Often, when people decide to immigrate into the US or want to travel outside the US and return, they want to bring their pets with them. In addition, sometimes people need to bring live animals into the US for specific reasons. For example, someone may want to import a horse or other animal into the US for a show or event or for framing.
Pet importation and animal importation of any kind is subject to numerous US customs laws and bans. These include policies about quarantine, health, wildlife, agriculture, and other issues. For this reason, it can be complex to import a pet into the US. These laws are often meant to keep certain animal diseases and problems out of the US, to reduce potential pest infestations, and in order to help protect against the trafficking of exotic or endangered animals and pets.
As well, it is important to note that if you take a pet out of the US and want to return to the US with your pet, you will be subject to same restrictions as someone trying to import a dog or import a cat for the first time. For this reason, it may be best to leave your pets at home in the care of a responsible person when you travel outside of the US. This is often much easier than trying to travel across international borders with your pet.
If you want to import a pet, there is a period of disposition, during which the animals may be kept or detained while officials determine whether to allow the animal into the US. If there is a waiting period, you will be responsible for paying any costs associated with detaining your pet. Your pet will be kept at the port of arrival in most cases. If your pet cannot enter the US, the pet will either have to be exported or destroyed. To prevent tragedy, you may want to budget for this and plan ahead so that you have the money as well as a responsible contact person somewhere else where your pet can be exported. This can help prevent the animal from being destroyed.
If you want to import a pet, such as a cat or dog, your animal will be examined at your port of entry to ensure that it does not show signs of disease. If your dog is coming from any area where rabies is present (and this includes virtually all countries) you will need a valid rabies vaccination certificate. It is a good idea to travel with a rabies vaccination certificate for your pet in any event, as well as all medical documentation, in order to help show authorities that your animal is not ill. You may not bring any monkey into the US as a pet. There are many restrictions on the pet importation of turtles as well. It is a good idea to contact US customs before you travel to learn about any restrictions and rules regarding the importation of your specific pet. This can help prevent a lot of heartache on moving day.