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United States Marine Corps
Household Goods Appointment Desk Distribution Management Office (DMO) (Outbound Shipments)
4100 Hochmuth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92140
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.
It is the law in San Diego County (62.620) and the cities of Imperial Beach (6.04.110), Oceanside (4.17), and Vista (6.07.010) for all dogs over 4 months of age to be licensed. Once your dog has been assigned a license, the number and the information about your dog is permanently filed in the licensing records. Your dog keeps the same license tag number for life.
The owner of every dog over the age four months is required by law to ensure that his or her pet is currently vaccinated against rabies. You must purchase a license:
Important Licensing Information
To apply for a license for the incorporated cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach, and Vista
You can print a dog license application and mail it to
5500 Gaines Street
San Diego, CA 92110
Or come in person to any of the following campuses during the normal business hours:
3450 E Valley Parkway
Escondido, CA 92027
2905 San Luis Rey Rd.
Oceanside, CA 92058
5480 Gaines Street
The Veterinary Treatment Facility at MCAS Miramar provides required pet vaccinations. Visits are by appointment. Please call in advance: 858-307-6552 or 858-307-1773. They are open Monday - Friday from 7 - 11 a.m. and noon - 3 p.m. They are closed weekends and holidays.
For San Diego County (dogs only): Ensure that your dog is currently vaccinated against rabies. Dog owners are required by law to have their dogs vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian and licensed:
The rabies vaccination must be effective through the entire licensing period. The primary or first rabies vaccination is valid for one year. The second rabies vaccination given one-year later, and subsequent (or booster) rabies vaccinations are valid for three years. If you are unsure of the duration of your dog's vaccination, please call your veterinarian or the San Diego County Department of Animal Services at 619-767-2675. After vaccinating a dog against rabies, the veterinarian will present the dog owner with a Dog License Application & Rabies Certificate. Online license renewal is available via the SDC-DAS website.
While domestic pets (dogs/cats, etc.) are not normally required to be quarantined, it is strongly advised that you obtain a health certificate and other medical history documentation for your pet(s) before moving to California. In the event quarantine is required in connection with a PCS, certain qualified quarantines fees, up to a limit, are reimbursable. Contact your Distribution Management Office, or DMO, for the most current information.
Regardless of whether you're driving across the U.S. or flying overseas, all pet owners should plan ahead to make the trip less stressful for their pets. Have your pet evaluated by your personal veterinarian to be sure he/she is fit for air travel. Ensure kennel has adequate ventilation and pet is free of respiratory problems. Some species such as snub nosed dogs and cats have difficulty breathing even under normal conditions. Exercise your pet before arriving at the terminal. Carry a leash with you to walk your pet before check-in and after arrival at the destination. Mark kennel with pet's name, your name, destination or unit address and phone number if available. Keep strangers, especially children, at a safe distance if your pet seems nervous.
In an auto accident, according to San Diego Humane Society, a pet exerts a force of 20 times his/her body weight if not properly restrained, which can result in severe injury and possibly death to the pet and/or car passengers. So before you head out on a road trip, consider several options when choosing appropriate vehicle pet restraint depending on the breed and size of your pet as well as the type of vehicle in which you are traveling.
There are no pet boarding or veterinary facilities aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (seven miles north of MCRD) does have a veterinary clinic but no formal kennel or boarding accommodations for dogs, horses etc. Stables for horses are available for a fee at Camp Pendleton. The veterinary clinic does offer local community references, but because they are subject to change you should contact the clinic for the most current information: 858-307-6552.
Camp Pendleton Horse Stables
All boarders must complete an application for a contract prior to the horse's arrival. Please bring in a copy of the military sponsor's ID, and the ID of anybody authorized to handle the horse. Please provide proof of ownership (i.e., a bill-of-sale or registration) and proof of insurance (i.e., joining USA Equestrian for a $1,000,000 policy) by the date of the horse's arrival. The horse must spend a minimum of seven days in quarantine and must be current on all shots (EWT, influenza, rabies) before it can be released. A Coggins test result must be negative within six months of arrival. EWT and rabies vaccines are required annually, and a vet must administer the rabies vaccine. The influenza vaccine is required biannually. De-worming is required quarterly, and the horse must be de-wormed while in quarantine under witness by vet or stable staff. West Nile virus is currently in San Diego County and in several counties in Arizona. We strongly recommend administering that vaccine, as well. For more information and fees contact the Camp Pendleton Stepp Stables at 760-725-5094.
Shipping pets via Air Mobility Command, or AMC, aircraft: Pets means "dogs and cats only." Keep in mind that pet shipment is not an entitlement, but a privilege limited to charter passengers in a permanent-change-of-station status. The limit is two pets per family. Waivers are required to transport more than two. There is a weight limit -- 99 pounds, including the cage or shipping container. The government does not underwrite or reimburse the cost of shipping pets. Owners pay the freight, and they also must make their own commercial airline arrangements if the pet exceeds the AMC's 99-pound weight limit. Pet 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 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches.
Service members should advise their transportation office or distribution management office, about their pets when making arrangements to ship their belongings. Make arrangements two or three months before you are scheduled to PCS. Owners should anticipate difficulty shipping pets during the summer months, when most PCS moves take place. Again, be aware that you may have to ship your pets on a commercial flight and make financial contingency plans for this possibility.