Frequently Asked Questions
about our Shuttle Service
May I use the shuttle service to transport my dog to Tappen Hill for the initial temperament evaluation?
Unfortunately, we are only able to offer our shuttle services to existing clients. Prior to using the shuttle, all clients must have already visited Tappen Hill in person and their dogs must have successfully completed the 24-hour, overnight evaluation. After your dog has been approved for boarding he/she will be eligible to use Tappen Hill’s shuttle service.
Are all dogs who are approved for boarding automatically approved for the shuttle?
If your dog has a sensitive temperament and is likely to need or would benefit from a slow, careful introduction to this new, unfamiliar experience, it is important not to skip this step. If you are interested in our shuttle services please call our office so we can discuss your dog’s temperament, and then determine the best way to proceed.
What if my dog puts up a fuss and will not willingly board the shuttle?
We will not force any dog to board the shuttle. So, if you have a sensitive dog, it is imperative that you either arrange for your dog to work with a Tappen Hill trainer in advance, or if you choose not to do that, you must make sure that you schedule enough time to drive your dog up to Tappen Hill yourself in the event that your dog is not comfortable boarding the shuttle for the first time. Once at Tappen Hill, we will be happy to have one of our staff trainers introduce your dog to the shuttle slowly, making sure that he/she has a positive shuttle experience. We will provide this shuttle-familiarization training free of charge. Most likely, after only one or two training sessions (which we will do during your dog’s boarding stay) your dog will likely gain enough familiarity and confidence to comfortably board the shuttle for the trip home.
What other considerations may affect my dog’s ability to use the shuttle?
The health and behavior of your dog are also important to consider. If you notice a health concern that might affect your dog’s eligibility for the shuttle, please call our office to discuss this with our staff. Even if you have booked a go-home shuttle reservation, if we notice something during your dog’s stay that would affect their eligibility to use the shuttle to go home, we will contact you right away to discuss alternatives.
What if I do not have the time to give my dog one last opportunity to relieve (on a short walk at the shuttle stop) just prior to boarding the shuttle, is that okay?
It is important that you arrive early enough to walk your dog at the shuttle stop (in order to let him/her relieve) just prior to boarding. Even if your dog has relieved earlier that morning, we ask that you give your dog one last opportunity to relieve just prior to boarding the shuttle. This will ensure that your dog has a comfortable shuttle experience.
Is the charge for a small dog same as for a big dog?
Yes. The charge is the same regardless of size or weight.
Is the Tappen Hill shuttle vehicle air conditioned?
Yes. Our shuttle vehicle is smooth, quiet, comfortable and fully climate-controlled.
How are the dogs kept safe while riding in the shuttle?
Each dog is transported in an appropriately-sized transport crate. The crates are specifically designed for the safe transportation of dogs and are secured to the interior of the shuttle. This is the safest way for dogs to be transported while riding inside a vehicle.
When I pick my dog up from the shuttle, why do you scan my driver’s license prior to giving me my dog? Is it really necessary to do this every time?
Yes. This is a security measure to protect you, your dog and Tappen Hill. Please be understanding of our need to have security measures in place to ensure the proper transfer of custody. Even if we know you personally, our system requires the driver’s license (of whomever is receiving the dog) be scanned prior to releasing every dog, every time, no exceptions.
Can someone other than the owner pick up their dog?
Yes. You may have anyone you wish pick up your dog. However, we will not transfer custody of your dog to anyone other than you without receiving prior authorization. The person you authorize must also present photo ID (driver’s license).
Would Tappen Hill ever have to cancel the shuttle service on the day of my reservation?
This is highly unlikely but it is theoretically possible. There are events that can occur that are out of our control such as road closures, traffic accidents, mechanical issues etc. Our shuttle vehicle is meticulously maintained and we make every effort to adjust for changing traffic conditions. However, in the rare circumstance that canceling shuttle service becomes unavoidable, all scheduled clients will be notified by text and/or phone immediately.
What should I do if the shuttle does not arrive at the shuttle stop on time?
Please be advised that, just like you, our shuttle is at the mercy of unpredictable, ever-changing traffic conditions. In the rare event that the shuttle does not arrive at the scheduled time: First – Please confirm that you are in the correct location. Second – Check your cell phone. The office might text you if the shuttle gets delayed in traffic. Third – If the shuttle is more than ten minutes late and you have not received a revised ETA via text, please call the Tappen Hill office to inquire about the cause of the delay and to get an updated ETA. Please Note: Please do not call the office unless and until the shuttle is more than ten minutes late. This should be a very rare occurrence.
If my dog gets carsick, is it okay to book a shuttle reservation?
Yes, but it is important that your dog skips breakfast the day of your shuttle reservation and does not eat anything prior to boarding the shuttle. For your dog’s comfort and so that we are aware of your dog’s status in this regard, please make sure to mention this when you make your shuttle reservation and please remember to remind the shuttle driver. As soon as your dog arrives at Tappen Hill we will offer him/her a meal.
How do I make (or change) a shuttle reservation?
Making a shuttle or boarding reservation is easy. Simply give our front office a call at 707-824-9100. All reservations (or any changes to existing reservations) must be made in person, or by speaking directly with our office staff over the telephone. Please note: Reservation requests left on voice-mail or e-mail do not constitute making or changing a reservation.
What if my plans change?
What is Tappen Hill’s cancellation policy for boarding and/or shuttle reservations? Our clients are free to cancel any non-holiday boarding reservation at any time without penalty. Shuttle reservations may also be cancelled without penalty providing that the cancellation is received prior to 5:00 PM the day before the reservation. Please notify us promptly as soon as you realize that you need to cancel any reservation for any reason.
Is it possible for Tappen Hill’s shuttle to be sold out?
Yes. In the off-season this is unlikely. However, over major holidays and during the summer, we anticipate the shuttle being fully booked. Therefore, during high season, please make your boarding and shuttle reservations just as soon as you know your travel dates.
If I am late to the shuttle stop, will the shuttle wait a few minutes?
Unfortunately, our shuttle schedule does not permit us to wait. As soon as we are done loading and unloading at each shuttle stop, the shuttle will depart promptly. Therefore, you must arrive on time.
Why must I check-in my dog over the phone if I have a shuttle reservation?
If you are utilizing our shuttle service, our office staff will not have the opportunity to talk with you in person. Nevertheless, we still need to double-check that we have all of the correct information about your reservation, discuss your dog’s health and hear about any special needs. Therefore, it is critically important and necessary for you to call our office and speak directly with one of our office staff to get your dog checked-in over the phone. Please note: Leaving a voicemail or contacting us by email for this purpose is not sufficient. We need to speak to you directly to make sure there is no confusion and to make sure that nothing is missed.
Is it okay just to tell the shuttle driver all of the details about how I want my dog cared for during his/her boarding stay?
Please do not engage the driver in a conversation regarding the details of your dog’s boarding stay. While the shuttle driver is a Tappen Hill staff member, the driver’s main focus and responsibility is the safe transport and transfer of custody of all the dogs who are on the shuttle. This is why you must check your dog in for boarding with one of our office staff, over the phone, the day before his/her visit. All such conversations must be directed to the Tappen Hill office staff, not the shuttle driver.
I want my dog to eat his own food while boarding at Tappen Hill. How should I package it?
Please determine the exact amount of food that you wish us to feed your dog at each meal. We use a standard kitchen measuring cup to determine portion size. If your dog is eating a dry kibble, please measure to confirm the proper portion size for each meal, then multiply that many cups times the number of meals required for the entire boarding stay. Then add a couple of extra days worth of food, and package it in (gallon size – freezer) Ziploc bags. Using a black marker, please label each bag with your dog’s name, meal size and frequency, (i.e. Rover – 1 cup – twice per day). Please Note: One full, gallon-size Ziploc bag holds about 15 cups.
If I am sending medications or supplements with my dog, how should I package them for the shuttle trip?
Please package all medications and supplements in a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Using a black marker, please label each bag with your dog’s name. Also check that each medication or supplement with dosage instructions, as well as why it is being given, is listed on the Boarding Pass. Please Note: If the dosage and administration information listed on the medication container is different from how you want us to medicate your dog, please make sure that this discrepancy is mentioned to the office staff when you check-in over the phone and is also clearly noted on the Boarding Pass form.
Can the shuttle accommodate transporting raw or frozen food for my dog?
Yes. However, make sure to call our office in advance to discuss the portioning, packaging and labeling of raw or frozen food.
After my dog’s boarding stay, if the shuttle brings him/her back home, how will I hear the details about their stay?
The Tappen Hill staff will put together a summary highlighting any relevant details about your dog’s stay with us. This summary will be in written form and will accompany your dog on the shuttle. Please understand that the shuttle driver will not able to answer questions about the details of your dog’s stay. All such questions should be directed to the Tappen Hill office staff.