Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

CitizenShipper Review 2024: Our Expert Guide & Final Verdict

Lisa Lee Profile Picture

By Lisa Lee

Our Final Verdict

We give CitizenShipper a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Value: 5/5
Ease Of Use: 5/5
Pricing: 4.8/5
Options: 5/5
Reliability: 5/5

There are so many reasons why someone would need a beloved pet transported somewhere. Maybe there is a big cross-country move? An animal rescue needing to bring a cat to their new family? A breeder sending a puppy to their new home? An equestrian needing to haul a horse to a major competition? The list can go on and on. But as any pet enthusiast knows, getting an animal from point A to point B can be one of the most stressful life experiences.

Luckily, a company like CitizenShipper aims to take a lot of the stress and worry off of the shoulders of pet owners. By putting more control and information in the hands of those needing transport, there is assurance that the process can be much simpler!

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

What Is CitizenShipper?

CitizenShipper-Homepagea

CitizenShipper is a pet and personal item transportation platform system. Now, before explaining how CitizenShipper stands out from traditional pet transportation companies, I think we should dive into what the average process for transporting a pet is.

Although many shipping companies exist, what isn’t common information is that the shipping company doesn’t actually own any of the vehicles or employ any of the drivers or flight nannies. They subcontract vehicles and drivers—a broker without you being aware that they’re a broker.

After an inquiry is given to the shipping company by a customer, the company will choose the transporter on behalf of the client and offer a quote – but the client doesn’t know anything about this process. There isn’t any ability to find out significant details about the vehicle, the driver, the flight nanny, or even if the quote provided is an accurate representation (or if it is fluffed up for increased profit margins).

CitizenShipper cuts out the ambiguity and middlemen by putting the hiring process in the hands of the customer. Instead of going to an umbrella company that then outsources, CitizenShipper provides a list of vehicles and transporters available, and they offer bids. You, the customer, then decide who to hire.

I think I speak for most when I say we would most definitely prefer to be the ones making these decisions as this very much impacts the safety, well-being, and comfort of our pets. CitizenShipper’s system allows you to have direct contact with the person transporting, so you can arrange for certain perks and benefits for your pet. This provides peace of mind for pet owners!

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

CitizenShipper Overview

Citizen Shipper The-Process-1a

CitizenShipper is a unique service in its sector and one that pet parents thoroughly appreciate.

Pricing

I feel that one of the big ways that CitizenShipper stands out is the price. Because you hire the transporters directly, you can see a wide array of quotes. If a bid seems too high, you can find one that fits within your budget.

Many of the transporters can also work with you on figuring out a payment schedule, such as half up-front and half upon delivery of your pet. This flexibility is helpful for many pet owners, versus other companies that often request the full amount upfront.

This being said, CitizenShipper does take a fee for their service. This fee ranges from $30 to the triple digits (around $260) based on the details of your transport, such as the amount of animals moved and the miles traveled. This fee is due upon booking.

Should a shipment need to be canceled, it is a bit more complicated for refunds with CitizenShipper. It’s dependent upon why and when a booking had been canceled and what fees were paid (both to the driver and to CitizenShipper).

The Process

The process is very simple and straightforward; no particular tech knowledge is required. Simply type in the pick-up and drop-off information on the main website page, which will then populate a form to fill out about your pet.

Once this is done, you get prompted to make an account. When the account is made, you get your own personal page that will populate with transportation quotes. By clicking on a quote, you open up a private chatbox with that transporter so that you can have a conversation with them prior to booking. This is also where you can view all of the details about that transporter.

When it’s time to book, you use the booking system on CitizenShipper, and it walks you through the process, including working out the payment plan and structure with the transporter.

Available Options and Perks

For transport, CitizenShipper offers two different kinds of options: VIP and the standard default. VIP is when your pet is the only one traveling; the cargo isn’t shared with another pet. The standard is when the transport may be shared with other animals.

VIP is more expensive, of course, but this is a great option for those who do not want their pet mingling with another animal during the journey.

As well as this, some shippers offer their own perks that you can view when you look through their profile. This can include GPS tracking, photographs of your pet during the journey, and more.

Communication

After making your booking, feel free to exchange contact information with the driver (such as cell phone numbers or email addresses), so you can stay in touch in the way that is most convenient to you. You also have a direct line of communication with CitizenShipper’s customer service.

Citizen Shipper  The-Process-3a

In Summary

Pros
  • Can transport a wide variety of animals
  • Transporters are fully licensed and vetted
  • Can see reviews of drivers
  • You are in full control of picking the transporter
  • A variety of quotes are sent
  • Direct contact with the driver
  • Some drivers offer GPS tracking and frequent pet updates
  • Special rates and perks for frequent users
Cons
  • CitizenShipper isn’t responsible for a bad transporter
  • Service fee isn’t included in the transport quotes
  • Refunds can be complicated

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

Key Features

Citizen Shipper The-Process-6a

These key features make CitizenShipper one of a kind.

Transporters Offer Perks and Options

The transporters themselves can offer a variety of benefits and options, such as having your pet be the only one transported (the VIP service), GPS tracking on the truck, frequent updates, and more.

Multiple Transporters to Choose From

Transporters offer their bids directly to you, and you can scroll through a long list of populating offers to find the right driver for your needs.

Direct Contact With the Transporter

There is no third party to go through; you communicate directly with the transporter.

All Drivers are Licensed and Vetted

CitizenShipper ensures that all of the transporters have their necessary USDA license, vehicle license, and registration, and are background-checked and fully vetted.

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

Is CitizenShipper a Good Value?

I would argue that CitizenShipper is actually the best value of any shipping service on behalf of an animal! The ambiguity of hiring a transporter is fully lifted and placed directly in your hands.

When inquiring about transporters, the available transporters offer their quotes for the service. This allows those needing their animal moved to price-shop and determine what quote works best for them.

During this process, transporters can be contacted and spoken to, which lends to a lot less anxiety about a beloved pet being transported. To me, this is an absolutely invaluable feature – my dog is my baby, and I wouldn’t want her being driven by someone I couldn’t speak to beforehand.

With CitizenShipper also vetting the transporters and ensuring they have all of the proper licensing, that’s another added value to what this company provides. The fee that CitizenShipper takes for brokering the deal between client and transporter is still less than most would be paying a transport company.

Citizen Shipper  The-Process-4a

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

FAQ

Does CitizenShipper have customer service to help with an issue?  

Yes! CitizenShipper has 24/7 customer support. There is an easy live chat option.

If something goes wrong, who is responsible for refunds?

Refunds are a bit more complicated with CitizenShipper. Because payments are done directly with the transporter, CitizenShipper may not always be able to assist.

However, there’s no fee owed if the shipment is canceled at least 72 hours before the agreed pickup time. There is also no fee if the shipment is canceled due to the driver’s inability to complete the shipment as agreed. For shipments canceled within 72 hours of pickup, there is a cancellation fee.

CitizenShipper’s fees are subject to a different refund policy than the driver’s booking. For the most part, there is no refund. If the driver cancels, customer service will assist in procuring a new driver.

There are only four instances in which CitizenShipper will refund their fee:
  • The driver is having vehicle trouble and is unable to complete the journey.
  • The driver has an emergency and cannot complete a shipment.
  • The driver fails to contact you within a reasonable amount of time after being booked.
  • The driver fails to show up.

What kinds of animals does CitizenShipper help transport?

Any (legal) animal! Dogs, cats, parrots, horses, you name it!

Citizen Shipper The-Process-7a

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

Our Experience With CitizenShipper

I’ve moved around a lot – with the hardest one being from California to Texas. Predominantly because my Texas home wasn’t finished, and I actually needed to go there, live on the property, start my new job, and work with the contractors – leaving my pup behind with dear friends. Once the house was at a point in its construction where it was safe to move my dog in, that is when transportation became a need because I didn’t have consecutive days to drive my dog from Southern California to Dallas.

For this move, I actually used a freelance Pet Nanny (an individual who transports animals by being your pet’s “nanny” on the road or on a flight) that I knew personally. I have a little 10lb mixed breed named Lorelei, and she has various health issues and needs. This is why I opted for someone I knew personally rather than a shipping company because I didn’t like that I couldn’t have direct contact (in the quotes I received) with the transporter.

Doing the pet nanny route was a rather expensive endeavor, costing me well over $3k. She also may not have been as licensed as a professional transporter, and I admit that this is very much my faux pas and a mistake I won’t make again. Although nothing went wrong with the transport, the ‘what ifs’ are enough to make anyone go mad – and at least a service like CitizenShipper would take full accountability should an emergency arise.

I remember how much it cost me to move my pup from Los Angeles to Dallas, so I thought this would be an excellent test for CitizenShipper. Although I wasn’t going to go through with booking, I wanted to take a gander at how the system works – especially if I was going to move again in the near future (with my line of work, this is a possibility!).

The process was very simple. On the main page of the CitizenShipper website, I input the pickup address, drop-off address, and email. This then led me to a virtual form to fill out, which was completely about my pup – her description, an option to upload a photo, and a box to type in more about my pup. I enjoyed how thorough this form was; it felt like a very personal experience. Making an account was simple as well; not much personal information was needed – just ways to contact you.

Once I chose to receive quotes, a pop-up appeared, offering me the option of boosting my listing by paying a few bucks. Although I didn’t opt to do this, I can see this being a valuable option for those needing urgent transport of their pets.

The results populated very quickly, with more and more bids coming in every couple of minutes! The quotes were significantly less than I paid for my pet nanny – even for the flying options!

When opening a result, you get a direct chatbox to talk to the transporter. I loved this immediate direct contact! I also liked that when you clicked on a bid, you immediately had access to all of the information you’d want to know – such as the amount of transportation that individual did, their reviews, and more.

For example, I opened up a driver’s profile page, and it showed me everything I needed to know, including some of the features – such as offering VIP service and even GPS tracking!

For any questions, there was a Support chat button at the bottom of the page at all times, so I could immediately get in touch with CitizenShipper for any questions, comments, or concerns (in real time).

Between the easy access to customer service and the ability to view everything about the transporter, my confidence in CitizenShipper increased tremendously. All-in-all, this process was super simple.

Citizen Shipper  The-Process-2a

hepper-dog-paw-divider2

Conclusion

There are so many perks to CitizenShipper that it seems rather silly not to use them for transportation needs. I really liked the ability to choose my own transporter, have a conversation with the transporter prior to booking, and still have access to CitizenShipper’s customer service should something go awry.

I am assuming that the transporter side of the website allows them to view all of my pup’s information, and fashion a custom quote just for me.

I will definitely be recommending this platform to my friends who are in need of transporting their pet, as it honestly feels like the most no-brainer option out there!

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database