, the Sherpa Bag had become the officially approved in-cabin, soft-sided pet carrier for 10 airlines.

Her pioneering efforts captured the attention of press nationwide. Reporters from such wide-ranging media as CNN, to Town and Country magazine, to regional newspapers, told the engaging story of her start-up with clever headlines like "Ex-flight Attendant Finds $1 Million in Doggie Bag."

Her reputation as a travel expert turned innovative entrepreneur continued to grow, making Ms. Martz a sought-after speaker and consultant. In 1996, her achievements earned the prestigious Women of Enterprise Award from Avon Products Inc. and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Today Sherpa's Pet Trading Company manufactures more than a dozen styles of travel bags and accessories that are sold in the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe. Widely recognized as the premiere producer of soft-sided pet carriers, Sherpa’s line is featured by top retailers and better pet stores, and distributed through major airlines.

Ever the industry leader, Ms. Martz has branched into private label programs and formed strategic alliances for cross-marketing. The plush pet line, Sherpa and Her Friends®, continues to advance the company's message about animal protection and the benefits of pet ownership.

Pet Traveling Resources

If You're taking your dog traveling, here are sources that can help.

Pet On The Go
Pets on the Go™ is the definitive guide for information on pet friendly B&Bs, inns, hotels, resorts and private rentals. Look to Pets on the Go™ for critically acclaimed original content, independent reviews, and professional advice. They interpret regulations, dig into the details, and uncover the real deal on pet friendly places to stay. Entertaining and informative -- they simplify pet travel.

Bed and Breakfast Inns Online
The B&Bs and Inns listed on this website welcome pets. B&Bs' pet policies vary widely. Some accept only small dogs. Some have outside areas where your pets may run. You can view each B&Bs' "Pets Welcome" policy by checking out this website.

Pet Friendly Vacation Rentals
They understand that it can be difficult to bring the family pet along on your vacation. To aid you in enjoying your next vacation with your whole family, they have created a listing of World Wide pet friendly vacation rentals on their site.

Pet Friendly Hotels
Coming up with a directory of Pet Approved Property Stays is not easy but they felt it's worth it. As animal lovers themselves, they think it's an important plus to a travel related site. Most sites assume that our families are only human but we know that it's not necessarily the case. When considering traveling with your pet, it's good to have a list of possibilities for you and your extended family.

Just a few of their listed hotel brands:
Akena - Amerisuites -Best Western - Comfort Inn - Comfort Suites - Courtyard - Days Inn - Doubletree - Econolodge - Embassy Suites - Four Seasons - Hampton Inn - Hawthorn - Hilton - Holiday Inn - Homestead - Homewood - Howard Johnson - Hyatt - Ibis - La Quinta - Loews - Marriott - Mercure - Millennium - Motel 6 - Novotel - Quality Inn - Radisson - Ramada - Relais - Residence - Ritz Carlton - Sheraton - Sleep Inn - Summerfield - Super 8 - Travelodge - Westin - Wyndham

United States Department of Agriculture. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. This website provides basic information on domestic and international travel of common pets and other animals.

Traveling By Air

Jet Set Pets (Passport Magazine)
The hardest part of traveling with your pet used to be finding a place for them to sleep in comfort. Luckily, there are a growing number of hotels and inns that not only tolerate pets, but actually welcome them as part of your family. When hitting the road with your pet, you can find a wide range of accommodations for you and your furry friend from simple motels that allow dogs to stay in guest rooms, to luxury five-star hotels that provide a wide range of pet-related services. Some well known and moderately priced pet-friendly U.S. chains include Motel 6, Red Roof Inns, Days Inn, Travelodge, and LaQuinta. Higher end hotels in the U.S. and abroad that welcome dogs include the Ritz Calton, Lowes, and Hotel Nikko.

Airline Contact Information




Air Canada 1-800-776-3000 General Information
Air France 1-800-237-2747 Visit Site for E-Mail Form
Alaska Airlines 1-800-426-0333 Consumer Affairs
American Airlines 1-800-433-7300 Visit Site for E-Mail Form
1-800-426-7000 General Information
Continental Airlines 1-800-231-0856 Visit Site for E-Mail Form
Delta Airlines 1-800-221-1212 General Information
Lufthansa 1-800-645-3880 General Information
Northwest Airlines 1-800-225-2525 Visit Site for E-Mail Form
United Airlines 1-800-241-6522 General Information
U.S. Air 1-800-428-4322 General Information
Swiss Air 1-800-221-4750 General Information
Quantas 1-800-227 4603. Visit Site for E-Mail Form

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