Bringing dog to USVI
I will be living about half time in St Croix and half time in the states. I just got a new puppy, one that will remain quite small (5-6 pounds) so can easily fit under an airplane seat. That part is not a problem.
My concern is that I read online that a dog coming into USVI must have had a rabies vaccination with 6 months. That would mean my tiny dog would have to get a rabies shot twice a year! I don't understand why a 3-year vaccine would have to have been given within 6 months of coming into USVI.
Does anyone know if this 6-month rule is actually checked or enforced? I've flown into STX several times already (before I got this puppy) and didn't notice anyone checking paperwork for pets.
We do not own a dog but do travel to St Croix with a cat. We normally stay 3 months (Jan to Apr). The rabies req’t for a cat should be identical for a dog.
The rabies vaccination is done 1x per yr. It must be done within 10 days of travel to St Croix. Also you must have a signed health certificate from your stateside vet. About a week before you return to the states you must have a STX vet examine the pet & your stateside paperwork. The STX vet then should give you a signed document that the dog/cat is ok to travel.
This leaving the island procedure may be redundant & needless vet cost. However if you don’t have that STX document & the airline ck in asks you for it , you had better have it or the airlines can deny the pet boarding the plane.
In TN (where I live in the states) the rabies shot is given every 3 years. You said it has to be given within 10 days of travel to St Croix??? That's different than what I read, which said within 6 months of travel to St Croix. I don't mind having a vet check 10 days prior to flying, but I see no reason for another rabies shot every time we fly back and forth (if what you said about 10 days is true).
Hey I only know what our vet here in Ohio requires us to do with our cat. We fly on AA.
I copied and pasted a couple things from the internet below:
This is from AA.
Only pets in good health are permitted to fly. ... All pets crossing state borders, with the exception of guide dogs, are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have a rabies immunization and valid health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within 30 days of travel
This is from U.S. Virgin Islands Pet Passport
All dogs and cats entering the Virgin Islands shall be accompanied by an official health certificate stating that your pet did not originate from an area quarantined for rabies. All dogs and cats must have been vaccinated for rabies within 6 months prior to the date of shipment except those dogs and cats less than 12 weeks old. (see step #9) The certificate of vaccination for rabies must be attached to the official health certificate.
We moved 6 months ago with 2 dogs and 2 cats. The health certificate has to be within 10 days. The rabies shot needs to be current. The dogs are large and they had to go through customs. The 2 cats went on board and they did not check their papers. So, if you dog is small it should not be a problem.
We have lived here 14 years. Every year we visit the states and take our animals back and forth. All that is required for cats and dogs is an up to date rabies vaccine and a health certificate within 10 days of travel. Tell your vet it does not have to be an international health certificate if you are coming from the US and tell them that the only vaccine required is a current rabies.
What you're saying sounds like a reasonable requirement. So in your experience you never once encountered someone at the the airport insist the rabies shot have been given within 6 months? Only that it's current?
Interesting. With going back and forth you are able to avoid the international health cert. I had to specifically obtain an international one for the big move. I guess that makes sense.
USDA rules/regs for USVI
This is the health certificate form you will use for cats and/or dogs moving to/from USVI. Most vets are able to help you with the correct travel documents.
Interestingly, when I followed your first link, it says (direct copy/paste, bolded added to the relevant statement):
*** DOGS ***
All dogs upon entering the Virgin Islands shall be accompanied by an official health certificate stating that the animal did not originate from an area quarantined for rabies. All dogs must have been vaccinated for rabies within 12 months prior to the date of shipment except those dogs less than 12 weeks old. The certificate of vaccination for rabies must be attached to the official health certificate. No import permit is required."
But when I followed your second link, if says:
All dogs upon entering the Virgin Islands shall be accompanied by an official health certificate stating that the animal did not originate from an area quarantined for rabies. All dogs must have been vaccinated for rabies within 6 months prior to the date of shipment except those dogs less than 12 weeks old. The certificate of vaccination for rabies must be attached to the official health certificate. No import permit is required."
We've brought our small dog in the plane cabin dozens of times in and out of STT from mainland US and not once have we been asked to show paperwork for rabies or health certificate. Of course we always have these, but so far no one has even checked them. The airline seems more concerned if the pet had a reservation and whether payment has been made.
From my experience traveling back and forth between FL and STT with my dog who has to fly Cargo, she just has to have the heath certificate and up to date vaccinations. We've done 3 RT's with no issues.
Check regulations on airline your flying with.
They're all a little bit different but Health Certificates and up to date vaccination for Rabies seems to be the norm for travel to the VI. Health Certificates are good for 30 days.
It's best to call to make Reservations
Spirit doesn't fly animals/dogs in Cargo.
I usually fly AA. All legs of flight must be on a Boeing aircraft as no Airbus aircraft will allow any animals in Cargo.
There are breed restrictions and temp on tarmac restrictions for pets that must fly cargo on commercial airlines.