Animal rescue: How to bring a dog with you from vacation

DrHis eyesight could soften stones. She looks at us with confident eyes – a small and variegated hybrid on the beach in Mallorca. Many vacationers feel sorry for cute animals wandering alone. You want to give them a home. But taking dogs with you from holiday countries is controversial. Anyone who still decides to do so often faces significant bureaucratic hurdles. Patience and money are required if you want to adopt an animal. We have summarized the necessary steps.

One thing in advance: in spite of all the love, you should definitely realize that the little dog is accustomed to a free life and should be on a leash in this country. Without exception, experts recommend better support for local animal protection projects or the organization of castration of stray animals at the holiday destination.

But what if it’s love at first sight that binds us to the mixed dog from the beach in Spain? The idea that a youngster would end up in a dog camp and be killed there after a 21-day grace period is disturbing. So what can you do?

The doctor must examine the dog

Above all, it is important to check whether the animal really does not have an owner. A free-roaming dog can have a caring owner, because in many countries it is not uncommon for dogs to go for a walk themselves. So just watch what your dog does when you’re not making an effort. You can only take the next step if you are sure that it is a street dog.

Are you traveling in one of the European Union countries? Since 2004, a European-wide regulation on traveling with pets has been in place. Accordingly, dogs, cats and ferrets require a European passport for pets. The passport that the veterinarian will issue contains information about the animal, certifies a valid rabies vaccination and documents identification with a chip.

Stray dogs like this four-legged friend in eastern Georgia are accustomed to a free life—even if it’s hard

Source: Getty Images / Andrea Ricordi, Italy

So the pet passport becomes everything and the end of the entire campaign. The second step after “catching” leads accordingly to your local vet. This should check if the animal has already been cut or tattooed and if so, whether it is registered and possibly missing.

Then the doctor must assess the state of health. Is the dog portable? Does he suffer from infectious diseases? What is the condition of the fur, teeth and organs? This also helps you to assess the costs of treatment and a doctor that you will have to face in Germany. If there is no identification, the dog must be chopped. This is done quickly and inexpensively.

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Even worse is the rabies vaccination. Because the vaccination is only valid if it is at least 21 days old. However, most of the time the vacation is much shorter; This is where the dream of saving a dog usually explodes. Because if you bring an animal across the border without being vaccinated, you consider yourself a criminal offence, and the poor creature ends up in a quarantine station upon discovery.

What to consider when flying with an animal

Animal welfare PETA Deutschland eV recommends contacting an animal shelter, animal welfare association or a local vet in order to plan and prepare for the legal departure of your four-legged friend, as it is often not possible to take the animal directly with you. However, many animal welfare organizations and animal shelters abroad take in existing animals and prepare them accordingly for the trip abroad. In this way, the four-legged friend can be safely moved to his new home.

If all previous obstacles are overcome, a trip back home together will be on the agenda. If you are going back by car, then everything is very simple: the dog gets into the car, is secured for transportation, and with enough water and food, the return trip can begin.

These street dogs in central Athens are resting in a cardboard camp

These street dogs in central Athens are resting in a cardboard camp

Source: Getty Images / Matt Cardy

In the case of the return flight, things get even more complicated. Some airlines do not take dogs at all. But most of them do, albeit under certain conditions. A dog weighing less than five to eight kilograms (including the transport box) can travel in the cabin. You can use your own transport container if it meets the required dimensions (55cm x 40cm x 23cm) and is water-resistant and bite-resistant. Transfer costs are around 50€ (for trips within the EU) to 70€ for international flights.

If the animal weighs more, then it should fly in a transport box (available in specialized stores) in a special part of the cargo hold. Since the normal cargo hold is not pressurized, only this specific portion is under normal pressure. However, since space is limited there, the transfer must be registered with the airline at least one day, and preferably two days, prior to departure. If all seats are occupied there is no right to take them with you. Depending on the company, the cost of transportation varies between 70 and 150 euros for medium-sized dogs.

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Does your leave not last long enough for the rabies vaccination to take effect? And then there’s sometimes a happy ending: the animal protection association or the local organization. If you are very fond of your four-legged friend and want to take him at home, then such an association can house the dog for a long time and get a sponsor for the trip. For a small fee, which varies from club to club and is approved as a donation, you can then receive your new roommate in Germany a few weeks after your vacation at the airport.

Additional information:

PETA Germany Registered Association: peta.de

Business Trip Sponsor: Anyone who signs up as a Trip Sponsor for free will receive an email reminder every two months. As soon as the destination of the next vacation is determined, the association is informed of this. If assistance is needed, the organization will contact you from the holiday resort in time to clarify what is necessary.

You can register as a trip sponsor with the following associations and organizations and you will find a lot of information on this topic, medical advice and advice about the condition of dogs in the respective country. luftbruecke-fuer-hunde.de; tierschutzmallorca.de; spanishdogs.com; flugpate.org.

The import, possession and sale of wild animals may soon become illegal

The Federal Council believes that the import, possession and sale of wild animals that have been illegally caught and exported in their home country should be prohibited. Wild animals caught outside the EU should not be allowed to enter the European internal market without strict conditions.

Source: WELT / Peter Haentjes

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