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Pets Fly only if the Paperwork Complies!

Published on September 30, 2014

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Don’t Get Grounded By Improper Paperwork

I am always amazed by the amount of incorrect or incomplete information that is out there about international pet travel.

One case that comes to mind is a client who was coming from California to Virginia and then flying on to Saudi Arabia.  PenderAIR was hired to pick up his two beautiful Dobermans from Dulles International Airport (IAD) and house them overnight at Pender Pet Retreat, our boarding facility that is minutes from the airport. The plan was for me to return the Dobermans to Dulles Airport the next day to meet the owner for their flight to Saudi Arabia.

When I originally spoke with the owner I asked him if he wanted me to review his dogs’ paperwork so we could make sure everything was in order and ready to go.  He declined because he had been assured by other sources that he had everything he needed for his dogs to travel on to Saudi Arabia with him.

Unfortunately, his sources were incorrect and he called me in a panic at the airport because he did not have the import permit he needed to get his dogs into Saudi Arabia.  Fortunately, we were able to keep the dogs at Pender Pet Retreat until he got the import permit.  Once he received the import permit for his dogs, we ran into weather delays, so the dogs ended up staying with us much longer than expected.  In the end, the dogs did make it to their destination happy and healthy albeit two weeks late.

The moral of this story is that it can be very challenging to complete all of the paperwork associated with country requirements, airline-specific regulations,  and health laws in order to ship your pet internationally; there is no margin for error, if you don’t have the correct paperwork, your pet will not fly.  If you are not clear about what you need to ensure your pet meets you at your international destination then it will be less expensive, less time consuming, and less stressful to seek out a pet travel coordinator like me!

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