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Department of the Air Force
Traffic Management Flight
8307 CYPRESS STAND DR
MacDill AFB, FL 33621
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.
All dogs, cats and ferrets four months of age or older must be registered with Hillsborough County's Pet Resource Center and be issued a tag. All dogs must wear the tag when outside; cats are required to either wear a tag or be microchipped, tattooed or have an ear tag when outside.
A license tag is a free phone call home for a lost pet. Tags cost $20 for a sterilized animal and $40 for a non-sterilized animal. License fees for ferrets are $5. Senior citizens age 62 or older receive a discount and may purchase a tag for a sterilized cat or dog for $5, or $25 for an intact cat or dog.
Tags may be obtained through a veterinarian clinic or at the Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa. For more information, contact Pet Resource Center at 813-744-5660 or visit https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/residents/animals-and-pets.
All dogs, cats, and ferrets four months of age or older must have a rabies vaccine administered by a veterinarian. Proof of a vaccination is required to get a tag. The rabies tag may be obtained through Hillsborough County or a veterinarian.
Plan for your pet's trip in the same way you plan your own, well 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 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, a favorite toy to give them a touch of home and don't forget their leash and collar.
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 check if pets are allowed and to make reservations. If you plan to board your pet at your destination point, reservations are also necessary, especially during heavy travel periods such as 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 animals. For information on shipping animals, see the detail record listing. Importantly, most airlines will not accept pets during the summer months unless they are small enough to travel in the cabin with you. The pet kennel or carrier in which your pet will be spending most of their 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 upright 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 recommended. Also, include a familiar blanket or favorite toy in the carrier. Be aware if you are undergoing a permanent change of station during the summer months that airlines may not fly pets when temperatures rise above a certain level. Check with your airline for specifics.
According to federal regulations, an airline cannot accept an animal from its owner unless the animal is:
Pet owners often prefer to have their pet in the cabin section with them. This is possible, but reservations must be made as early as possible.
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. A local pet shop specializing in tropical fish should pack them.
There are no pet quarantines on MacDill Air Force Base.
Although kennels are not available at the MacDill AFB Temporary Lodging Facility (TLF), there are a variety within the local community for you to chose from. Kennels will require your pet have all required vaccinations prior to accepting your pet. Pets need to have their Rabies, Bordetella and Distemper shots within the last twelve months. Cost varies depending on the type and size of the pet. Please make reservations before arrival.
MacDill AFB does not endorse or recommend a specific facility.
Remember, it is a good idea to make advanced reservations for pet boarding as soon as you know your arrival date. This is an area where your sponsor can be of assistance. If apartments and rentals accept pets, most will require a pet deposit and possibly add additional costs to your rent each month.
If owners choose to stay in an off-base establishment to avoid kenneling their pets, they will not receive Temporary Lodging Expense (TLE) reimbursement unless they have obtained a non-availability statement from TLF.
The MacDill Veterinary Clinic provides services to pets of military families. The clinic offers many types of routine care services. Due to limited resources most veterinary emergency cases are best served through a full-service civilian veterinary hospital located off the installation. For more information on veterinary services call 813-828-3558 or 813-828-3559.