Rehoming Abroad

Transporting an animal across the globe can be expensive. The cost for transporting the animal(s) normally depends on the weight of the animal and the airline company. If the animal is transported as accompanied or check-in luggage, the cost will be far less than sending it as cargo.

It would normally need a flight volunteer whose travel destination and date are suitable and he/she is willing to take the animal(s) as his/her check-in luggage, this would bring down some of the cost.

Different countries will have different requirements when it comes to animal import/export. We highly recommend for anyone who is considering adopting an animal from China to gain some understanding of the process and requirements to help you decide whether you’re ready and really want to adopt an animal from across the globe.

All this information could be daunting, but thanks to the increasing number of pet transport agencies, the process could be stressless for those who wish to take advantage of their services.

Country Requirements

With the exception of pets entering the state of Hawaii, there is no quarantine for pets arriving in the US from overseas at this time.

Requirements for Dogs and Cats:

International Health Certificate – Within 10 days of departure your vet will need to issue an International Health Certificate as required by all airlines. This certificate states that your pet is in good health and OK to fly.

Rabies Vaccination & Certificate – In general, it is required that dogs be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days prior to entry, except for puppies younger than 3 months and dogs originated or located for 6 months in areas considered to be free of rabies. Dogs and cats coming from areas not free of rabies must be accompanied by a valid rabies vaccination certificate. If a vaccination has not been performed, or if the certificate is not valid, the animal may be admitted if it is confined immediately upon arrival at a place of the owner’s choosing. The dog must be vaccinated within four days after arrival at the final destination, but no more than 10 days after arrival at the port of entry. The animal must remain in confinement for at least 30 days after being vaccinated.

Dogs: Screwworm Policy

The USDA pet import policy allows dogs from screwworm affected countries to enter the country if the following requirements are met:

1. Health certificate issued prior to the flight (see “International Health Certificate above) needs to state that the dog(s) were inspected for screwworm within 5 days preceding shipment to the U.S. AND dog(s) were found free of screwworm


2. Dog(s) were found infested with screwworm, were held in quarantine, and treated until free prior to leaving the country.

Countries affected with screwworm:

AFRICA: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, S. Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe

ASIA: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Macau, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Viet Nam

CENTRAL AMERICA/CARIBBEAN: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago

MIDDLE EAST: Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

PACIFIC ISLANDS: Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paracel Islands, Philippines, Singapore, Spratly Islands,

SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Easter Islands, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela

Inspectors should check the origin of dogs entering the country. Dogs originating from the countries listed above that do not meet USDA policy will be held. All cats and dogs are subject to inspection at ports of entry for evidence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to humans.

Under the Pet Travel Scheme, all pet dogs, cats and ferrets (including assistance dogs) can enter or re-enter the UK from any country in the world without quarantine provided they meet the rules of the scheme. These rules are different depending on which country or territory the pet is travelling from. For the animals rehomed from China, they’ll be considered from an unlisted country. An unlisted country is any country not listed in the list of EU or non-EU countries.

These countries have not applied or been accepted for listed status because of less robust veterinary or administrative systems or higher rabies incidence. The rules for how to bring your pet into or back into the UK are different for unlisted countries than they are for EU member states and listed countries.

Pets entering from a Unlisted countries must pass a blood test 30 days after vaccination followed by a 3 month wait. What are required for pets entering the UK from unlisted non-EU countries:

1. Microchip
Before any of the other procedures for pet travel are carried out, your pet must be fitted with a microchip so it can be properly identified – microchipping is provide by us for free

2. Vaccination
After the microchip has been fitted your pet must be vaccinated against rabies. There is no exemption to this requirement, even if your pet has a current rabies vaccination. Rabies boosters must be kept up to date – vaccination is provide by us for free

3. Blood test
After your pet has been vaccinated, it must be blood tested to make sure the vaccine has given it a satisfactory level of protection against rabies. The blood sample must be taken at least 30 days after vaccination. The length of the waiting period before entry to the UK is three calendar months from the date your vet took the blood sample which led to a satisfactory test result. The three month waiting period will not apply if your pet was vaccinated and blood tested in the EU and issued with an EU pet passport before it went to an unlisted country – blood test is provide by us for free

4. Travel documentation
You will need to obtain an official third country veterinary certificate – veterinary certificate is provide by us for free

5. Tapeworm treatment
Dogs only: before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK. There is no mandatory requirement for tick treatment. No treatment is required for dogs entering the UK from Finland, Ireland or Malta) – Tapewarm treatment is provide by us for free

6. Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route
Your pet must enter the UK with an approved transport company on an authorised route.

A C5 customs form needs to be completed and presented to customs for clearance. You Can click here to download the form.

Pet Travel Scheme or quarantine?

From 1st January 2012: pets from unlisted countries that do not qualify must complete a maximum of 4 months in quarantine and arrive in the UK with an import permit.

All latest information can be found on the official DEFRA website.

Attention: This information should be used as general guidelines and may not be updated to meet the current requirements. Before you travel, be sure to contact the appropriate authorities for your destination country. We currently can only assist with rehoming to: Germany, France and Sweden.


1. Microchip

Each pet shall be identified by means of a microchip. No other form of identification is acceptable. The microchip used should comply with ISO Standard 11784 or Annex A to ISO standard 11785. Germany currently accepts AVID 9 and AVID 10 in addition to ISO. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies vaccine is administered.

2. Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination and Certificate: All pets must have an original Rabies Certificate signed by the vet. The Rabies vaccine must be at least 21 days old at the time of the final health exam.

3. Full Vaccination

It is suggested that all animals have full vaccinations, as well:

Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHLPP) and Bordatella.

Cats: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP).

These should be valid at the time of import and administered no less than two weeks before export date for maximum effectiveness.

4. EU Health Certificate (Form Annex II)

This will be provided by your PetRelocation Specialist. This is the standard Health Certificate to be filled out by your accredited Veterinarian and must be signed in a different colour than that of the certificate’s printing (usually blue ink). This certificate is valid for 10 days from the date of issue by the official veterinarian until the date of the checks at the EU point of entry. For the purpose of further movements within the EU, this certificate will be valid for a total of 4 months from the date of issue or until the date of expiration of the rabies vaccination, whichever date is earlier.

5. USDA Endorsements for the below referenced forms:

  • Microchip Implantation Record
  • Rabies Certificate
  • Vet Letter
  • EU Vet Health Certificate

These must be sent to your local USDA for their stamp of approval.

6. International Health Certificate

Your vet should have these in stock. It’s a good idea to call ahead and ask. This is an international health certificate that needs to be completed by your vet within 10 days of departure. Depending on the logistics of your particular pet relocation and the specific health certificate being used (APHIS Form 7001) an additional USDA Endorsement maybe required on this health certificate. Speak to your PetRelocation Specialist regarding the USDA portion of this process.

7. All original documentation listed above must travel with the pets.

Rehoming Abroad