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Thread: Bringing my Dog to Bonaire from the US

  1. #1
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    Default Bringing my Dog to Bonaire from the US

    hello,

    I plan to visit Bonaire in April, and would like to bring my puppy. I own a villa, so I'm not worried about the accomodations. The dog is 5 lbs and will be in the cabin with us.

    Wondering - has anyone done this? I'm trying to figure out the best way to do the health form and whether to get it signed by the USDA (Aphis permit). I believe technically, I do not need this, but wondering if anyone has success with just health certificate.

    Thank you in advance.

    -- Merrill

  2. #2
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    My wife and I have brought her Service Dog to Bonaire twice now. Within 10 days of your departure, you need to get your vet to prepare a health certifcate (APHIS Form 7001). You then need to bring this form or mail it to a USDA location to have it approved, along with copies of your dog's current rabies certifcation. (We chose to make an appointment and drive the 90+ miles to the closest USDA location that approves these forms rather than mail or FedEx it to them, along with return mail or FedEx fees.) Normally there is a small fee for this from USDA but that fee is waived for service animals. The form is valid for 30 days from when it signed by USDA. If you are on Bonaire for longer than that, you need to go to a local vet (we have used Fulco DeVries when we were on Bonaire one time for 6 weeks) to get a current health certificate. When you return the to U.S., you need to bring the dog and all of the forms (inlcuding the orignal APHIS form, Dr. DeVries form and rabies certificate) to be approved by Customs & Immigration. First time we only had to go to the special area at Newark as we were leaving international baggage claim; the second time, they escorted us to the same location after we went thoguh Global Entry, then told us to get our luggage and come back there. In each case they briefly looked at the forms, then sent all of our bags (checked and carry-on) through x-ray and then sent us on our way. Minor incovenience in reality, vs. the benefits of bringing the dog. BTW, on our arrival on Bonaire. we were asked each time to show the dog's "passport" before we could leave baggage claim, but the "passport" was merely the APHIS form 7001. Our vet charged a pretty significant fee to prepare the form but Dr. DeVries was a "whopping" $8.25. You go to his location about a week before you travel home during "open, non-appointment visitation" hours (M/W/F 13:30 - 14:30; T/Th 17:00 - 17:30 and Sat 11:00 - 12:00) and wait your turn to be seen. We went on the Thursday a week plus before we were flying home, arriving about 16:40 and were 3rd in line; finished by 17:15 but the line got long after we arrived. Be sure to bring the dog, your APHIS paperwork and the dog's vaccination paperwiork and cash to pay him. Very pleasant person. PM me if you want or need more info.

    Mark

  3. #3
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    From the side of Bonaire, remember we are part of Holland and so entry of animals is covered under Dutch Law. All pets must be chipped. Furthermore, there is a form for Bonaire, which you can download here: https://www.infobonaire.com/getting-...with-your-pet/ which must be available upon your arrival here.

  4. #4
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks Susan for pointing out the need for the dog to be chipped - I had forgotten to mention that. Regarding the form you mentioned, Dr. DeVries told me in an e-mail befofe pour first trip that either that form or the US form (APHIS Form 7001) are acceptable for entering Bonaire. When we returned through Newark on our last 6-week trip, the Customs agent wanted to see the U.S. form even though it was more than 30 days old, but did not even want to see the Bonairian/Dutch form that Dr. DeVries had completed. Just my expoerience.


  5. #5
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    I'm glad you had an easy experience. Personally, I wouldn't take the risk, and I would have documents for BOTH countries. I have had people tell me they were denied boarding in the States on their way to Bonaire, because they didn't have the proper documentation for entry of pets into Holland. And, of course, once an airline allows you to board, if you are turned away upon arrival, it is the airline's problem. So that is why they are very particular about checking documents before one boards. I can imagine that U.S. Customs has no interest in the Dutch form, and if the Dutch Customs allows the U.S. form, that is great, but I wouldn't personally take that chance.

  6. #6
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Good point Susan. Perhaps we were lucky, but your suggestion makes a lot of sense - bring both.

  7. #7
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    thank you very much.

  8. #8
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    Thank you both very much! I will bring both forms ... assuming flights resume.

  9. #9
    DrDirector is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Just as a reminder, the US form must be completed by a vet who is signed up with USDA to do so (the place we use currently has 3 vets authorized to prepare the form) and it must be done within 10 days of your departure. The form then needs to be signed off by USDA. You can either send it to them (using USPS, UPS or FedEx - and I would suggest including prepaid forms/envelopes for them to send it back; your vet can tell you where to send it) or bring it to a USDA location that can approve the form. (You can make an appointment or just go and wait). We choose to drive 90 miles each way to the nearest USDA approval facility rather than chance getting the approved form back in time if we sent it. (Although we live in the Washington, DC area, home of USDA, the nearest approval location for us is in Richmond, VA.) Besides whatever your vet charges, there is a small fee for USDA to approve the form - abpout $20, but this is waived for Service Dogs. Be sure to bring your dog's vaccination papers with you, and if the dog is not yet microchipped, it must receive another rabies vaccination after it has been microchipped. Because ours is a Service Dog, we also bring a letter from the training facility documenting what services the dog is trained to do as well as our physician justifying the reasons for the service dog. No one has ever asked to see those documents, but it is best to have them just in case.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDirector View Post
    Just as a reminder, the US form must be completed by a vet who is signed up with USDA to do so (the place we use currently has 3 vets authorized to prepare the form) and it must be done within 10 days of your departure. The form then needs to be signed off by USDA. You can either send it to them (using USPS, UPS or FedEx - and I would suggest including prepaid forms/envelopes for them to send it back; your vet can tell you where to send it) or bring it to a USDA location that can approve the form. (You can make an appointment or just go and wait). We choose to drive 90 miles each way to the nearest USDA approval facility rather than chance getting the approved form back in time if we sent it. (Although we live in the Washington, DC area, home of USDA, the nearest approval location for us is in Richmond, VA.) Besides whatever your vet charges, there is a small fee for USDA to approve the form - abpout $20, but this is waived for Service Dogs. Be sure to bring your dog's vaccination papers with you, and if the dog is not yet microchipped, it must receive another rabies vaccination after it has been microchipped. Because ours is a Service Dog, we also bring a letter from the training facility documenting what services the dog is trained to do as well as our physician justifying the reasons for the service dog. No one has ever asked to see those documents, but it is best to have them just in case.
    Thank you so much ! I really appreciate the assistance. All this may be moot since I don't think I'll be able to get to Bonaire next month, but just incase .... my 4 month old puppy (5 lbs) had his rabies vaccine 2 weeks ago, but is not yet chipped. The customs official in Bonaire (I had emailed) said chipping was not necessary, but suggested. We plan to chip him, but was holding off until he was neutered at the vets suggestion since he is so small. So 2 questions ...
    * Is the chip required or not?
    * Why do they need to be re-vaccinated for rabies?

    Thank you again!

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