This is a follow up post about immigrating with your pets.
While the last post was based on the facts and details of the new quarantine laws, this post is a personal account from two lovely ladies who have both travelled with their pets.
I hope that after reading the two posts you have a better idea of what to expect.
First is a little more info for you from Tilanie, and then an article from Liz.
Thank you Tilanie and Liz for your input. You are both animal angels in my eyes. Thank you for helping me to help other pet parents.
I have moved from South Africa to Austria and back with my pets in tow as well as moving my first German Shepherd from Germany to South Africa. And my parents also moved overseas with pets.
Moving with a well known pet company. I think this is the better option as they – especially today flying from SA stay with your pet/pets till they are boarded.
They organise all the paper work, all you need to make sure of is that you have all their vaccinations up to date – they will also organise either a box or a crate for you dog or cat which yes it is pricey but oh so worth it.
They will tell you whether it is necessary to tranquilise your animal (this depends on the distance).
Moving my dogs to Austria did not require any sort quarantine. And I made sure that they were on the same plane as myself every time. Went straight to the cargo section and got my boys when I was through (however, prior arrangements can be made to have the company organise someone on the other side)
I also did a trip from Germany to South Africa – also through a company.
Then I did the trip from Austria to South Africa – this was a nightmare as the company who used to do this over there was no longer in operation. That left me running left right and centre for signatures and stamps etc. It also meant having to take my boys to the airport and crating them and I had to catch the same flight so I had to leave them in the cargo hold without any supervision (nightmare for me).
Other thing was that my one was getting more hyper from the sedatives – and managed to open his crate – thankfully I was still there so we were forced to put a lock on the crate – this is not advisable because in an emergency situation the animal can not be freed very easily. From my own experience, I would advocate using a reputable company for the safety of the animals and your own peace of mind.
On both occassions where I used a company to move my dogs I was truly satisfied and happy with the end result, happy wagging tails to see their mom.
This is a piece from Liz whose doggies are in quarantine, she recently moved to the UK from SA.
These are your pets you are moving overseas so do not let any one bully you. You know your pets better than anyone and know their likes, dislikes and behavourial patterns.
As we know there is no quarantine now for most countries although check as there maybe about 3 very unknown places that will require quarantine. Make sure all animals have their Rabies shots three months prior to departure and the blood test a month before departure , de-wormed, micro chipped and a Pet Passport also required prior to departure. If not obtained the animals will be in quarantine for 3 months.Check the DEFRA website it clearly states all requirements.
On arrival at any airport there will be a 2-4 hour wait. The State vet has to check all animals to make sure they are healthy and to check all papers are in order.
I researched every cargo pet carrier and found Pet Wings in South Africa the best. They are knowledgeable, sympathetic to your needs and the animals, they will clearly state the animals are their first priority not the owners feeling. Any questions they will answer promptly and be very informative.
All animals will be crated and will go into cargo. Get these crates as soon as possible. Put the pets blankets in them, put treats in the crates and feed them in the crates this will help the animal not to be frightened when the time comes for travel.
Departure, only your animals will be in the van on collection. Each crate will have 2 water bowls, make sure you have frozen the water. This will stop spillage, also last longer for the journey and stay cool. If more than one animal travelling ask for the crates to be put opposite each other so the animals can see one another, it does reassure them. I had 3 dogs going overseas and managed to get them in the van and on the plane where all could see one another. Again it really is a question of 'You are paying for this service it will be done as you request' as much as possible.Do not be bullied but be firmly polite.
I can honestly say the travel and flight was never a problem, everyone concerned was informative, kind and went out of their way to make it as painless as possible for animal and human. After all and you may not believe me but us humans suffer far more than the animals. Think of it as an adventure and in a few hours all will be reunited
New Zealand, Australia and Canada are going to have sticker laws for animals coming into their countries but still does not include quarantine. This will not be known until 2011 when the UK stops their quarantine.
Unfortunately this was by far the easy part for my animals trip. Mine have had to spend 6 months in quarantine and are still there till Dec 18. I have always been a firm believer quarantine or not if anyone loves their animals they will go where the owner goes and not be left behind. Now there is no excuse, quarantine for the UK from 2nd January 2011 no longer exists and in all European Countries and America there is no quarantine. What a joy to know if all regulations are followed where you go your beloved pets can go to. This had been one of the best laws the British Government has abolished. Quarantine came from the dark ages and should have been abolished years ago but even so I still put my animals through this and would do so again because they are loved and could never live with the not knowing of what happened to them. Unless you see it with your own eyes no one can ever be sure.
I have never heard of an animal being lost or dying on a plane to or from any country. I cannot speak highly enough of the quarantine kennels or people at Heathrow airport, if I had my way they could have stayed there for the 6 months. My animals arrive, they were feed, cleaned and groomed with fresh bedding but most importantly they were welcomed with soft words and kind hands.
The question is would you be able to live without your beloved pets or spend the rest of your life wondering what happened to them. I know what I would rather have.