While us humans are enjoying the luxuries of modern airports – fine restaurants, spas, shopping – bare a thought for our animal relatives, who are confined to cages and unwelcoming cargo areas.

That’s why, in a bid to improve the transit experience for all species, the world’s first privately owned animal airport terminal has opened at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

The ARK, as it is appropriately named, provides pre- and post-travel animal care and veterinary services for pets, horses, birds, livestock and exotic animals “in a competent and compassionate manner,” says its website.

The ARK at JFK

The ARK at JFK

The $65 million (£52 million) centre occupies a 178,000-square-foot cargo building just off of the runway at JFK International Airport in Cargo Area D.

Along with 24-hour care, the ARK offers a state-of-the-art, climate-controlled environment in which animals are moved to directly from the aircraft. They then receive immediate care by accredited veterinary staff and highly-trained handlers before required quarantine begins.

The ARK at JFK

The ARK at JFK

Once fully completed, the ARK will also feature the Pet Oasis, which will house an animal spa where pets can receive grooming and massage therapy, swim in pools, and even get pedicures and nail polish. It will also include an overnight kennel, boarding, veterinary care, a diagnostic lab, and a USDA-approved import quarantine area for necessary cases,