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Defense Logistics Agency
Transportation Management Office – Personal Property Branch (outbound)
6501 E. Eleven Mile Road
Building 232, Room 105
Warren, MI 48397-5000
586-282-7826 / 5528
Policies and rules for shipping pets vary at each installation. It’s important to understand the regulations, prohibitions and laws at your new installation before moving with a pet. Below, you’ll find installation-specific details for registering, boarding and transporting your pet.
According to the State of Michigan's Department of Agriculture website, there are no quarantines for pets arriving from overseas locations as long as the owner provides the following: rabies vaccination by a licensed veterinarian within one or three years (according to vaccine label directions); an official interstate health certificate or official certificate of veterinary inspection - certificate is valid for 30 days, and airline certificates are valid for ten days. Puppies less than 12 weeks of age from a rabies quarantined area are not allowed entry. Information regarding farm animals and other pets, as well as information on bringing your pet into Michigan, can be found on the Department of Agriculture's website.
Vaccinations, Licensing and Registration
All of the lower Michigan counties require dog licenses, and Battle Creek requires cat licenses. To obtain a license the following documentation must be presented: a current rabies certificate and proof of spaying/neutering. For more information in Battle Creek area, call the City Clerk's Office at 269-966-3348. Please review the Calhoun County website for further information.
Plan for your pet's trip in the same way you plan your own - way in advance. A clean bill of health is an important first step in assuring your pet's ability to adjust safely to unfamiliar surroundings. In addition, most states and countries require recent health certificates and disease inoculation documentation before you will be allowed to cross borders, making a trip to the veterinarian mandatory.
Make sure your pet has a special identification tag with your pet's name, your name, and a destination address or that of a friend or a relative. Traveling by car is sometimes the most humane way to go since you can plan regular stops for exercise and feeding. Take along your pet's food and water bowls, blanket or bedding, and a favorite toy to give him or her a touch of home.
If your pet travels with you, keep your pet on a leash when outside your car or hotel. If you plan to stay in a hotel or motel, call in advance to see if pets are allowed before you make reservations. If you plan to board your pet at your destination point, reservations are also necessary, especially during the heavy travel periods of holidays and summers.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked car. In summer, it takes only minutes for the heat to climb to more than 120 degrees, even in the shade. In winter, closed cars become refrigerators, and the cold can be as dangerous as summer heat. Traveling by air is another option for transporting pets. The carrier in which your pet will be spending most of his/her trip is of the utmost importance. Your pet must have room to turn freely while in a standing position and be able to use normal movements in order to stand erect or lie down in a natural position. A container for water should be secured to the inside of the carrier positioned so that it can be filled without opening the cage. A drip bottle is highly recommended. Also, include a familiar blanket or favorite toy inside the carrier.
According to federal regulations, an airline cannot accept an animal from its owner unless: 1) it is at least 8 weeks old, 2) certified as healthy within 10 days of departure, 3) it is secured inside a carrier which meets the required standards, and 4) is adequately identified. Pet owners often prefer to have their pets in the cabin section with them. Generally, each airlines has specific rules for taking pets on flights; look at the individual website for the airlines you are flying. The airlines typically requires paperwork be completed before a pet can fly with you.
If your pet travels in the cargo section, extra care must be taken prior to boarding and after landing which will minimize the difficulties your pet may face while out of your stewardship. Purchasing the proper carrier, arranging for non-stop, direct flights, and making sure that someone is in the baggage area when your pet arrives are safeguards that you can take to ensure your pet's safe transportation.
For smaller pets, such as birds, hamsters, gerbils, and tropical fish, consider sending them by air express. Airline freight departments or pet stores can supply shipping containers. Tropical fish should be packed by a local pet shop specializing in tropical fish.
AMC charters will ship only dogs and cats at the owner's expense and is limited to charter passengers in a permanent change of station status. The limit is two pets per family and waivers are required for more than two pets. There is also a weight limit which is 99 pounds, including the cage or shipping container. Owners are responsible for the preparation and care of their animals and satisfying all documentation, immunization and border clearance requirements, including quarantines. The shipping container used must be approved by the International Air Transport Association and be large enough for normal body movements and for the pet to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably. A small pet can travel in the charter aircraft cabin with special permission from AMC, but it must be in a hard-shell kennel not exceeding 20" X 16" X 8". Passengers must make arrangements two or three months before they are scheduled to move.
Shipment of pets is at the expense of the pet owner and not the government. If you would like your pet to travel on the same airline flight as you and your family, make arrangements with the airline as early as you have your flight information. If you are unable to schedule your pet to travel on the same flight and need a list of companies that will board your pet, arrange for a separate flight, and deliver your pet to the airlines for shipment, contact the Family Advocacy Program Manager (FAPM) at 269-961-4051.
Boarding in the Battle Creek area for dogs and cats vary. Multiple pet rates are available at some kennels. Most kennels require proof of vaccinations to include Kennel Cough.
Below is an article that explains what to look for when deciding to board your pets. The article was written by a veterinarian taken from the Southwest Animal Emergency & Surgical Referral Hospital, Kalamazoo, MI website:
"10 Things You Should Do Before You Board Your Pet!
Here is a checklist of 10 important steps to consider before boarding your pet. Consideration of each of these items will help you and your pet have a good boarding experience.
Interview -- Interview the kennel on the phone. Find out how long they have been in business and ask for references. Use those references. Make a surprise visit or tour the facility before you schedule the boarding. Notice if the place is clean, smells, check out where the pets are boarded, if they have fresh food and water and a clean litter box, are there any messes in the cages, where they are walked, and if they seem happy.
Look for Recommendations -- Talk to a few kennels before you decide where to take your pet. Also, ask your friends or neighbors where they have boarded their pet and what their experiences have been. Recommendations go along way. Don't go for the cheapest place. Go for the best place.
Determine Kennel Requirements -- Does your pet need any special vaccines for this kennel? If so, what and when? Do they need a copy of the vaccine record? Can you supply your own food and treats? Can you leave any toys or his favorite blanket or bed?
Check out Kennel Staff -- Find out about the consistency with the staff - is it the same person seeing your pet everyday or someone new? Is it someone who knows about pets or a high school student shoveling food into the cages? Does the staff appear competent, and do they look like they enjoy working with the pets?
What is the Cat's Schedule? -- How often do they go out of their cage? Is there enough space to make your pet happy? If you have multiple pets, will they be together or see each other?
Feeding Instructions -- Consider taking your pet's own food and request that the kennel only feed your pet his food. Many pets are fed other foods and treats and can develop gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and or diarrhea. Your pet is already in a new environment which is most likely a bit stressful; so don't change anything you don't have to.
Contact Information -- Ensure that the kennel has numbers where you can be reached in the case of an emergency. Include your cell phone and any emergency contacts. You should plan for the unexpected.
Emergency Instructions -- Just in case of an emergency, leave instructions on how to proceed. During emergency hours, the kennel may use a certain veterinarian or emergency hospital. During the day, if you want your pet to go to your regular veterinarian - leave your vet's name and phone number. Leave instructions on what you do and don't want and a contact number or credit card number for emergency medical care. If you are not available by phone, make sure they have the authorization to make charges if care is required. You don't want your pet "waiting" for medical care because of lack of credit card authorization.
Medical History -- Obtain a copy of your pet's pertinent medical record from your vet and give a copy to the kennel. Ideally, this record should include any medications, diagnosed conditions and problems. Include any behavioral quirks e.g. aggressive to other pets or if hates having his tail touched. Leave information about his tag and microchip numbers.
Leave Special Instructions -- Make sure you clearly indicate any special instructions. For example, if your pet requires medications, ensure the name of the medication, dose (both in mg and number of pills, and frequency are clearly indicated. Also communicate any special foods or dietary restrictions. Keep the instructions simple with a contact number to call in the case of questions."
If you need assistance with boarding your pets call the Family Advocacy Program Manager (FAPM) at 269-961-4051.
This installation does not have a veterinary clinic. For information about shipping pets go to www.hailtails.com or The Precious Pet Transport Service for transportation of your pets. For information on pet friendly hotels, restaurants, and other services go to www.bringfido.com