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Anonymous
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February 18, 2007 11:09 am  

Good morning. I have read through the FAQs and previous posts on this site, and I have found a lot of good information about bringing pets here from the states. My dog and cat will soon be arriving. Still, I am wondering what happens when they arrive at the STT airport? Will a USDA representative or someone ask for health certificates? Am I supposed to file any paperwork before-hand? Thanks in advance.


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Anonymous
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February 18, 2007 11:30 am  

When we arrived with our cat and dog - no one asked for health certificates. We walked off the plane with our cat and headed to the US Air office to pick up our dog - he wasn't there, so we looked around, only to find him spinning around on the baggage carousel!! My husband ran to him just in time before his kennel fell off. We loaded him up on a trolley and headed to the rental car agency and that was that. No paperwork, no officials looking for documents...just happily ever after (and a little resentment towards to the baggage handlers for putting him on the carousel!!).


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Betty
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February 18, 2007 11:48 am  

yep they will be on the baggage carousel. Well the dog will be the cat you can take on the plane with you as I assume its under 20 lbs and can fit under your seat. We took out took cats with us on the plane and had our 3 dogs in cargo. The health certificate is for the airlines if they dont ask for it no one will. I seriously doubt you will meet anyone from agriculture to look at your dog. If they ask for any paperwork it will be when you check in for your flight. Buy a carryon for your cat. At least you can keep one of them comfortable 🙂


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Charles P McAuliffe
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February 18, 2007 1:55 pm  

You must have a health certificate by your VET dated no more than ten(10) days prior to your flight to STT, from the mainland. The same certificate can be used for your return flight. There is no animal (dog/cat) quarantine on the US Virgin Islands. Depending on the mood of the clerk at the counter of the Air Line, you might have to show this certificate. On the way home US Customs wants to see it. No other paperwork is required.


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Anonymous
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February 18, 2007 2:58 pm  

Excellent! Thanks so much for all or your responses. Cheers!


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kay yak
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February 20, 2007 7:07 pm  

So how do furry beasts like 32lb Spitz-mix survive over there? I rescued him from certain destruction in Nebraska and I just can't stand the thought of leaving him behind for the 2 years we will be on STX.


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Becky R
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February 20, 2007 8:01 pm  

I don't know how furry beasts fare, although I suspect not very well in the heat - I had Rottweilers and they really took the hot weather awfully hard. I guess the longest haired dog I saw while I was there that weighed over 10 lbs. was a German Shepherd.

You may have to bring clippers and just keep him trimmed very closely. We have a mutt that is mostly Cairn terrier and we shaved him down to 1/2 inch - he loved it and picked up a new nickname, Sarge!


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Charles P McAuliffe
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February 20, 2007 8:32 pm  

Dog's adapt to the weather, It's the owner's that have to make sure the animals are in the shade, and have plenty of water when it's Hot. You do have summers in Nebraska. think of as an extended summer. Take him for walks early AM and late PM when its really hot. Check with your vet if cutting his hair is necessary, some breeds long hair acts as a cooling system. Your dog will have a great time with proper care, and you will have a better time with your friend being there.


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Becky R
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February 20, 2007 11:59 pm  

Charles has great points......but the Sptiz isn't a breed whose fur is a cooling system....depending on how mixed he is, you may need to really thin out that hair...he won't blow his coat once or twice a year like in Nebraska - it's like a constant blow (messy, messy!)

The Spitz traditionally has an insulating coat under the top coat to trap warmth...they have thick fur on their paws, but that was (in the original breeding) to protect the paws from ice shards. Since a dog's pads provide much of their cooling/sweating system in addition to panting, you may need to trim it down. See the vets at Gallows or over at Princess - Kasey-I've-forgotten-his-last-name - he loves the larger breed dogs, too.


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Njoynstjohn
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February 21, 2007 11:53 am  

I brought 2 cats down, and there was no pomp or circumstance upon arrival.( Remember, this is U.S). People who live down here a cpla months out of the year bring their pets down all the time. The BVI are different, however. No one even looked at my paperwork (even when checking in at the airport). Just make sure you pay the $50 (or whatever it is now) reservation fee to bring them on board; otherwise, they might already have pets in the cabin and yours will have to go underneath. And remember its going to be HOT when you land, so if you have larger crates you can put them in so they get better air, all the better.


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beachLover
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February 21, 2007 2:09 pm  

Does anyone know what is the weight limit on having a dog on the plane with you? Mine is 13lb, & I'm wondering if I can have him under the seat.


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MovingToStThomas
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February 21, 2007 2:39 pm  

I think all the airlines have different weight limits for the animals. We're bringing our cats but have to put them in the cargo. We looked at bringing them on board but all the airlines said that the animal had to be able to stand all the way up in the carrier. Well to fit under the seat the carrier could only be like 9 inches high and our cats are definitely taller than that. I'm not sure how picky the airlines are but we couldn't afford to take any chances of not being able to take the cats with us.


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jane
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February 21, 2007 2:57 pm  

We flew American Airlines and i bought carriers that the cats would be ok in and then took them to the Airline desk and asked if they would be OK - if not I would just have taken them back to Kmart and tried another solution.


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MovingToStThomas
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February 21, 2007 3:02 pm  

Jane - That sounds like the best idea. I wish we were able to do that. Unfortunately we live 4 hours from the airport right now so it's not like we can just stop in there.


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Alexandra
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February 21, 2007 3:30 pm  

get the soft-sided pet carriers and they can be slipped under the seats of whatever airlines you fly to get here. The small, rigid carriers don't always fit.

A 13 pound dog should fit OK under the seats in a soft-carrier. The 9" height restriction doesn't mean that they have to be shorter than that when they are standing up with their heads upright. It's how much room they will have vertically under the seat and this is enough for small pets when they are lying down.


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piaa
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February 21, 2007 3:43 pm  

When we bought our puppies back I did alot of checking and was told that there must be room for them to stand up inside the carrier.

Pia


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nessa
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February 25, 2007 7:49 am  

I have recently done a lot of research on pet travel, as I am moving to Stt in July, w/ 2 cats...

Cape Air is the only airline (that I spoke to) that required a Health Certificate. They charge $10 per pet, Delta $50, American $80, & US Airways $80. Only 2 pets per cabin per flight, so a reservation has to be made w/ the airline to ensure they will be able to get on-board. The dimensions of the carriers allowed in cabin are 18x12x12. I bought Sherpa bags which are approved by most all airlines. No one ever mentioned anything about the cats being able to stand up in the carrier, and I spoke to some of them more than once. I hope that's not the case, because one of mine is referred to, by a friend, as "that cat on stilts"... They will be sedated for the flight and hopefully sleeping anyway! Hope this helps. Good luck!


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Charles P McAuliffe
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February 25, 2007 12:51 pm  

Nessa,
Please go to aa cargo.com/shipping/animals regarding sedation of animals (they will not accept).


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Becky R
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February 25, 2007 2:55 pm  

Nessa, I don't know who you are flying that doesn't require a health certificate, or at least say they do. You might want to look at the websites a little closer and call again. I can't imagine they are foregoing that certificate, since technically you have to have one to transport an animal across a state line on the mainland.

They won't accept sedated pets.....but you can get an herbal thing called Rescue Remedy which is sort of kitty/puppy Valium which does a nice job of them not caring quite as much.

Double check your facts - We were never asked for a health certificate at all - but as surely as you don't have it, you'll be the one they will pick.


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piaa
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February 25, 2007 4:33 pm  

Hi Nessa,

We did require a health certificate when traveling with our puppies and it had to be supplied within 10 days of our travel and all airlines I spoke to (Delta, AA etc) required this. Now having said that I just checked the AA website and it does say it is not required but you must have proof with you of current rabies vaccinations.

I copied the following info from the AA website (Delta has a section as well) - just a small sample of some of their rules (ie: only 1 carrier per ticketed passenger and if you have 2 cats in the carrier total weight has to be under 20lbs and the kitties have to between certain ages, and they do have to be able to stand up etc) Our boss was recently denied from taking his dog in cabin because they asked him to have her stand up inside and she couldn't but easily had enough room to lay down - they made him buy a carrier and check her as "luggage"

Hope you find this helpful.

Pia

'Health Requirements
American does not require a health certificate for the acceptance of pets for travel in the cabin or as checked baggage within the 50 United States. However, we encourage you to contact your family veterinarian or state authorities directly for individual state requirements to avoid any possible inconvenience at your final destination.
All states require proof of current rabies vaccination for dogs over 12 weeks old and some require proof of rabies vaccination for cats. '

"Animals must be able to stand up, turn around and lay down in a natural position in the kennel."

"The kennel may contain two (2) dogs or two (2) cats but they must be the same species, ages between 8-weeks and 6-months, and weigh less than 20 lbs. "

"Only one pet kennel per ticketed passenger may be accepted for travel in the cabin, as pets must stay under the seat in front of you during the entire flight."


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nessa
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February 27, 2007 5:33 am  

I will, of course, double-check again with the airline. There will be no room for error... BTW, I was never planning to put my cats in cargo, (it's not even allowed in July, too hot). And I was referring to kitty valium, just as you would give a cat for a long car ride. I'm not talking about completly sedating them... But thanks for all the additional insight!


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Onika
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February 27, 2007 6:44 pm  

What is meant by sedation?

I gave my kitties anti-anxiety meds and can't imagine the anxiety I would have felt without it.

They were not unconscious, just mellow.

BTW, everyone is right--have the health cert. but noone will ask for it.


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nessa
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February 28, 2007 6:05 am  

Exactly.... thank you Onika!

Nessa


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Shawn
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March 2, 2007 10:02 am  

Does anyone know what the regulations are if you try to bring a cat back into the USVI from St. Martin? Does customs hold the animal or require a health certificate?


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Betty
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March 2, 2007 11:24 am  

Just need the health certificate. Customs will not hold your animal.


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