Wednesday, February 4, 2015

"Bringing Dogs to Ecuador" and a Family of 5- {from HOU TX = Tejas to UIO Quito, EC} 08 OCT 2014

In Bush International Airport waiting for our next flight. Jonas, Ellie and Greta.
If you intend to bring pets, in our case two dogs, to Ecuador it is good to get started early and work with your local veterinary that is familiar with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) International Animal Health Certificate and the requirements.

Here is how our story went. Several months before our anticipated moving date I began researching the requirements to take pets out of the US and bring them into Ecuador. Around every corner there are different people providing conflicting information on this process. I also found that trying to obtain any information from Ecuador was a bit challenging.

I have attached a link at the bottom of this page to the USDA requirements for importing a dog into Ecuador. This form was not available, or at least I did not find it, when I started the process. At that time there was a document from the USDA that listed the requirements. The information is basically the same, only in a different format as the one listed here.

After going over the requirements I knew I had to get started soon. I went to our Vet clinic and met with one of the vets. I discussed the International Animal Health Certificate with him and provided him a copy of the USDA requirements for importing an animal to Ecuador. A copy was also given to the office manager who would be the one completing the form including the translations.

The dogs began receiving the required vaccines. At the time, the rabies vaccine had to be given at least 60 days prior to the date of travel, and the remainder of the vaccines at least 21 days prior to travel. It appears now, on the new form, the rabies vaccine only needs to be given 21 days prior to travel, the same as the other vaccines. Of course, I recommend you discuss all of this information with you vet at least 3 months prior to travel. Also if your dog’s rabies vaccination has expired,

I would again go back to the previous times of getting the vaccine at least 60 days prior to travel.
So here we are with our dogs all vaccinated just waiting for the next step in the process. That would be getting your dogs treated for internal and external parasites within 21 days of travel. We are about two weeks away from our flight date and off to the vet we go for parasite treatment. This was pretty painless, for me anyway. Each dog got a dose of Ivermectin for the internal parasites and a topical treatment for ticks and fleas. The vet just used an over the counter topical treatment, I don’t recall which one. It was K9 Advantix or Front Line, or one of the other brand name treatments.  We then went home to wait for our next appointment.

Here is where it got a little tricky. One of the last requirements is that the animal must be examined by the vet within 10 days prior to travel to ensure the animal is healthy and suitability for travel. The vet also has to inspect the travel containers for the pets and certify they are sterilized. The vet then completes and signs the USDA International Animal Health Certificate.  That document must then go to the USDA that serves the area you live, in our case Austin, Texas. The office manager said she has done them before and sent them by overnight mail and overnight return mail. With such a short time and us just 3 hours from Austin, we decided to take the certificate to the USDA ourselves for approval. So off the Austin went went. Dropped the documents off around 7:45 am. We were the first ones there.

 The clerk taking the documents said they don’t usually get started until around 9:00 am because that is when most vet clinics open. The bottom line was they USDA was going to find something wrong with the documents and would have to call our vet to fix it. We went back to our hotel room to wait. Around 11:00 am we were getting antsy and decided to go back to the USDA office and wait. And we did wait until a little past noon when we were presented with the now USDA approved and certified International Animal Health Certificate. We were then off to the office of the Texas Secretary of State for an apostille.

 Remember I said some information we were getting was conflicting? This is one of those times. During the research I saw different opinions and information of how this process worked. Lots of documents require an apostille for use in Ecuador, so being  told it was necessary made sense. We went into the Secretary of State Document certification office and met with one of the workers. She told us that they did not apostille this type document. Oops, we were told something different. Thanks for your help.

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1 comment:

  1. Nice work Mark! Here is a link to our exploratory / Investigation of EC adventure the year before: