As applications for the 2010 Inc. 500 | 5000 arrive, we thought it would be worthwhile to shine a spotlight on some of the companies that are vying to appear on our ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. (For more information and to apply, go to http://www.inc.com/inc5000apply/2010/.) One that caught our eye was the Austin, Texas-based Petrelocation.com.
Kevin O'Brien's profession might not be the oldest, but it's up there. 'The animal transportation industry has been around since transportation,' he says laughing. That said transporting pets is a much more nascent field, having only taken off in the past five to 10 years. While the company focuses on transporting dogs and cats for corporate employees who relocate for work, its motto is 'any pet, anywhere, any time' and so far it hasn't had to turn down a job.
Petrelocation.com also handles more exotic jobs for zoos, universities, and the military. 'At the end of the day the excitement and the challenge' comes from overcoming obstacles those types of jobs present, says O'Brien. Shipments range from military dogs to Afghanistan, horses to Honduras, poison dart frogs to Switzerland, and thousands of mosquitoes to research labs. O'Brien notes the mountains of Siberia and the hinterlands of Wyoming as particularly difficult places to deliver to.
'Half of our business doesn't even touch U.S. soil,' he says. In the company's early days, they would put flags up on a map of the world to track which countries they had delivered to but before long the map grew too crowded.
Last year, Pet Relocation was ranked No. 777 on the Inc. 5000 list and this year, according to O'Brien 'we hope to break the 500 barrier.' With a prime domain name and a growing number of people 'starting to accept the idea of live animal relocation,' business has never been better.