Moving to the islands would not be the same if your family pet
didn’t make the trip with you – learn how!
The Virgin Islands does not have any quarantine requirements. Pets
traveling to the United States mainland from the Virgin Islands
also will not require quarantine.
A health certificate from your veterinarian is necessary, it
should state that the animal has not been exposed to any communicable
diseases, is healthy and when rabies shots are applicable to your pet that
the shots are up to date. This certificate should be prepared within 10
days of travel. Rabies shots are considered up to date if they have been administered within 6 months prior to travel, and only for animals older than 12 weeks.
Have these documents
readily available when you are traveling.
Permits (Birds, Ferrets, Sugar Gliders, Snakes, Other Unusual Animals)
Some animals require import permits, these include but are not limited
to birds, ferrets and sugar gliders. You are required to submit an
application ($25 fee) to the Department of Agriculture; the application
must also be approved by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. The process
can take a week to two weeks. Contact the Department of Agriculture at
(340) 774-5182 for more information and to request the application forms.
Do to public health and environmental concerns importing pet snakes
into the territory is not allowed. This includes all types of snakes.
Transportation of your Pet
Contact your air carrier for complete details on what pets they
allow, how many, weight/size restrictions, travel restrictions based on
time of year/temperature, types of carriers and their general policies
regarding transportation of animals.
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If your pet is small enough to fit into an approved carry on pet carrier
then usually you can travel with your pet. Pets that are not hand
carried into the plane will typically travel in a climate controlled baggage
space of the airplane. In order to insure the safety and
comfort of your pet try your best to get a non-stop flight. Transfers,
delays, large airports can be traumatic and hard on a pet. Be sure to
label your carrier and put signs like “live animal”, “pet dog” or “my name
is ____, please be nice to me”.
It is a good idea to prepare your pet for being in the carrier if
they are not used to it.
For several weeks before the trip, place the carrier in an area
they go often, put some toys in the carrier and allow your pet to
play in the carrier so that they can become accustomed to it. Do not
leave toys in the carrier when you are traveling, they may become
hazardous as your pet is transported.
Some very large dogs are not allowed on the aircraft but can be
transported by air cargo. Contact the
airlines that service the USVI to get details. When
traveling with a large dog, try and get a direct flight rather then
one with a stop over in Puerto Rico.
The commuter planes from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas and St. Croix are small and
generally don't have room for a large dog carrier. Ask a lot of
questions of your airline to find the best travel route for your
Birds have particular regulations for travel, some are not allowed -
contact your airline for details.
Travel restrictions during various seasons exist, primarily due to
extreme temperatures that might negatively affect pets while on the ramps
at airports. Call the airlines and find out what dates they allow pet
Protecting your Pet Dogs & Cats in the
Heartworm is a frequent problem for pets; it might be a good idea to
have your pet on preventative medication the entire year. You
might want to test your pet for heartworm before traveling and
have your pet put on preventative heartworm medication before
coming to the Virgin Islands as a precautionary measure. Cats also
can get heartworm, so don’t forget to protect them as well. Other
pet pests are ticks and fleas, and they are around all year round.
Once living on islands do frequent checks of your pet for ticks
and fleas. Erlichiosis or “tick fever” is transmitted by these
pest and can be deadly if left untreated. Preventative measures
include having your pets treated monthly for fleas and ticks, keeping your pets
living area clean and free of pest and keeping your yard clean,
grass and bushes low. Other things to be aware of: road traffic –
cars, neighborhood dogs, neighbors who might not like animals,
people in general. Some homes are close to the road and pets might
run out into the road and quickly become a causality. Neighborhood
dogs, stray or owned might pose a treat for pet cats and dogs; as
territorial fights might ensue. There are problems with some
residents poisoning dogs and cats because they don’t like animals
or perhaps because they have livestock and don’t want dogs in
their yard. Locals typically are scared of dogs so be aware of
this when walking your pets; some people might not find your
pet dog as cute and friendly as you know he/she is.
The islands are welcoming to animals, however you have a
responsibility to make sure they adapt to the islands. The weather
here makes worms more likely, water more necessary and care
greater. Although many locals leave animals outside the house –
this invites danger. Frogs, centipedes, passing cars are threats
to animals. If you take the measures to make it safe for your pets the islands will be
a fine place for them.
Adopting Dogs & Cats once on Island:
You can adopt pets once on island from an Animal
On St. Croix Visit the
Croix's Animal Shelter.
On St. John Visit the
Animal Care Center of St. John.
On St. Thomas Visit the
St. Thomas Humane Society
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