Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taking Dogs to Australia

Our two dogs, Sophie & Lulu, are our life. They are our kids. We couldn't imagine leaving them here, so when we started planning to emigrate to Australia, we had to make sure that we were able to take them with us.

 

Upon research, we found out that Australia requires a quarantine process that can take from 1 - 6 months if bringing your pets from the US.  The amount of time the spend in quarantine depends on when you begin the procedures such as rabies testing. If you have things planned in advance you can start procedures 5 months before your departure, meaning they would only need to spend 1 month in quarantine. 

We are a little concerned as to how well they will cope with being away from us for an entire month. As I said, they are our babies, and a little spoiled. We will only get to visit them twice a week, which will be really hard. Probably more so for us. The quarantine facility in Sydney is very much like a kennel,  which is an environment they are not used to at all.

 Eastern Creek Quarantine - Sydney - AustraliaEastern Creek Quarantine - Sydney - Australia 

We had a lot of thinking to do when we were talking about moving to Australia. As well as quarantine, they would also face a grueling 13 hour flight from SFO to SYD. In the end
we decided that the improvement in our lifestyle by moving to Australia outweighed any of the risks. 

The quarantine situation leaves us with quite a dilemma with regards to timing. Obviously we want to minimize their time in quarantine to 1 month, by starting the procedure early here in the US. However, with the current Visa madness we have no idea when we will be moving. We have to try and estimate when we may get the visa, and hope that our guesses work out. We already made the mistake once of starting the Rabies testing  back when we first applied for the visa. Those results expired, and we were back to square one. With the potential for moving up in Processing Priorities for the visa, we decided that it was probably worth starting again, so we took the dogs last week for their Rabies (RNATT) test, which determines their rabies antibody levels. I'm confident they will pass this time, as they passed it the previous time. We should get the results in a couple of weeks. 


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