dog travel

Facilitating Entry of Assignee’s Pets in the U.S.

An assignee and their beloved pet are not easily parted. This also holds true for almost all talents, especially expatriates who treat their dog or cat as family members. That’s why assignee and expatriate alike would welcome any compensation package that would allow them to bring their furry or feathered friend into their new home. These lovable animals comfort, encourage, and make them happy. During those inevitable bouts of loneliness that happen while they’re still adjusting in their new environments, a wagging tale or a soft meow can cheer them up.

Global mobility specialists who take the time and effort to make the transition easy for the assignee’s pet have won half of the battle. The animal’s safe transport gives its owner peace of mind. Done half-heartedly, he might succumb and read the online horror stories that have happened to pet owners whose animals were not given the best treatment by airlines. Transition will become an uphill battle from that point on.

To save yourself and your assignee from that nightmare, here are a few tips to consider in assisting him with his pet-travel concerns:

Health certification

Although not generally mandated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some U.S. states require that the pet be given a clean bill of health by the veterinarian before being allowed entry. So do some airlines. Check the rules of the state where your assignee will work. Do the same with the carrier he will be flying in.

Temporary animal quarantine

Depending on the assignee’s country of origin: Again certain U.S. states have rules about placing pets flying in from other nations in temporary quarantine upon landing at the airport. It is part of a preventive measure to stop the entry of foreign diseases into America. Some pets might be tested for rabies if the assignee is a native of a country where rabies is widespread. Hawaii, which is rabies-free, in particular has issued a quarantine for all dogs and cats from other nations. Other states might even block entry of birds from countries that have experienced the avian flu.  

Global mobility specialists should research this aspect of the assignee’s history: Have animal diseases broken out in his native country? Have his pets been vaccinated? What are the chances of his pet’s approval for entry in his new city of employment, given the pet-related laws in that state?

To increase chances of approval and reduce the red tape, Forbes recommends documenting a rabies shot of the pet 30 days before the actual flight. Hawaii, though, might require more stringent proof, such as the pet’s actual blood samples.

The method of transport

Airlines usually fly pets to the U.S. as baggage or cargo. Again, check with your preferred airline how they transport these animals. Ask for details such as containment space, air-conditioning quality, feeding time, and the level of care in handling Fido or Garfield. Don’t take the airline’s word for it. Surf the net for testimonials from both happy customers and the horrified ones. One cautionary tale that has been going the internet rounds is the owner’s Facebook account of how her Greyhound was almost killed by airline mismanagement during the dog’s cargo flight.

Some airlines do allow pets to join their masters in the airport lobby or nestle beside them in their cabins while on actual flight. Costs would be higher for this privileged practice. Your assignee would have to weigh the added financial burden versus his pet’s relative comfort.

Finally, make sure that your assignee and his pet reside in an area that has its fair share of veterinarians, animal clinics, parks, and other healthy spaces where they can occasionally take a walk. One of the services that California Corporate Housing provides is create that connection between the assignee and professionals and establishments in the area who can help him look after the welfare of his pet.

Do your homework. Make the best choices. Once his pet is nestled comfortably and safely in their new housing units, your assignee will have the peace of mind and security he needs to focus on the job and deliver.