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Friday, August 31, 2012

Bringing your pets to Ecuador. August 2012.

From the Expats forums

After much research on this subject, which contained much misinformation, here is the latest up to date process for taking your critters to Ecuador. It is really quite simple as long as you follow the steps in order. These steps are as up to date as the possible. I followed them in May and June and had no problems except for travel kennels and temperature. Here are the 3 steps and some personal experiences.
1. Take your animal or animals to your veterinarian and inform them you want to take the animals to Ecuador. The Vet will give you a USDA form 7001, which has the name(s), breed and immunization status of your pet(s) the form has room for several animals. The form is good for 30 days from the date it is signed and it clearly states that on the form.
2. Then you must send the form along with a check for $37 to the area veterinarian in your state. Don’t send $37 per animal, it is for the entire form. The web site for finding your veterinarian’s location is: Click on your state and you will find the office. Send the form 7001 and the check FEDEX and include a prepaid FEDEX return envelope. You will get the approved form back in a few days. Make sure you include a note stating what country you are taking the animals to, or you will get a phone call.
3. Then take or mail the form 7001 along with a $50 money order to the Ecuadorian consulate nearest your home. I lived in south Florida, so I hand carried it to the Miami Consulate. The consulate will approve your form and send it back with a very impressive official document giving you permission to take your pet(s) to Ecuador. The form is in reality your pet(s) visa. I was informed by the consulate that I had 14 days to arrive in Ecuador with my pet(s). Flying from Miami to Ecuador is a good idea, there are many flights and it is only a 4-hour flight non-stop to either Quito or Guayaquil. If you fly into Miami the day before, you can get your animal visa in person at the consulate, it takes about one hour. Contrary to what has been published previously, there is no “10 day rule” on pet travel except for domestic flights.

Travel kennels are not all the same. I discovered this when I attempted to board my two dogs in June. American and LAN will NOT accept travel kennels that are held together with plastic clips even thought the manufacturer says they are “airline approved”. American claims they have had the clips come loose and have found animals loose in aircraft and in baggage areas. American will only accept travel kennels that are held together with bolts around the perimeter. LAN has the same policy on some of their flights that are operated by American. I had to drive home and swap the kennels at Petco for the correct version and drive back two days later.
American and LAN will not accept pets for boarding in Miami or Houston if the local temperature is above 85º. This happened to me in June and I had to wait 4 hours for a later flight. If there had not been one, I would have had to wait until the next day for another flight.
Make sure you have the leashes with you at the airport because the TSA will most likely bring the kennels out and ask you to remove your pet so they can examine the empty kennel for contraband.
American Airlines, in their published pet travel rules, state that they will NOT transport birds either in the cabin or as checked luggage.
Another rumor that is not true is that travel kennels are put in the cargo hold of the aircraft. All travel kennels are placed in the luggage compartment which is pressurized and heated.
Make sure you make a reservation with the airline for your travel kennels. Some airlines only allow a certain number per aircraft.
P.S. The USDA made my veterinarian translate the documents into Spanish. Gave me 10 days to be in Ecuador and insisted that my USDA for be notarized and apostiled. The consulate in Phoenix said that was the correct procedure. I did not have to send the documents to the consulate. So unless the game as changed once again those are the rules I had to follow.
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