Bringing pets to El Salvador
So Monday I arrive in El Salvador with my dog...a 50 pound boxer. I thought I'd share what I've learned about shipping our dog. I am leaving from California, so you may want to check with your local division, but here are the steps for bringing our dog.
My husband checked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure what I had found on the internet was true.
1. Rabies and vaccinations must be up to date.
2. You must obtain a certificate of health for the animal, no sooner than 10 days before you arrive.
3. Once you get that health certificate you do the following:
4. You take it immediately to your local USDA office to verify that the certificate documents are according to standards, showing the animal has no contagious diseases. Here is the web site, explaining exactly what is required:
For Los Angeles, this is the contact number and address:
APHIS 310 725-1970,
Bring documents only (not the animal) to :
11850 South La Cienaga Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
5. In Los Angeles the next step is to go to the Country Recorder’s office with the documents from APHIS/USDA. These items must have your address on the documents to prove you live in the district you have filed:
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
12400 IMPERIAL HIGHWAY
NORWALK, CA 90650
6. After that, you can go to the Secretatry of state to have the documents apostilled.
The documents must be apostilled because they will be shown to the Quarantine Department of the Airport for the release of your pet. You may want to print out the following document, to show, in case there is any question. I'm printing one for my folder of documents needed, just in case:
You must ship the animal in an IATA/APHIS approved container and mark the container with 1 inch letters:
"Live Animal" and although the airport workers in El Salvador usually speak english, I am also adding, "Perro Vivo" for Spanish.
Both water and food bowls must be attached to the inside of the front door and be refillable from the outside of the container without opening the door.
It is not recommended that you give your pet a sedative before they fly. And it is recommended that you acclimate the pet to the container at least a week before, so they don't feel frightened.
At the airport, you will surrender your forms to an inspector and will be given a form to complete with questions about the pet. Once you've completed this process, they will surrender your pet.
Another thing to keep in mind if you don't have family picking you up is the amount of luggage and the size of the container you are bringing. You may want to arrange a taxi service that can transport your pet and luggage. Many of the taxis in El Salvador are small and have minimal space for bringing a great deal of luggage and a pet container.
Hopefully, this helps someone frustrated over trying to find answers to this question that seems to lack answers on the internet. Always check to see if things have changed though, because from time to time various documents are added.