On 5th March 2007 I blogged about Pokey and Oscar's iminent arrival into Singapore HERE, then two days later I blogged about their arrival into Singapore HERE .... it all seems to long ago now. Well I guess it is in a dogs life, 5 years is a long time!
But to import Oscar back into Australia is incredibly stressful.
If we knew what we know now (and yes, we all suffer hindsight!) I doubt we would have brought them to Singapore in the first place. But sometimes it is easy to say these things (in hindsight!) but I doubt we would have been able to leave them behind either ... so what does one do in this situation?
If you are considering exporting your animal out of Australia, think VERY carefully about them returning at some point and the stress you are putting not only them under, but yourself. When your cat or dog is exported from Australia they immediately relinquish their Australian health status. While overseas your cat or dog may be exposed to exotic diseases and depending on which country they have resided in, they may not meet Australian import requirements upon return.
Arriving into Singapore is a breeze if you are coming in from Australia ..... but returning is a different matter all together. It started on 15 Nov 2011, yes, over three months ahead of the expected date of departure.
We contacted K9 Kennels/Mitchville Kennels to enquire how to proceed.:
The reply was straight forward with a few questions:
To enable us to quote for your pet's relocation, would appreciate if you could advise us the following:
1. Does the pet/s have the following:
a) valid AVA dog license? If not, please indicate if the dog has been sterilised.
c) valid Annual vaccination? If yes, please advise date given.
d) airline approved travelling cage?
If yes, please provide the length, width and height of cage. Is the cage made of plastic or wood? Does it have metal door?
If no, please advise the following measurements of each pet in standing position (on its four paws):
i) Length of pet - from tip of nose to bottom of tail (bum)
ii) Width of pet - from shoulder to shoulder
iii) Height of pet - from head to ground.
3. Would you like to pay the 30 days quarantine charges directly to the authorities or through us?
4. Should the pet/s have any ongoing veterinary problem or require any medication or prescription diet, please provide details.
5. Kindly confirm the pet/s has never been to Africa before.
We immediately sent a reply attaching all the required documentation. Always comes in handy when you have these important documents scanned and saved on the HD.
More papers to complete and sign.
By 21 Nov 2011 we had a confirmation letter from K9 Kennels saying they were able to relocate him to Australia, provided the Australian Import Permit would be issued for Oscar.
We were told at this point we also had to supply ORIGINAL documents and that K9 Kennels would arrive at our home to collect them in the first week of December 2011:
- Microchip numbers (or certificates - if available)
- Valid Singapore dog license/s
- Original Sterilisation Certificates (if any)
- Medical history of pets (if any)
- Documentary proof of pet's 6 months residency in Singapore (compulsory)
- Owner's passport copy
- Owner's full residential address and contact number in Australia (compulsory for Australian Import permit application)
- AQIS Veterinary Medical Form (compulsory; find attached)
- An alternative contact number and email address in Singapore for us to get in touch with you (optional)
- a 50% deposit (S$2,209.50) or full payment (S$4,419.50) of the total amount stated on the agreed quote
On the same day, my colleague will bring the required documents for your completion and signature.
We also needed to show them the crate Oscar was to travel in ..... but it turned out that the crate door was not properly 'fixed' and so we needed to get another crate. We were fortunate that K9 Kennels could obtain a second hand one for us for $60.00 SGD.
At this point we also needed to take Oscar to the vet (The Animal Clinic in Clementi) for a complete check up and for Dr Jennifer to sign all the req'd documents, plus to check his microchip number.
If you are intending to import a pet into Australia, plan well ahead as you will need every day of three months. From the time K9 Kennels came to collect the documentation on 5 DEC 2011 we were then told it would take 20 business days to obtain the Import Permit.
...... and if you are any good at maths, you will note that the 20 (business) days comes up at 5th January due to Christmas and other public holidays.
But it was far sooner than we expected ....
He had recently been diagnosed with Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings disease) and Congestive Heart Failure.
we were devasted.
So I sat down and wrote a long email to them including three photos taken of Oscar that same day. I wanted them to see what he looked like and to ask them to reassess the situation. We had been advised by the vet he was not in any pain at all ..... and we felt it was worth the risk of trying to get him HOME .... we had to at least try.
we then rec'd a reply and in part it read:
Should you decide to proceed with Oscar’s importation, please inform AQIS in writing that you have read and understood this letter. AQIS will then continue to assess your application to import Oscar against relevant Australian legislation and policies.
The private veterinarian can determine whether changes to Oscar’s medication or care is necessary following any stress associated with importation.
In accordance with standard Australian import conditions, the approved veterinarian signing Veterinary Certificate A of the import permit must perform a detailed clinical examination of Oscar within four days of export, and certify that Oscar is healthy and fit to travel to Australia and undergo quarantine. If AQIS does grant you a permit to import Oscar, you must comply with this condition.
That was enough for us!
and at 11.00am on December 15 we rec'd an email from K9 Kennels:
Good News! We just received Oscar's Import Permit this morning.
please read the next blog post
and he is still a handsome boy!
Start the process at least 3 months ahead of your proposed date of travel.
Read the Australian Quarantine website thoroughly.
Be flexible where you can so there are 'no surprises' at the last moment.
Make sure you have a good vet that knows your animal.