Being as thorough as I am, I researched every possible option on how to move your pet overseas. And not just any pet. Clayton Theodore Foxhound III.

There are exactly two ways to move your pet overseas:

1. Hire a Pet Relocation service to do “everything.” The estimate to move CTF III ranged from $1600 to $2200, and did not include the air crate, trip to the vet for the required checkup, transportation to the airport, and airfare for said pet. So, figure $1600 to $2200 for almost everything.

2. Do “everything” the pet relocation service would do yourself.  Research the import rules for the country of choice, look at the timetable for any required vaccinations, make your pet’s flight reservation, and transport the animal yourself.  We both have graduate degrees in technical fields, how hard could this be?

We started first with “EC regulation 988/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on the animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animals and amending Council Directive 92/65/EEC.  This 20 page document lays down the animal health requirements for both the movement of pets between Member States and from third countries.”

Between the two of us it took about 30 minutes to determine that the US is a “Third Country,” because I think we were confusing the designation with “Third World Country,” and couldn’t figure out why the US had that designation.  Was it because our president once ate dogs?

The regulations regarding CTF III’s travel between the US and Austria are fairly straightforward:

1. Current rabies vaccination.  Check.  
2. Approved travel crate. This is where we started to get a little nervous.  Our initial effort to kennel him when he was first adopted went something like this:

I just recently sold the kennel. “In excellent condition. Never used.” We’re working ever so slowly on getting him to accept the travel crate as friend and not foe. Every time we play with him, to get him into the crate, he just gives us a look that says, “I ain’t going in no stinkin’ box, peoples.” Great. I was looking forward to my first business class flight, sleeping through the overnight and arriving in Vienna refreshed.  Instead I will be wide awake all night, watching the stupid little monitor tick away the kilometers until we land, convinced that CTF III is in the cargo hold baying his fool head off and organizing a rebellion to escape the moment the hold is opened.

3. Microchip.  Check. That was a condition of the adoption from the Animal Welfare League. We all went for our “suitability interview” on a Tuesday evening after meeting CTF III, and then Husband picked him up two nights later.

I pulled out CTF III’s file to confirm I had the rabies certificate and the microchip information, and noticed that Husband was the only person listed as CTF III’s owner. No big deal. I’ll just call the good folks at AVID and add my name to the certificate, to head off any problems at the airport.

Except that I can’t. Only Husband can do that. “Pet ownership is a serious matter,” I was told. So Husband called AVID and was told that he needs to “clear” the ownership change with the Animal Welfare League, as they were the ones who injected the microchip. So Husband called the AWL, and was told that they weren’t sure they could modify the ownership, and are presently looking into the matter. (But they did remember CTF III and were excited that he was traveling with us to Austria!)  At worst, Husband would have to transfer the ownership to me, at which point I can include him on the certificate. I’m sure there will be a fee, and it will not be between $1600-$2200.