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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long day of Immigration details

There are so many intricacies to immigrating to a new country- even if it is temporary. Our visa process is progressing, though there are many more steps to complete.

Poor Buddy's European Union passport, otherwise known as the Pet Travel Scheme, is not going so well. Our vet has never processed an international pet passport and basically refused to help us. After 3 hours on the phone with USDA, I found the APHIS veterinarian in Ohio. I spent nearly an hour on hold just to talk to a representative for Ohio APHIS. After all that, she did not tell me anything that I didn't already know.

In short, Buddy will be very confused, but unharmed. We are assured that the microchipping and blood tests are harmless, and are considered routine veterinary processes. Buddy will stay with his grandparents for three months, but remain with us in England for the other 2 years and 6 months.

For anyone else going through this, your cat, dog or ferret needs:

A special ISO compliant microchip
A new Rabies shot, done after he/she is microchipped
THEN a TITER Rabies test. The test can only be processed at the Kansas State Rabies Laboratory.

IF there is enough antibodies in the pets system, she begins her six month wait to enter the UK. Pets could go to the UK after the above steps are completed, BUT they will sit in quarantine for up to 180 months.

Need a letter from the veterinarian
Need to take a special form (EU 998) to the USDA APHIS facility. The nearest one to Dayton is in Pickerington, OH near Columbus. Hopefully, they certify our paperwork.

Lastly, the pet needs to be treated for fleas and ticks 24-48 hours prior to departure.

THEN the pet has to go to a certified airport, using a certified route (non-stop to London via Gatwick or Heathrow only).

It's all worth it to have Buddy with us. He'll get to spend time with the British mutts, play in British fields, and maybe even chase a pheasant or two.


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