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Department of the Air Force
Traffic Management Office - Lackland AFB
Joint Personal Property Shipment Office
1561 Stewart Street
Bldg 5616, Room 112
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
JPPSO-SC After Hours
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.
Bexar County and San Antonio have leash laws; your dog must be either on a leash or in a fenced yard. Dogs and cats are not allowed to roam free. Some homeowner associations have small animal traps to lend if a pet is being a nuisance. Trapped pets are turned over to the Animal Care Services.
Joint Base San Antonio on-base residents must get approval in writing through their housing office to construct fencing. The fence will be at the expense of the resident. Dog runs are not permitted. While in the yard, the pet must not be chained or tethered. Pet owners must provide their pets with adequate water, food, shelter, and protection from climatic extremes. All lost or stray pets should be turned into the JBSA Civil Engineer's Office, call 210-295-5555.
On April 30, 2015, the San Antonio City Council unanimously approved eliminating the traditional pet licensing program. The city's previous licensing program involved annual registration; however, the ordinance amendment makes a registered microchip the primary means of licensing for pets living within the San Antonio city limits.
Texas requires all cats and dogs have current rabies vaccinations. The veterinary clinic on post offers dog and cat health certificates and vaccinations. Call any one of the clinics to schedule an appointment:
All pets living on JBSA are required to be registered at their respective veterinary treatment facility within 30 days of arrival. Registration is done in person, and they will need proof of current vaccinations. If your pet is overdue for vaccinations, they will schedule them before registering the pet.
Effective, January 1, 2008, microchips will be the primary form of registration used to identify animals in San Antonio. Residents do not have to register their pet's microchip with the city - microchips only need to be registered with the microchip manufacturer. Pet owners are encouraged to keep their pet's microchip information updated, including your current phone number and email.
San Antonio law requires dogs wear a tag with the registered microchip number at all times while outdoors. Microchips generally come with one from the microchip manufacturer with the pet's respective microchip number engraved on it. If that tag is lost or misplaced, an owner may go to any local pet store to purchase a tag and have it engraved with the pet's microchip number.
The Animal Care Services offers free microchips for city residents regularly by walk-in services and through their monthly Microchip Mania! clinics. Residents can also purchase a microchip at local spay/neuter clinics, community shelters, or from a private veterinarian. Be sure to ask if your purchased microchip comes with registration or if it will need to be registered. For more information, please contact ACS at 210-207-4738 or visit their website.
Once you have decided that an animal will be your traveling companion, plan for your pet's trip in the same way you plan your own - well in advance. Check with your installation veterinary treatment facility/small animal clinic for the requirements to ship a pet to a specific area. Shipping requirements and rabies shots vary depending upon where you are sending your pet.
Pets traveling without identification are a disaster waiting to happen. Dogs break free from leashes. Cats dash out of cages cracked open for just a second. The opportunities for pets to be separated from their owners are numerous. Avoid the potential loss of a beloved pet by purchasing a collar (elastic for cats) for your pet bearing complete identification tags. The information should include your pet's name, your name, address, and phone number.
A tag can be obtained from your local humane organization. As an additional safeguard, you may want to consider tattooing as a permanent form of identification. Your pet can have a number tattooed on the inside the pet's ear or flank. Another option, micro-chipping, identifying information implanted in the neck of the animal, is available at most vet clinics. To obtain additional information, contact your local vet clinic.
Many of the issues involved with traveling with a pet revolve around the pet's temperament and level of training. A pet that does not like to "go for a ride" can make a challenging trip. Dogs should be trained to lie or sit quietly in a designated place.
Traveling with cats is even more challenging. Train your cat to wear a harness, either a figure 8 or an H type, and confine them to a crate while driving. Do not open the car door until the pet is safely restrained. The other option for cats is to place them in a pet carrier.
To protect your pets from hazardous situations:
Pets can become carsick. Please discuss this and other health concerns with your veterinarian. Keep the necessary medications handy, along with supplies for cleaning up in case the worst happens.
If you are crossing state or country boundaries, have a health certificate signed within the last 30 days with your hand-carried papers. It is doubtful that anyone will ask to see them, but they are required for most interstate and international travel.
Have your pet evaluated to determine overall health and ability to withstand the rigors of flying. You can have all immunizations updated at the same time. Certain breeds of cats and dogs with small nasal passages are at high risk for respiratory failure unless they can be in a constantly pressurized and climate-controlled cargo area.
Domestic flights require health certificates completed by a veterinarian within 10 days before the pet is shipped. Check with the airlines to ensure that all requirements are met.
There are several variables in shipping a pet. Severe weather conditions are typically defined as temperatures less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The rates for shipping also vary. It is typical to charge a service fee for cabin travel or shipping as baggage. The service fee is usually around $80 and up. Some airlines will charge you the full price of an airline ticket.
The shipping crate also requires specific labeling requirements, including "Live Animal" stickers on all sides. For convenience sake, most pet stores have packets with all the required labels and airline approved food and water dishes for the crate.
Remember, the government will not pay for you to ship your pet, as it is the military family's responsibility.
Nothing can waylay a trip with a pet faster than a health problem, and your pet's well-being should be of primary importance to you. Your pet will be subjected to conditions guaranteed to cause stress to your animal. A clean bill of health is an essential first step in assuring your pet's ability to adjust safely to unfamiliar surroundings. Also, most states and countries require recent health certificates and vaccination documentation before you will be allowed to cross borders, making a trip to the veterinarian mandatory. Even if you are traveling within your state boundaries, it is a good idea to have your pet examined and vaccinated. Your pet will be in a new location and subject to contact with unknown animals. His chances of contracting a disease or infection increase significantly. Have your pet examined by a licensed veterinarian, preferably one who has cared for the animal regularly.
Ask the doctor to prescribe a motion sickness pill or sedative as a preventive measure if your pet has a history of getting motion sick. Don't tranquilize your pet automatically. Sedated pets are more likely to develop problems. (Note: Motion sickness pills are preferable to tranquilizers.) NEVER give your pet tranquilizers without your vet's approval and NEVER give a pet any medication that has been prescribed for human use. It is highly recommended to talk to your vet well in advance before PCSing so you can test any medication on your pets before flying. Once you are at the airport, if your pet looks lethargic or sick in any way or is showing no movement, the airport has the right to refuse the pet be allowed to board the airplane.
Avoid traveling with a pet during extreme weather. Exceptionally cold or hot weather can result in hyper- and hypothermia, heart failure, even death. During summer months, schedule travel for early morning or evening hours.
Federal regulations provide some solutions to the problems of pets traveling by air, but owner awareness is still the critical factor in assuring the safe arrival of their pets. According to regulations, an airline cannot accept a pet from its owner unless the following qualifications are met: The pet must be 1) at least 8 weeks old; 2) certified as healthy within 10 days before departure; 3) secured in a carrier which meets the required standards, and 4) adequately identified in the manner specified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. For more information, visit APHIS pet travel regulations.
There are no quarantines for dogs or cats in Texas as long as the pet has a current rabies vaccination, has no diseases, and the owner has a valid veterinarian's certificate that states the pet has no diseases upon entry to the United States. If, for some reason, additional rabies immunizations are indicated, your pet will be quarantined in your residence. This would happen only in unusual circumstances. For other country quarantine information, call the veterinary treatment facility or small animal clinic on your post/base.
Joint Base San Antonio, or JBSA, has a veterinary treatment facility, or VTF, on Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, and Randolph Air Force Base. As sister clinics under the same command, they provide seamless veterinary care and offer the following services:
The primary mission of VTF is to provide preventative medications such as heartworm preventative, flea/tick control, and treatment of diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Prevention medications are available with proof of current vaccinations, a negative heartworm test (for heartworm medication), and if a military vet has seen the pet within the past 12 months.
Routine immunizations and minor medical problems can be provided at the Small Animal Clinic. Please use the below contact for your base clinic for more additional information. A $2.00 fee, mandated by the US Treasury, is charged at each visit.
If not required by law, it is recommended that pet owners obtain a health certificate if they are relocating with a pet. This includes vacationing with a pet because some states will not allow pets from Texas to enter without a current health certificate. Health certificates must be issued within ten days of departure and the veterinarian will need to see the pet, so call for an appointment.
Services are provided only to military personnel enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS. Active duty, retirees, reservists, and National Guard are all eligible for services. A valid military ID card must be presented before services are received.
The VTF does not offer emergency services and sees patients by appointment only. It is an excellent idea to establish records with a local veterinarian for emergency care and any illness your pet may have.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment, contact a VTF at one of the numbers below:
If you are traveling with your pet, begin planning far in advance. Currently, there are no boarding facilities on Joint Base San Antonio; however, temporary lodging at JBSA Fort Sam Houston, JBSA Lackland Air Force Base, and JBSA Randolph Air Force Base do have limited pet-friendly units.
There are reputable boarding locations off-post in the surrounding community. If you are planning to board your pet, arrive before the facility closes for the day. Some facilities will open during non-business hours upon request, but there is usually an additional charge. Remember to hand-carry your pet’s immunization records, as they may be required. Also, many kennels require the owner to provide a padlock, food, and water.
Below is information about pet accommodations at JBSA’s temporary lodging facilities.
JBSA Fort Sam Houston
The Fort Sam Houston Guest House is privatized and managed by the InterContinental Hotels Group, or IHG. All IHG Hotels are pet friendly. Guests are limited to two pets per room, and pets may not exceed 80 pounds. Guests must bring their own kennels. IHG charges a non-refundable per room cleaning fee upon check-in and an additional nightly fee after the first week. Log into the IHG Army Hotels website or call 210-357-2705 ext. 5000 for reservations or additional information and pricing.
There are restrictions on specific breeds, and a statement of non-availability will not be provided if they cannot accommodate your pet for any reason. Also, Wounded Warriors and their families have priority for lodging at Fort Sam Houston, and many hotels in the area do NOT allow pets.
JBSA Lackland Air Force Base
The Lackland Gateway Inn does have limited pet-friendly units. Guests are limited to two pets per room. Each unit has two kennels for animals under 50 pounds, and owners with larger pets are required to bring their own kennel. The Lackland Gateway Inn charges a $10 per night fee for pets in addition to the standard room rate.
There are restrictions on specific breeds, and a statement of non-availability will not be provided if they cannot accommodate your pet for any reason. Begin your planning early by calling reservations at 210-671-3631. This would allow enough time for you to find alternate accommodations.
JBSA Randolph Air Force Base
The Randolph Inn does have limited pet-friendly units. Guests are limited to two pets per room (only dogs or cats). Each unit has one kennel for animals under 50 pounds, and owners with larger pets are required to bring their own kennel. The Randolph Inn charges a $10 per night flat fee for pets in addition to the standard room rate.
There are restrictions on specific breeds, and a statement of non-availability will not be provided if they cannot accommodate your pet for any reason. Begin your planning early by calling reservations at 210-652-1844. This would allow enough time for you to find alternate accommodations.