Rota Animal Welfare League
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Traveling with Your Pet
Pets are often abandoned here in Spain when their families move, and some of those animals wind up at RAWL, while others are picked up as strays and euthenized. If you know that you are not willing to expend the time, effort, and money to transport a pet, then don't adopt one! Abandoned dogs and cats are not easy to re-home, and any pet will suffer less emotional trauma from a move than from being left behind by their family.
Shipping your pet commercially can be expensive, so you may want to start planning ahead and saving today.
Consider starting a pet savings account:
Example: Save $100.00/month x 2 years = $2400.00
As soon as you know where you are moving, you should begin researching how to transport your pet, and you should find out the entry requirements of your new country -- some countries, such as the UK, have much stricter guidelines than others for bringing an animal into the country.
An excellent resource for information about traveling with or shipping your pet is www.pettravel.com This website provides information about travel restrictions, kennel requirements, country entry documents, and even has a blog and email address to answer your questions.
Bringing Your Pet into Spain
Spain does not have a quarantine policy for dogs and cats. But Spain will now allow you to import a pet that is less than 3 months old. There are a variety of documents that you need to obtain and keep on-hand when you travel with your pet. Some documents are required only by the airlines, while others are required by the Spanish government in order to import your pet into Spain. These documents will vary depending on whether you go to a military or non-military veterinarian. You should check with the airlines your pet will fly on and coordinate with your vet to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork.
Microchip. Your pet must be identified with a microchip that complies with ISO Standard 11784 or 11785 (the scanning system used throughout Europe). Otherwise, you must send a scanner with your pet attached to the top of the pet's kennel. You vet should provide you with a Microchip Implantation Record for your pet that records the microchip type and number. Note: Home Again microchips and AVID Eurochips are ISO compatible; however the US standard AVID microchip is NOT.
Rabies Vaccination Certificate. Your pet must be vaccinated for rabies within 1 year, but not less than 1 month, before entering Spain. The rabies certificate completed by your veterinarian must include the date of vaccination, type and name of vaccination, expiration date of vaccination, and lot number. This certificate is required by most airlines, although not by the Spanish government.
Letter of Acclimation. This letter should be on veterinary letterhead stating that the animal is in good health and can tolerate temperatures from 45 degrees to 20 degrees based on the breed and age. This letter is required by most airlines before transporting a pet as cargo; not required by the Spanish government.
Your pet must be current on its vaccinations.
You will need 1 of the following 3 health certificates to bring your pet into Spain:
Veterinary Certificate. This certificate is issued by a military veterinarian and includes a description of the animal, owner information, and details of vaccinations. This certificate does not require USDA endorsement if issued by a military vet.
EU Health Certificate (Form EC 998). This is the standard Health Certificate to be filled out by your veterinarian. The form should be in the language of the country to which you are transporting your pet. You can obtain the Spanish version of the form from the Veterinary Clinic on Naval Station Rota. Although this certificate is technically valid for 4 months, it is recommended that it be completed and endorsed by the USDA within 10 days of travel to avoid any customs issues upon arrival. If your vet is not an accredited USDA veterinarian, you must get this document endorsed by the USDA.
International Health Certificate ( DD Form 2209). Your vet should have this form, but it's a good idea to call ahead and ask. This is an international health certificate that needs to be completed by your vet within 10 days of departure. If your vet is not an accredited USDA veterinarian, you must get this document endorsed by the USDA.
USDA Endorsement. Your veterinarian should be able to help you with this process, which usually involves mailing the documents to the local USDA office. USDA area offices in the US can be located at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/
Registering Your Pet on Naval Station Rota
No later than 15 days after arriving or getting a pet, you must register it with Veterinary Services, Bldg. 1863. A current rabies vaccination certificate must be presented when each animal is registered. Pets must be revaccinated annually.
All pets belonging to personnel attached to Naval Station Rota MUST be microchipped for identification purposes. If your pet is not microchipped, you can have this done at the Veterinary Clinic for approximately $10.00. Microchipping is safe and not painful for your pet.
Once you are in Spain, a Spanish vet can issue an EU Pet Passport allowing your pet to travel within Europe.
Choosing a Method to Ship Your Pet
You may have several options for shipping your pet. Some small pets can travel in the cabin with you, while larger animals will have to travel as cargo. Military flights may have fewer restrictions that commercial flights, but you will need to be aware of weather embargos that restrict pet travel during extreme temperatures. If you are shipping your pet unaccompanied, you can make the arrangements yourself with a commercial shipper, or you might hire a shipping company to handle the arrangements for you.
When making reservations to transport your pet, you should have the following information on-hand:
Pet Travel Guidelines
Follow the guidelines below to ensure that your pet has the safest and most comfortable trip possible, and to eliminate delays with importing your pet to a new country.
Traveling on a Commercial Flight with Your Pet
Taking your pet with you on a commercial flight means paying an extra fee based on the weight of your pet. In most cases, you pet must travel in the cargo hold, rather than with you in the plane's cabin.
Hot and Cold Weather Embargos
The most difficult months to travel are in the summer, due to the heat. Many people think that the term "pet embargo" means you cannot travel on a commercial airline with your pet in the summer. However, what the pet embargo usually means is that an airline will not transport pets if the outside temperature is above 84 degrees or below 45 degrees, in the winter. Contact the customer service number for international travel for your particular airline and find out your options. Sometimes early morning flights are available in the summer, before the heat kicks in. You may also be able to ship a pet during cold weather if your veterinarian provides an acclimation certificate on which your vet certifies that the animal being transported is acclimated to temperatures lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
For additional information about airline travel with your pet, visit www.pettravel.com. Click the Airlines link in the menu to the left for a list of airline pet travel regulations and policy information for different airlines and destinations.
These airlines adhere strictly to a pet-safe policy. Pet-Safe policies ensure your pet will always be kept in a climate controlled environment, never left out on the tarmac, and always be the last one put on the plane and the first one taken off. These airline services may cost a little more, but they make every effort to care well for your pet during transport. Visit www.mypetmove.com to learn about pet-friendly shipping with Continental, Northwest, Lufthansa, and KLM airlines.
Departing from Spain on Iberia or Spanair
The most expensive leg of transporting a pet commercially from Spain will most likely be the flight from Jerez or Sevilla to Madrid, especially if you have more than one pet. You may want to consider driving to Madrid. Be aware that prices may vary widely between airlines -- Spanair is typically much cheaper than Iberia for traveling with pets out of Madrid.
Small cats and dogs are allowed to travel in the cabin of the aircraft on Iberia Airlines flights. The pet must be small enough to fit in an approved under the seat carrier. If your pet is too large to fit under the seat or if it is a very long flight the airline may transport your pet in the cargo section of the aircraft. This section of the cargo department has the same temperature and pressure as the passenger cabin.
Iberia Airlines requires a certificate of good health indicating that the pet is healthy enough for travel, is free of diseases communicable to humans and has been properly vaccinated. Visit Iberia's website to learn more about their pet transport policies and rates.
Traveling on a Military Flight with Your Pet
The following information provides general guidelines for shipping your pet by military transport. You should confirm the details of shipping your pet, including weight limits, kennel sizes, and fees, with your local Transportation Office.
Military Shipping Guidelines
AMC Shipping Rates
70 lbs. or less - $90
Pets and kennel weighing more than 150 pounds will not be accepted for shipping under any circumstances.
Kenneling Two Pets Together
Making Reservations to Transport Your Pet
You must also declare if your pet is pregnant. This requires a Veterinary Certification stating the pet is fit to travel and there is no risk of birth occurring during the journey.
Due to limited pet storage facilities, passengers will retain custody of pets until 45 minutes prior to boarding. All pets must remain in their container while in the terminal area. If a portion of your PCS travel is on a commercial carrier, there may be different requirements for traveling with your pet. Please contact the commercial carrier for this information.
Purchasing a Kennel
In-Cabin Transport Containers
Preparing Your Pet and Kennel for Shipment
Seattle Tacoma IAP (SEA)
Baltimore Washington IAP (BWI)
HQ AMC / A4TP, Passenger Policy Branch
For additional information, contact one of the AMC commercial locations or your local Transportation Office / AMC Passenger Terminal.
Shipping Your Pet as Unaccompanied Cargo
If you are returning to the United States, you may choose to ship your pet as cargo from the Jerez airport. The only airports you can send your pet to are Washington Dulles (IAD), New York (JFK), Miami and Chicago O'Hare (ORD). You must make a reservation with Calderon Handling at the Jerez airport, and you will need to make two trips to the airport -- the first to drop off your pet's veterinary information and certificates, and the second to drop off your pet.
Contact your local vet for assistance with gathering the correct documents for shipping your pet. You should also talk to your vet about how to prepare your pet for a long trip.
To make your reservation, contact:
Be aware that the employees of this company only speak Spanish, so you may need a Spanish-speaking friend to help you make your reservation. Translation services are also provided by the base in the pass and ID area. You can email the company in Spanish for a quote, but you may need to follow up with them after sending your email. Once you get your estimate from the company, be sure to bring it with you when you ship out the animal.
Shipping Your Pet through a Professional Shipping Service
Professional pet shipping companies will handle all of your pet travel needs. They are expensive, but are often considered worth the cost.
VIPet World Services
Contact VIPet at 902-301-002 or visit their website and view their pricelist at www.vipet.com.
Contact Air Animal in Tampa, Florida at 800-635-3448 or visit their website at www.airanimal.com
AAH Veterinary Services
Contact AAH Veterinary Services in Madrid at +34 91 357-4496 or visit their website at www.aahvet.com
Contact Pet Relocation in Austin, Texas at 512-264-9800 or visit their website at www.petrelocation.com
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