Unhappy Cats and Dogs in Australian Quarantine…

… and a lot of unhappy cat and dog owners as well.

unhappy dogIt was only a few months ago that I wrote my post Dogs and Cats in Australian Quarantine: It’s Good News, and it was very good news indeed. The big announcement was that for some qualifying dogs and cats, their stay in quarantine was to be reduced from 30 days to just 10.

Well, on 3 February 2014, those new rules came into force, which IS great. At the same time, DAFF announced on their website that visiting and exercising would continue as before.

Which was even better!

This meant that owners or their representatives could continue to visit their pets twice a week to say hi and have a smooch, and a further twice a week to walk and exercise their dog in one of the paddocks for 30 minutes.

Regular readers will know that my wife set up her company Dog Walks Pty Ltd six years ago so that she and her staff could offer visits and walks and much more. Her company has also provided special food for dogs and cats, they don’t all like the standard dry food offered by quarantine.

Dog Walks also provided toys for pets to play with, additional bedding where required and photographs of cats and dogs from every visit offering great comfort to anxious pet owners concerned about the welfare of their furry friends.

For some, their pets are like their children, and the feedback that the Dog Walks team were able to give pet owners was, in some cases, invaluable. Mrs Bob has an email folder full of customers who said “We couldn’t have got through it without you.

So what’s the bad news?

Then, just a couple of weeks later, came a second announcement. Going forward under the new ten-day arrangement, visiting and exercising either by the owners or their chosen representatives would come to an end, taking effect as at today, Monday, 3 March 2014.

Under the new rules there will be no…

  • Walks for dogs
  • Cuddles for cats
  • Visits for either dogs or cats
  • No special foods
  • No extra bedding
  • No toys
  • And of course, no photographs

Nothing. You cannot even telephone to ask how your dog or cat is doing.

Exceptions

There are exceptions to the above, of course. If you feel your pet does require a special diet, and remember anything that is wet and comes in a tin is regarded as special by quarantine, then you can complete a “special needs” requirement when applying for your permit.

You will need to get your vet to make a statement outlining the animal’s condition and therefore the reason for the special diet though. Once you’ve done all that, quarantine’s own vet will have to approve your request and if all goes well, who knows, maybe Rover will get his tin of Pedigree Chum after all.

Want your pet to be exercised? Again, you will need to go through the veterinary approval process for that.

For further details on the rules, see this page on the Department of Agriculture’s website.

Mrs Bob did do some research on this, she looked at quarantine stations in the USA, Europe including the UK, South Africa, Singapore and even our close neighbours, New Zealand.

Every single one of those quarantine stations allow visiting during the quarantine period and some of them also allow exercising as well.

But no, not here in Australia.

Prison

shocked catSo now when a cat or dog enters Australian quarantine, it really is like going to prison. A prison with solitary confinement.

Welcome to the dark ages.

Mrs Bob has lost her business due to this simple rule change, but she is not the biggest loser here. All the thousands of dogs and cats who come through quarantine in the near future and their owners are the ones that will suffer the most.

AQIS and DAFF, for their Draconian attitude combined with their sheer laziness (Oh, do we really need to get involved with pet owners? Let’s just lock the doors.) can now join the likes of the English FA, wasps, cockroaches and some other critters as an Australian Bad Thing.

 

 

bone

Update: April 2014

Thinking of Exporting Your Pet to Australia?

As I have mentioned above, my wife’s Dog Walks team can no longer physically visit pets in Australian quarantine. With no contact allowed at all, this can be quite a traumatic experience, mainly for the pet owners.

In fact, the whole process of exporting your dog is quite daunting, so Karen has now written a book on the subject.

For more information, visit…

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{ 252 comments… add one }
  • Lexie December 3, 2016, 6:50 am | Link

    I was given a scholarship to attend the University of Melbourne, however, I was going to move with my best friend: my cat. However, after learning and reading about the quarantine, the problems and etc, I will reject the scholarship. If he dies during the quarantine, I will never forgive myself. And also, I’m not planning on leaving him behind, I would never do that.

    • Mark December 3, 2016, 6:55 pm | Link

      Its admirable the care and consideration for your cat you have but can I …… Just play devils advocate here though, so please do not be upset with me I’m trying to find perspective.. You are turning down a scholarship at Melbourne University for your cat and its welfare in Customs quarantine..It will be fine…You will have a degree from Australia’s ‘number one university and world leader in education, teaching and research excellence’.

    • Sarah December 3, 2016, 11:14 pm | Link

      Your cat will be fine my dog was great he come here about 4-5 months ago no dramas good communication and out in 10days your mad if u turn down a scholarship cos your worried your cat will not be ok hundreds of animals go through and if they was badly treated don’t you think they would be in the papers on the news !! The very odd case someone may not be happy like anything dealing with public or service they can’t get it 100% all the time even if that’s what they strive to do.. This page is about people’s bad experance’s hence why there are more bad than good on here.. I hope you don’t waste a amazing opportunity!!

      • BobinOz December 4, 2016, 11:44 pm | Link

        My wife ran her dogwalks business, which walked and/or visited dogs and cats in quarantine here in Australia, for six years. She literally saw thousands of pets go through this system, in all that time she is only aware of one dog that died, no cats. They spent 30 days in quarantine at that time.

        In the same period of time she’s probably been aware of more dogs that have died outside of the quarantine system and in the last five years our own dog died, old age, and one of our cats got run over.

        As Sarah has rightly stated, this page does attract, for obvious reasons, people who are unhappy about cats or dogs in Australian quarantine. It’s something to do with the title 🙂

        I think we can safely say the odds of your cats surviving this are in your favour. Don’t chuck away a great opportunity when there is no need to. Good luck, whatever you decide, Bob

  • KR November 21, 2016, 12:21 pm | Link

    Hi. Will likely be relocating back to Oz from HK early 2017 and bringing our rescue kitty with us. To say I’m nervous would be an understatement…more so about the fact that I am unable to visit and monitor her condition for the 10 days she is in quarantine – especially after hearing some of the stories on this thread. My main concerns stem from the fact that she isn’t used to being around other people and tends to become very anxious and in some cases even a little – what could be perceived as – aggressive. Even taking her to the vet is a struggle – she has to be mildly sedated once we’re there for them to be able to do anything with her. It’s fear, not aggression however. I’m just concerned at how this kind of behaviour might be interpreted and/or handled by quarantine staff, or if they’re used to this kind of thing? The other issue that concerns me is eating. She’s a picky eater at the best of times and given she’ll be in a strange environment, under stress, eating a diet that is new to her – I’m worried that she won’t eat at all. Cats in particular can become fatally ill from not eating for an extended period of time. Given that people’s pets have come out of quarantine sick, not been given medication they require – I wonder how closely they’re really monitored; ie. is anyone really going to notice or understand the gravity of a situation where a cat refuses to eat for a few days or more?
    As an aside to all of the above, has anyone ever tried coming via NZ? The quarantine conditions are much friendlier, including visitation, and animals coming from NZ to Australia can do so without any further quarantine. However, I’ve also read that said animal has to have spent 90 continuous days in NZ prior? Does that also apply to animals that have satisfied the NZ 10-day quarantine period? I’d much rather bypass Oz quarantine altogether if I can. Thanks in advance.

    • Mark December 4, 2016, 8:12 am | Link

      I’m sure quarantine will have come across all manner of problems with animals..From suffering from flight problems to scared where there normal surrounds have gone. That will affect all animals however there tempremnt they wioll be slighty to very anxious whats happening to them . Have your vet write out a report for them first to put you at ease and insist it travels withe the animals documents. he can write it to quarantine as an assessment As for managing to negate quarantine via NZ forgive me but that just darn stupid… on three fronts firstly you put your animal through unnecessary extra flights and secondly the restrictions are there for a reason to protect the rest of the population. thirdly if caught your beloved pet may likely be taken from you.

      • KR December 6, 2016, 12:25 am | Link

        Thanks for your input Mark however I think you may be a little off track somewhere there. I didn’t say I had any intention of breaking any laws or doing anything illegal – I asked whether anyone had experience coming via NZ. It is perfectly legal to bring a pet from NZ to Australia directly without a quarantine period so long as all regulations and requirements are adhered to prior to that happening. Those requirements as I’ve since discovered, require the animal to have been in NZ for 90 days before its relocation to Australia. So effectively, 10 days quarantine in NZ from place of origin + 90 days stay in NZ = 100 days (minimum) – then your pet can be brought into Australia without further quarantine.
        As for being “stupid”… My cat will be subjected to a second flight within Australia regardless, from Melbourne to our final destination, so an international flight to NZ and a short-haul flight from there to our final destination in Oz wouldn’t have been out of the question aside from the 90-day rule. I’d have much rather gone that route if possible and had her in a quarantine facility where visiting is permitted vs. having her locked away with no opportunity to visit whatsoever. Which do you think would be less stressful for my cat???

        • Mark December 6, 2016, 7:13 am | Link

          I am aware of the 90 days spent in NZ plus quarantine will effectively cover Australian Quarantine requirements as it appeared you was. aware of most of it. My apologies if I had offended you but I read it as your post suggested you would and I quote ‘rather bypass Oz quarantine altogether’. That can be taken in many ways, I think it was because you had yourself alluded to the fact that you was aware of the 90 days rule but unsure of the 10 in quarantine…It would be automatic the 10 in quarantine would be applied first. (its always harder via email messages to fully understand someone) People have I’m sure tried to negate the rules. I have no real concrete idea from your first post that you would not consider it. , Your reply clears this up, you would not!. After all even Amber Heard 9remeber Johnny Depp) pleaded guilty to ‘avoiding quarantine, so to speak’. . Which is then my other reason for saying in my opinion ‘darn stupid’ to do it that way…Not avoid customs but the travel path …I am no animal expert but I imagine the worst part for them is the flight. So we have a bit longer to NZ then they have to stay 90 days after quarantine somewhere else, where they may get lost, disorientated who knows, then we have a decent length flight even back to anywhere in Australia… As you had described your cat I would have personally thought road travel in Australia would have been the best..Coming from HK I imagined Melbourne or Sydney…or the coasts.. of course I could be wrong… All I had written was in an effort to help and draw perspective on your comments and thought process. ‘Devils advocate; . As you have said yourself Melbourne it is for customs I’m sure . I’m actually not a ‘Cat person’ (we are all different) I was just feeling for the poor animal being carted and crated around far more than necessary. Hope it all runs smoothly.

    • Mark B December 5, 2016, 11:42 am | Link

      As additional information regarding the thought of going through New Zealand. I too had considered that and did some research. Animals can go between Australia and New Zealand quarantine free with the caveat that the pet has to be in the one country for 90 days post quarantine prior to going to the other country. So in order to do the quarantine in New Zealand and take advantage of passage into Australia without quarantine it would require your pet to be in New Zealand for at least 100 days. It is also important to know that both Australia and New Zealand require the same procedures prior to your pet arriving into quarantine which is why there can be the transit between the two nations without quarantine (assuming the 90 day outside quarantine requirement has been met).

      • BobinOz December 5, 2016, 11:30 pm | Link

        Difficult to see the advantages then, isn’t it? There was a time when Australia had 30 days in quarantine and New Zealand only 10, so some people preferred to go that way simply for that. Now though when both countries offer ten-day quarantine there is just no point.

      • KR December 6, 2016, 12:32 am | Link

        Thanks. I did some research myself (after my initial post) and yes, the 90-day stay in NZ makes it a lot less viable. I was/am aware of the procedures prior to arrival – which is why I thought of NZ initially – given that all the prep work has been done for Australia, I figured it would be the same for entry into NZ. Looks like Melbourne it is.

  • Ebe October 29, 2016, 7:38 am | Link

    Thank you for everyone that has provided information. Has anyone made the move from Canada? Looking at relocating from Calgary to the west coast. My dog has severe separation anxiety and crate anxiety (she is a rescue). I am wondering if anyone has feedback for this? Do the crate companies provide bedding? You can get the crate before to get your dog used to it? Could she injure herself in the crate trying to get out? She has damaged her teeth chewing plastic and wire kennels. Is she suppose to mess in the crate? Access to food/water in the crate? It’s a long flight! Can any Canadian vet do the 19 steps? Does it always take 6 months? Lastly, how much is the permit? I read $460 on Australia’s website, but see different numbers here. I understand vetting costs during the 19 steps, a $460 application fee, transport/flight/crate fee of $7000ish and then quarantine of $1800. Thanks in advance. This is daunting. I thought taking the kids was the hard part…

    • BobinOz November 21, 2016, 7:35 pm | Link

      Okay, clearly nobody from Canada around, so I’ll just let you know what I know as best I can.

      I’m pretty sure bedding is not allowed in the crate, they do not allow anything in there that could cause harm to the animal, for example a dog could try eating the bedding and choke. From what you say, sounds like your dog might be a candidate for that. So I’m pretty sure nothing is allowed in the crate, but you can get the crate before you travel so your pet can get used to it.

      I think they might have access to water, but not food in the crate. Find a Canadian vet who is aware of the Australian quarantine procedures, I think some vets are even Australian authorised for this.

      I’m not sure about the current fees, but your total looks about right. We paid £3000 to bring our dog over and that was nine years ago and was equivalent to around $7500 AUD at the time. Good luck, hope it goes well for you and your dog.

      • Erin November 22, 2016, 1:05 pm | Link

        We were allowed a super high tech pee pad (I ordered it from amazon, it had a cardboard backing) and blankets (that we slept with for days before to make them smell like us) BUT all bedding was thrown away once the dogs were let out of the crates. Yes, you can purchase the crate ahead of time. The transport company will provide you with specifications. They can have water (we used two bowls with frozen ice so it wouldn’t spill when they were loaded, and a funnel so they could be refilled on landing) Once on the plane, they sleep. It’s dark, it’s quiet, and the hum of the engines and vibration puts them to sleep. I refused to let my Yorkies go without being on the flight with them. I watched them get loaded and unloaded. The flight attendants and gate crew knew my dogs were on that flight, and they all reassured me they can hear when the dogs bark and they were all quiet. The flight was actually the least stressful part. Quarantine itself was the hard part. Yes, it takes 6 months. We paid about $10K total for vet fees for the 6 month lead-up ($2000), transport ($3000), and quarantine ($3600+$800 permits) for two tiny dogs. $7000 for transport seems really high to me, but if your dog is huge that may be the difference. They cable tie the crates and you have to use the kind that is bolted together, it’s a specific airline crate. They end up being in it for about 24 hours, yes they will mess in the crate, but that’s just how it has to be. You don’t want someone at the airport to let them out to walk them because they could get loose.

  • Jan October 21, 2016, 4:06 pm | Link

    Thanks Bronnie for your comments. I will write to the Vet as per your comment. Thanks also Bob for your comments about all the good ones too, this is entirely fair, as I never had any problem with my previous dog although he was in the old facility where you could visit. I realise they have an enormous number of dogs to care for in the new facility (400+ I think) but that doesn’t excuse the fact that if your animal is in discomfort they should take note and provide the necessary action to put it right.

    • BobinOz October 21, 2016, 9:16 pm | Link

      Yes, I agree, they should be experienced enough to be able to detect an animal who is in discomfort and do something about it. All I was saying in my comment below to Bronnie is that it is probably expecting too much to think that every animal should come out in perfect health.

      • Bronnie October 21, 2016, 10:38 pm | Link

        By all means I do not want to start trouble with my comments however I will stress again, I understand that there is a large amount of animals passing through the quarantine station however I do not accept the fact that we should not expect every animal to come out healthy. That I totally disagree with, it is a quarantine facility their jobs there are to be vigilant and alert they are totally responsible for the health and well being of not only the animals in thier care but also for the Australian animal population. Therefore I personally expect that every animal should come out in perfect health regardless of how many animals they have. It is thier job to make sure that this happens. On this point I will totally disagree with your comment Bob its common sense that you do not release a animal from quarantine who is not 100% healthy. No matter if they are busy or quiet they should have all the resources to continue with a high standard of care. If one animal comes out that is not healthy then I worry about the standard of this care.( this is by no means a personal attack at all…..I am just expressing my own concerns as to how I see this sort of situation) 🙂

        • BobinOz October 23, 2016, 8:54 pm | Link

          You’re not starting trouble at all, it’s okay to voice your opinion here Bronnie. We will have to disagree on this though, I think it’s wildly unrealistic to expect every dog or animal to remain perfectly healthy during their stay for all the reasons I’ve already stated below in my answer to you on October 20, 2016, 6:45 pm.

          Look at it this way, if they have 300 dogs in at a time, and I think they do, then for every 10 day spell it is equivalent of them looking after one dog for over eight years. Can you guarantee keeping a dog healthy for over eight years? I wouldn’t think so, and you don’t have to do do it under the very different circumstances that the dog would be living in in quarantine.

          As for ‘…its common sense that you do not release a animal from quarantine who is not 100% healthy.’ I totally disagree with you. If a dog has fallen ill whilst in quarantine, maybe because it stopped eating, maybe because it is pining for its owner, maybe because it stressed, the very best thing you can do once it has completed that quarantine period is returned it to its owners.

  • Jan October 18, 2016, 2:56 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,I have only just seen this blog and was interested to read all the comments about the Australian Quarantine Centre. I had a very bad experience with my dog coming from the UK in June this year to Australia. He was travelling with his eye ointment for dry eye and instructions for use. I did not hear anything from the Quarantine Centre other than to say dog number….had arrived so assumed he was happy and safe. After 10 days he was released and flown to Brisbane to be collected by my friend. As soon as she picked him up she rang me in the UK to say that she was taking him straight to the emergency vet as both his eyes were shut and leaking mucus. Emergency vet said ulceration in one eye (bad) and scratching of the other eye, both eyes infected. Vet said medication had not been used correctly in Centre. My dog had to have another 10 days of extensive treatment to start to clear up the damage to his eyes. I can hardly imagine what sort of discomfort he went through. I complained to the Quarantine Centre, but only received back the usual bland letter saying they had not detected any problems. To say I was angry is an understatement. Some years ago I bought another dog into the old centre in Melbourne, which was better in that you could go and see the dogs and have a play with them. The only consolation is that quarantine is only 10 days now. I am not happy though about the “behind doors” attitude. I have no intention of travelling at the moment, but would not bring another dog into Australia. Having said all that, I used a really good UK pet exporter from the UK to Australia and was pleased with everything they did.

    • Bronnie October 18, 2016, 4:18 pm | Link

      Hi Jan, I am so sorry to hear about what happened with your dog and disgusted that this is happened at the new quarantine station.
      I am a Australian who was looking at moving back to Aus and have 3 dogs after researching the new rules regulations and not even beginning to count the costs involved of transferring from melbourne to Perth I am not going to come back home.
      I find the new regulations barbaric and inhumane that you are not allowed to have any contact at all , to me it is as if they are above any suspicion and the law. I was so furious that this central quarantine station was established and all others closed down that I voiced my displeasure personally with the federal governments Vet who surprisingly knew nothing about the quarantine station.
      If you would like to voice your displeasure and concerns over the treatment of your dog , ( it also rings alarm bells for me that after a quarantine period of 10 days they have released a dog with such bad eyes, what else happens there unnoticed so they say and then is released??. So much for the importance of keeping the biodiversity of Australia safe!, also my friend bought her dog back into Australia and he came out of quarantine so sick it was 12 months of vets visits and he still never came good!!)
      Here is the email address of the Federal Vet if you would like to contact. [email protected]
      I regularly send off emails to her asking what is being done.
      Also I have posted here before about my concerns you can read them further down.
      Hope your dog is doing better!
      Bronnie

      • BobinOz October 18, 2016, 7:35 pm | Link

        Yes, I hope your dog is doing better as well Jan, and nobody likes the behind closed doors set up that the new quarantine station has gone with.

        Thanks the Lord it is only 10 days.

        • Bronnie October 18, 2016, 8:48 pm | Link

          I agree with the fact that it is now only 10 days HOWEVER, 10 days is still a long time with no contact allowed. Not only is it disrespectful to the owners who abide by all the laws and regulations on bringing thier pets back to Australia ,where is the recourse or accountability for the pets who leave the quarantine station in a state as Jans???? Does the Federal Government pay for the veterinary costs after? No, but they have got thier $29 per day , once a day dry biscuit feed, which I hope is gold coated, their $2500 processing fee and all the rest of the fees thrown in. If I placed my dog or cat in boarding kennels believing that they are well looked after and when I collect them I expect them to be in the same condition as they went in, if that was not the case I would not only refuse to pay but I would call in the appropriate authorities.
          The trouble with this system is the fact that you either have to accept the conditions that are offered or not bring your pets with you.
          To anyone bringing cats or dogs back to Australia I suggest you take lots of photos, thier weight and video thier character and if anything is wrong when you pick your dogs up go national. It is amazing how much things can change if you go on the television. .
          As I have said before I am constantly emailing the federal Vet asking for either contact to be arranged or at least webcams installed so owners can check in on thier pets. We need more people to do this.
          To end this post I would like to say I have no idea who’s idea it was to centralise the quarantine stations and to come up with the no contact law, but something needs to be done, for such a state of the art centre, it can’t be that hard.
          ( as a footnote, the risk of diseases , bought in by cats and dogs are so minimal when owners have immunised and yet the Australian Government stipulates that a titre test is required at least 3 times before the animal leaves and base the results of these tests as the basis as to whether or not the animal can enter. Titre tests are so unreliable it is not funny, so why is Australia behind the times with this? Another point made was different types of worms, when the animal is wormed 3 days before leaving these ‘worms” are dead. I know Australia has unique wildlife and we need to protect our flora and fauna but Australia better start doing this from within our country its double standards to stand there and say we are unique while allowing developments bulldoze all the native bush and habitats of our fauna behind them)

          • BobinOz October 19, 2016, 11:02 pm | Link

            I think everybody is quite disgusted with the no contact rule.

            Bronnie, I know you have left many comments here and as you say, you’ve written a lot of letters and emails to various people about this. But I think what we need to remember is that thousands of dogs and cats go through quarantine in Australia each year. The vast majority, and by that I mean an extremely high percentage, get through it without any problems whatsoever.

            This post has an unusually high percentage of unhappy pet owners making their thoughts clear, but there’s a simple reason for that. The post is called “Unhappy Cats and Dogs in Australian Quarantine” and anybody turning to Google after being unhappy about what happened to their cat or dog in Australian quarantine soon find this page and then add their complaint to the list.

            Not only that, but a lot of people, like yourself, keep on posting about it.

            Unfortunately some pet owners who are about to put their pets into quarantining and who are nervous about it also Google this kind of thing and find this page as well and it frightens the life out of them. Meanwhile it’s very rare that someone who had perfectly fine experience with their pet in Australian quarantine comes here to say how well it went. It has happened, but not much.

            I just think we have a responsibility to let people know that things going wrong in quarantine are highly unusual. I can say that with some authority because my wife did run her Dogwalks disease for six years and she saw thousands of dogs going through this, albeit the old three quarantine station system.

            I really can’t believe that the standards have dropped so badly at this new quarantine centre that it has now become a major issue and I don’t think that is the message we should be constantly giving to people who are about to go through this process with their pets.

            • Bronnie October 19, 2016, 11:12 pm | Link

              I totally agree with everything you say Bob! My point is however there should not be ONE dog or cat coming out of quarantine with a medical or physical problem!
              If everything is top notch then we should only see positive comments here and no negative comments. 🙂 So obviously there is something not going right somewhere. Right?

            • Melissa October 19, 2016, 11:55 pm | Link

              Hi Bob,

              I’ve been following your site for a few months. My dog, Mr. Milo is set to begin his quarantine on 12/5. I have found your site and the threads very comforting in that I now know what to expect. I am no longer concerned about Milo’s quarantine experience. I am significantly more concerned about the 15 hour flight from LA!

              Once I get Milo back on 12/15 I will post my experiences here!

              Also if anyone has any suggestions about the flight I’m all ears! I ordered his plane crate so he can get comfortable with it and he’s doing a practice bording at a training facility to get used to that part.

              • BobinOz October 20, 2016, 6:45 pm | Link

                @Bronnie, I think that would be an amazing trick, miracle even, if quarantine could ensure that not a single pet became unwell in their care. They have 226 kennels currently, phase 2 will increase that to accommodate 400 animals.

                So how many animals do they have go through their system each year? My estimates are at least 5000, maybe 10,000? They have the capacity for over 8000 rising to over 14,000 on phase 2. 190,000 people move here each year, what percentage bring pets?

                There is no denying that for some pets this experience would be potentially stressful, quite a few pine for their owners and some go off their food. All of these things can increase the chances of a pet becoming unwell. I think it would be a miracle to expect every pet to come out exactly the same as it went in.

                @Melissa, I do hope it all goes well for Mr Milo when he comes over at the end of the year, I’m sure it will. As for the flight, I bet he’ll sleep all the way through it. Dogs like a good snooze, and I’m sure the gentle humming noise of the plane will soon send him dozing. I bet he has a better flight than you do 🙂

                Do let us know how it goes, cheers, Bob

                • Kylle Fideler October 22, 2016, 7:02 am | Link

                  @Melissa Hi! We also will be sending our dog through to Melbourne from LAX, sometime in March-April 2017 🙂 I have bought Mackenzie her crate so she can get used to it but I did not think about letting her “practice boarding” – are you using a specific facility to “train” Milo for his quarantine stay or is it just a regular boarding facility? Mackenzie has stayed at her boarding facility many times for 4-5 days at a time and done well, so I’m hoping she does as well for her longer stay in quarantine! I, like you, am also more nervous about that 14 hour flight and her potentially being in that crate for almost 24 hrs 🙁 But it will be all worth it to have her there in Oz with us, there’s no way we could do this move with out her! I will also post an update on her next year once we’ve picked her up from her 10 days in quarantine! 🙂 I currently work as an animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo and I work with the quarantine animals here 🙂 There is only 1 keeper at a time who works with the animals and we certainly never have more animals completing quarantine than we can handle! And everyone arrives and is released onto grounds and into our zoo, in great shape! So I can only imagine that they have sufficient staffing to properly take care of all the animals that come through. Maybe I should start looking into Australian Government job openings down at the Mickleham facility 😉 Keep me posted as to your travels Melissa! Where are you based in LA? Where will you be living in Oz? And once again, thanks Bob, for a great site 😉 xo

  • Richard September 23, 2016, 3:04 pm | Link

    Hi, we are in the final stages of bringing our dog over from Europe. So as to try to time the best flight, could anyone tell us whether Mickleham is open over the weekend for releasing animals? All the information we can find simply says they are open from 9.30 to 11.30 to collect your animal, but nothing more.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • Sarah September 24, 2016, 11:18 am | Link

      Yes we picked up Ciro on a weekend they make u a time slot.. Close to time of collection for you

  • Liz September 2, 2016, 2:39 am | Link

    Hi,
    I have 2 Maltese dogs returning to Australia in October, do you know if they can be kept together in quarantine,as they are 8 years old brother and sister and have never been separated.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2016, 12:01 am | Link

      I’m pretty sure they used to allow this to happen before they opened the new centralised quarantine facility, so you do have a good chance. Hopefully somebody else reading this might be able to give you a more up-to-date answer, based on the new rules.

      Anybody had experience of this?

  • Hether July 24, 2016, 9:27 am | Link

    My husband and I are moving, due to work, from the US to Australia and want to take our fur babies with us. I am in the process of making travel arrangements with Jet Pets LAX to get them to the Mickleham post entry quarantine facility. Our destination is in Exmouth. The question I have is, is there a transportation service that can pick them up from the quarantine facility and take them to Exmouth? This whole process is very new and stressful to us and any help would be appreciated! Thank you!

    • Melissa July 24, 2016, 11:17 am | Link

      Hi Heather!

      My quotes with all of the pet transport companies included transport to my final destination. But I did specify that I needed that – maybe go back to Jet Pets and let them know that you require the final leg of transit?

      • BobinOz July 24, 2016, 9:01 pm | Link

        Just to add to that, when we brought our dog over we used a UK export company to deliver him to Sydney, but we use an Australian transport company to fly him from Sydney to Brisbane.

        Just wanted to mention that so that you know you have a choice. If the company you choose to import your pet to Australia can’t do the internal transfer, then just choose a company who can.

        Cheers, Bob

        • Hether July 26, 2016, 8:02 am | Link

          Bob, thank you for letting me know my options 🙂 I am hoping Jet Pets will be able to do this for us. Your blog has been a tremendous help with this move. I am thankful I have found it!

          • BobinOz July 26, 2016, 5:00 pm | Link

            Thanks for the kind words, I appreciate them. Good luck with everything, hope it all goes smoothly for you.

      • Hether July 26, 2016, 7:58 am | Link

        Thank you Melissa! I have been talking to Sandy with Jet Pets and I will for sure ask about that additional transport we need. Thank you, again!

  • Sarah July 21, 2016, 9:55 pm | Link

    Just wanted to update everyone on my experience.. I picked up my dog last weekend from Melbourne and he was great he was happy and looked healthy after a shower his coat was nice and shiny all good signs…
    now from collection from airport I received a email to let me know my dog had been collected and all was well I called the next morning they read out the report from night before but said my dog was shy this set off alarm bells so I told her that didn’t seem right and i was told to call back at lunch so I did, and they gave me upto date info on how he was getting on and that he was much more open and ready for kisses and cuddles with the staff this seemed more like my dog 😊I called again a couple days later again all good they was very friendly and helpful on the phones.. The only problem I had was a admin problem but I was very happy with the service they gave us in Melbourne and after all it is a quarantine and there for it must be strict but I found it was good I was so scared after reading some stories.. Just very happy all has worked out and 10 days goes so fast was 10000% worth it!

    • Melissa July 21, 2016, 11:26 pm | Link

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for this update. It makes my heart happy and makes me feel much better about this process. I’m so glad you had a positive experience.

      -Melissa

      • BobinOz July 22, 2016, 3:22 pm | Link

        Hi Sarah

        I think the problem with this post, having a title of ‘unhappy cats and dogs in Australian quarantine’, is that the majority of people only find it when they are unhappy about their cats or dogs in Australian quarantine.

        They search for ‘unhappy cats and dogs in Australian quarantine’ and come straight here. That means we get more people complaining about being unhappy than being happy with the quarantine service.

        So it’s great to hear from you and to hear about your experiences, I’m sure you have encouraged quite a few people to go ahead with this process. We brought our dog over many years ago when it was 30 days in quarantine and our boy breezed through it. So I’m sure most dogs and cats survive the 10 days quite comfortably.

        Cheers, Bob

        • Sarah July 22, 2016, 4:39 pm | Link

          Yes bob
          I was extremely anxious after reading some stories and yes I to found the page looking for people true stories, that’s why I wanted to let people know that it wasn’t as horrible as I thought I could be and he actully put on a bit of weight and was totally fine I know you have said before that if your dog is in good health that they will manage fine and your right they do. It’s more anxiety for the owners of your beloved animals then for them 10 days for a life time in a beautiful country with your whole family.. Can’t beat that.. and thou I didn’t like the idea of not having visits the days do go fast and was nice that the first time he sore us he was aloud to come home and that’s not really a bad thing I think..
          Thanks everyone

          • BobinOz July 24, 2016, 8:00 pm | Link

            Yes, I fully agree, it’s well worth having your pets go through this for 10 days, the reward is a living in Australia for (potentially) the rest of yours and your pets life. 10 days passes very fast, definitely worth it.

  • Melissa July 21, 2016, 12:50 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Your post is incredibly helpful and the comments have been insightful as well. I was wondering if you have any pet transport companies you recommend. My husband is being relocated to Australia (we currently live in New York), we’ll be there for about 2 years. We are looking to bring our 10 month old rescue pup (I luckily started his tider test in March so he should be good to go for October). I was quoted by World Wide Pet Transport (they were a little cold over the phone) and Pet Express. Both were in the $7,000 range, which I understand is just what it costs. I’m very anxious about Milo’s move (especially being in cargo for the last 15 hour flight and quarantine) and was wondering if you heard of anyone having a good experience with a specific carrier. I think I saw something about Jet Pets in the comments. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

    • Lynn July 21, 2016, 6:16 pm | Link

      Hi Melissa,
      I saw your post to Bob. I moved from Michigan to Australia 6 months ago and used JetPets located in Los Angeles. They were great. . . .ask for Sandy. She was very helpful and the whole experience was less stressful. She really put me at ease. They are located just outside the LAX airport.
      I chose to stop at LAX for the night to give my pet a rest before we continued the long journey to Australia. The Travelodge Hotel LAX allows pets for the night. Several other people also had there pets resting before they continued the long flight to Australia. That made me feel better. I then dropped my pet off at the Jetpet Depot which was very nice and clean. They take over from there. However, they do have the service to transport your pet the whole way, house them between flights etc. . .
      Anyway, I hope this info helps. Good Luck.

      • BobinOz July 21, 2016, 8:07 pm | Link

        We have a Jet Pets here in Australia, and if the one in the US is the same, and I’m not sure it is, then I would like to second that recommendation. I’m not sure whether it matters that they are the same company or not though, Lynn has obviously had experience with these people and was very happy.

        Worth mentioning though, I had a quick look at the Jet Pets Australian website, and they do mention that they do have operations in the US under the name of Pet Express. So my suspicion is that Jet Pets in the US is a different company, but as I say, they are definitely worth looking into Melissa because of Lynn’s recommendation.

        Thanks for sharing your experiences Lynn, you’ve given a better answer than I could have, I really don’t know too much about the transporters in the US.

        Good luck with your move Melissa, Bob

        • Melissa July 21, 2016, 9:14 pm | Link

          Bob and Lynn,

          Thank you so much for your quick responses and helpful comments. I will look into Jet Pets US and reach back out to Pet Express. Lynn, that’s a great idea about the overnight stay with your pup to relieve them a bit. I’m glad you had a good experience with your move to the US. Thank you for your help!

          -Melissa

  • samantha July 10, 2016, 8:12 pm | Link

    hello Bob, I know this may sound a rhetorical question once you read it but I’d appreciate your thoughts….
    I have a 17 year old male west highland terrier who is happy and well looked after by me, (& my husband who’s at home all day). Although he does have a long list of health issues (as you’d come to expect of a 17 year old dog), we are considering migrating to Australia next year, but after reading all these comments would reluctantly defer the move until after he’s passed (which maybe hopefully a few more years).
    I would appreciate if in your opinion you think the quarantine could accommodate his health conditions and the necessary care he needs – in know it’s only 10 days but I’m very worried he’d not survive given the treatment or conditions you’ve described at the Melbourne quarantine facilities;
    1. he has severe cataracts (has partial vision <20%) therefore can't see where he's going in a 'an unfamiliar' place,
    2. he has had a stroke so can't walk for long (15 mins max – very slowly & supported as he often face plants), and needs to wear protective boots on one side as he drags his feet (which bleed if not protected),
    3. he is almost totally (@90%) deaf,
    4. he has occasional bad flare ups of skin itchiness (typical of the breed) and is on controlled steroids when required to help alleviate the symptoms, and wears a 'cone of shame' if we leave him alone or he'll likely scratch/chew his skin unsupervised,
    5. he has only ever eaten hypoallergenic dry food and obviously can't eat anything else otherwise it'll upset his stomach – after 17 years on one type of food you can imagine the side effects if he ate something new,
    6. he has never been in a kennel in his life (always cared for by close family friends in our home) if we go on holiday abroad,
    7. he doesn't socialise well now with other dogs since he can't see/ hear them – and therefore be isn't aware or able to defend himself,

    Probably a simple 'no' answer from you is what I'd expect given your previous comments to others, but just want to satisfy myself and ask.
    We're happy to defer so that we don't put him through undue stress given his age and health. But wanted to see what you think…….
    many thanks for taking the time to read & respond.

    • BobinOz July 10, 2016, 9:42 pm | Link

      We had similar concerns for our chocolate lab, but he was only 10 years old when we moved here. He didn’t really have any health issues, but we noticed that even in the UK he didn’t like it when it was hot, so we were concerned about moving him to Australia.

      So we asked our vet for his opinion, and he assured us our dog would be fine with the move. So, firstly and most importantly, I was suggest you ask your vet for his opinion on this.

      My opinion though, for what it’s worth, and I’m sure it is also your opinion, is don’t put your dog through this at this stage of his life.

      He is a very old dog, he does have significant health issues and even though it’s only 10 days, I think it could be a very difficult 10 days for him. If something were to go wrong, you would never forgive yourself. If delaying your move does not jeopardise your opportunity to come here, as long as your visa option doesn’t expire, I think the kindest thing to do would be to wait.

      That’s just my opinion though, as I say, check with your vet, I’m sure he will be honest with you about this.

      Good luck, Bob

      • samantha July 11, 2016, 12:23 am | Link

        thanks Bob, just as I thought you’d say, and what we’re thinking too.
        When we moved from the UK to our current home in Singapore 6 years ago it was a completely different story – no big health issues to worry about, just the long flight (& fortunately no quarantine). Now he’s much older and more vulnerable, so we’ll stay put and trigger the visa whilst staying in Singapore for as long as we can & need to.
        thanks for your independent advice. best regards Samantha

        • BobinOz July 11, 2016, 8:52 pm | Link

          My pleasure Samantha and good luck with your plans.

  • Joan Bernstein July 2, 2016, 7:17 am | Link

    The letter from Bronnie is the best response I’ve seen. I fully agree. For two-plus years, I have been trying to get 4 cats qualified and shipped to Queensland to expand a breeding program. The Australian government terms take months and the cost is enormous. It is necessary to hire a transporter to manage the shipment. The owner may not accompany the animals from export to the quarantine facility. As Bronnie says, the Australian process is untenable. I shipped 2 cats to the Sydney facility. Two more will be going to the new facility, only because I made the original comittment. I will not do this again.
    Joan Bernstein

  • Shelley June 28, 2016, 12:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    Please can you tell me if the Melbourne facility is the only one in Oz for dogs and cats? I’m just considering emigrating at this stage. Previously I would not move as 30days quarantine was out of the question for me. Now, younger dogs and only 10days makes it a much more possible dream. However I’m reading mixed things about Melbourne facility. Obviously all dogs cope differently but I’m wondering if there is anywhere in Sydney to send them that may be better? Appreciate your thoughts. Thank you x

    • BobinOz June 29, 2016, 2:13 am | Link

      At this moment in time it’s all been centralised to Melbourne. There are no other options. As you say though, it’s only 10 days, your dogs are young, I’m sure they will be fine. Don’t let this prevent you from moving to Australia. Good luck, Bob

      • Shelley June 29, 2016, 4:57 am | Link

        Thanks Bob. How long will they be in the crate for from start to finish from uk? My friend exported their dog to New Zealand. With delays he was in the crate for 52 hours! I couldn’t do that to my dogs. It’s all a big worry. X

        • BobinOz June 29, 2016, 10:30 pm | Link

          I couldn’t tell you how long it would be in total. Certainly from the time your dogs start their journey to the airport, they will stay in there until they have completed the flight and then it depends how long it takes for them to be transported to quarantine.

          • Shelley June 29, 2016, 10:58 pm | Link

            Suppose I meant do they get a break if you stop over. But sounds as though no. Will have to look into flights etc. All very useful info thank you Bob.

            • BobinOz June 30, 2016, 5:56 pm | Link

              Ah, I get you, but no, they stay in the crate. They have to remain in these quarantine like conditions until they are actually at the quarantine station. Good luck, Bob

              • Shelley July 1, 2016, 4:41 am | Link

                It sounds a pretty retched journey unless it is essential 🙁 I don’t think I’ll do it. But good to research every few years.

                • Bronnie July 1, 2016, 6:09 am | Link

                  I was looking at moving back home myself. I have 3 Vizslas that I wanted to bring back ( as well as my 3 cats) after researching the new quarantine facility, the in my eyes inhumane treatment as to the amount of time after the flight the dogs and cats are left in thier travel kennels before they get to the quarantine facilty the fact that there is no contact allowed what so ever I have decided I am not returning back to Oz. I have also had personal contact and correspondence with the Federal Government’s Vet. I raised a number of points that for me where worrying.
                  1) If the animal arrives in Melbourne out of hours they are left crated and waiting until working hours to be picked up OR the owner can pay extra costs for the animal to be collected out of hours. This waiting time could be up to 12 hours.( my point made to her was that if Australia want to regulate quarantine by making one facility then they need to be a 24 hour service) I said in my eyes this bordered on animal cruelty.
                  2) The rules and regulations of the new facility where there is a no contact. This is a ridiculous rule which has no reason. She could give me no answer as to why this rule was regulated. I suggested that if this is a rule regulated for a particular reason, which I personally could not think of one, then why can web cams not be installed and a code given to the owners so that they can check in on thier pets.
                  3) I pointed out the six months testing that needs to be done before leaving the host country. These tests are repetitive and unnecessary. The Federal vet ( who is english by the way) then went on to inform me about the quarantine rules in Europe and the UK. After asking her how long it was that she was back in the UK I informed her that there is no quarantine anymore in Europe or the UK. ( scotland being the exception and only if a animal comes from a rabies country and has no vaccinations ) I told her how now as long as dogs are wormed and vaccinated and have thier passports with this information it is now free travel. We travel everywhere on holiday with our dogs. After years of open travel for dogs within the EU there is NO transfer of diseases. ( the Johnny Depp episode was mentioned upon my reply was yes what he did was wrong however it was your (as in customs etc) fault as how good was customs control done for him to smuggle two little dogs in?)
                  The vets main concern after I pointed out that my dogs have passports with thier full vaccination history on it… was worms. hmm…thats not 6 months worth of blood work , retesting blood work, checking the chip every time etc etc. That can be easily cleared up by worming the animal and taking a fecal test a couple of days before they leave.
                  4) The fact that the new facility is in Melbourne adding extra costs to the owners having to then transport thier animals to other states. Australia is a big “island” . What other options or help can the federal government give regarding this problem?
                  5) and now for the part where some will agree and others wont. My point of Australia being a bio diverse land free of MOST diseases. This is true. However. when I then approached the subject of dogs in australia all have the same dog diseases as dogs in other parts of the world except for rabies, then why is the quarantine still so strict for dogs/cats etc coming from non rabies countries? One blood test ( that the federal government require ) is called a titre test. When I said to the vet but this titre test that is compulsary is actually not reliable she was a little word struck lets say. * this is where she fell back on animals with worms* …I then pointed out that why if Australia’s biodiversity is so important that they introduce diseases into Australia as the Calici virus, myximytosis, the cane toad, the list goes on,lets add Lyme disease now as well which we where always told was not in Australia but wow, yes it was and always has been !! and then allows developers to destroy Australia’s native animal habitat to build high rise resorts ( queensland koala population decline ) and then import fruit/vegetables/meat from countries who have low level hygiene levels increasing the risk of diseases coming into Australia (we have all heard the stories of spiders, snakes etc coming in with bananas etc) , not doing anything about foreign ships dropping bilge water into our pristine oceans,( chinese star fish eating barrier reef). maybe floating quarantine stations should be built in the harbor in Melbourne? My list went on. Now I am all for watching out for our country and keeping a vigilant eye for foreign disease etc, but you cant have your cake and eat it at the same time.
                  You cant say one thing on one hand then turn around and upset your biodiversity for profit on the other hand.
                  Not only is the quarantine regulations, facility making it difficult for the average Joe to move back home, they are also making it very difficult for themselves for example. Drug sniffer dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs etc are all now having to be bred and trained in Australia as no one will work with australia because of the regulations ( this I know personally as a friend of ours here trains search and rescue, bomb, police, drug, etc etc dogs and he refuses to send any dog to Australia, not only because of the cost but because he feels the new rules associated with the quarantine facility is inhumane for animals after long flights) So Australia is going to have a very bad gene pool within a few years.
                  Anyway, I suggested that can we not have the same rules as a few years ago, especially now that the facility is centralized in Victoria that people who are emigrating to other states can quarantine thier pets on their own properties. A tracking device could be used where after the ten days it can be checked to make sure. The three month quarantine law was ridiculous , 1o days is resonable, WITH contact , centralized in one place as big as Australia is idiotic.
                  I will remain in contact with the federal vet, I will keep a look out on how things go, I wont hold my breath, but if something is done to make it easier for Aussies to return home then I will , but for now, for my dogs and cats well being, and my own personal peace of mind I will remain in Europe.

                  • Mark SB July 1, 2016, 11:48 pm | Link

                    Good well thought out information. Probably more than a year ago I had posted on my disappointment on how Australia has implemented their program and how it seems to not show any concern for the dog or cat while New Zealand has the same things they say they are protecting against but have a very different implementation (saying to send things with them that they are familiar with, providing the ability to visit them while in quarantine, etc). Because New Zealand seems to show more compassion to the traveling pets, I checked into the possibility of taking our two long hair dachshunds through New Zealand and then use the free travel between the two nations to get them to Australia. “Unfortunately” there is a requirement that the pet be in the country of debarkation I think it is 90 days not in a quarantine setting before that is allowed. One thing I am curious about if anyone knows – horses are brought into Australia for the big horse races. How are they seemingly able to be brought in without a quarantine. I have heard that ticks are one area of concern and for some reason that is one reason for the pet quarantine. Don’t horses have that same issue (and probably others)? My wife and I had been looking at going over for what would have been a three year assignment, in my case it would have been under sponsorship of my nation and Australia due to assist in a particular project of interest to both nations and my wife as an English speaking nurse (critical skill). However we could not put our two little ones though the required process.

                    • Bronnie July 2, 2016, 12:08 am | Link

                      Horses also have to go through this facility Mark S B. It is compulsory for every animal ( even bees) to go through this facility. No exceptions. The big difference is with horses that are bought into Australia are for the Melbourne Cup and other big race events,they have not only the capitol to do this but its basically business.

                    • Mark S B July 3, 2016, 3:07 am | Link

                      Bronnie – thank you for the information.

  • trent June 26, 2016, 4:17 pm | Link

    Hi, I’m organising my dog to arrive in Melbourne. Do I need to contact a company to take them to the quarantine facility, or is that done as part of the process? Thanks. Trent

    • trent June 26, 2016, 4:24 pm | Link

      Sorry, please disregard- I found the answer.

  • Geoff June 1, 2016, 3:20 pm | Link

    When I land in Melbourne with my dog (traveling from Los Angeles), is there any opportunity to see him before he is taken to quarantine? Or does this happen directly, with no opportunity at all? Is there verification that he has arrived to quarantine or does all of this happen on a “wing and prayer” and I just have to keep my fingers crossed that he has landed in Melbourne safely and in good condition as well as having arrived at quarantine safely and in good condition also?

    • BobinOz June 1, 2016, 11:37 pm | Link

      No, I don’t think you will be able to see your dog when you have landed. Your dog will be unloaded from the plane by airport staff and you will make your own way (between the yellow lines) as a passenger. They don’t like people wandering around on the tarmac.

      Remember also, your dog is being transported under quarantine like conditions, so they probably want to take him to the quarantine facility directly and as soon as possible. You can telephone the quarantine station though to check that he has arrived safely and, at the same time, ask how he is doing.

      • Geoff June 2, 2016, 12:41 am | Link

        Jeez… this is what I get by posting a sincere question. I thought perhaps I might be able to go over to the United Airlines cargo area before my dog is picked up by the quarantine staff and see him then – maybe. Half the comments on here mention that calling Quarantine is a futile exercise; that they don’t pick up or have any answers. Its a no wonder there are so many confused and nervous people transporting their pets.Thanks Zero for your needlessly wise-ass response to my query BobinOz.

        • BobinOz June 2, 2016, 7:32 pm | Link

          So let me get this straight, you asked a sincere question, I answered it sincerely, and you call me a ‘wise-ass’? Well forgive me for trying to help.

          Good luck with that attitude, I’m sure that will go down well here in Australia.

          • Kevin June 5, 2016, 7:48 pm | Link

            I think Geoff needs to go an re-read your answer. I believe he interpreted the “between the yellow lines” as a wise crack, perhaps sarcasm and the humour that comes with it doesn’t feature where he is from.

            Hey Geoff, you gonna have to get off that high horse when you get off the plane (also to be done between the yellow lines) or else you ain’t gonna have many friends… MATE!

      • Jake June 17, 2016, 10:14 am | Link

        Our dog arrived in Australia today. She is going in to the new facility / only facility in melbourne. One thing I have noticed already is that it’s taken her an incredibly long time from her arrival to her actually being put in quarrantine…she arrived at 7am and it’s now around lunch time. We decided to call to get an update/see how she was/see if she had arrived. We’re met with quite a rude response on the phone and no info as to where she was. She assumed she was still at the airport but couldn’t tell us for sure. Not the most reassuring info but hopefully she gets in soon and the next 10 days go by fast for her.

        • BobinOz June 17, 2016, 7:40 pm | Link

          When you say she arrived at 7 AM, do you mean at the airport? I think what happens is that various flights from different countries arrive during the morning and the dogs are held in the compound at the airport until all the morning arrivals have finished.

          Then I think they are all transported in the van to quarantine, so it is not unusual for them to arrive after midday. I hope you get the answers you need from quarantine soon though to put your mind at rest.

  • Bronnie April 24, 2016, 3:41 pm | Link

    Hi following all of this as in the next three years or so am planning on coming back to australia and will be bringing my 3 Vizslas and 3 cats with me. On the official website and on here I have noticed that there is no contact allowed at all while the animals are in quarantine. My question is if they have built this multi million dollar facility for the welfare of the animals/plants etc and for the overall welfare of Australia and if there is now no contact allowed at all why can they not install webcams so worried owners can check in on thier furbabies? It makes me wonder if there is something to hide…..and seriously with the costs involved of having your pets in quarantine then dont owners deserve a little something in return?

    • Martin April 24, 2016, 6:23 pm | Link

      For sure they are hiding and hiding a lot!!! It looks worse than any prison. Yes its modern but i was walking around for few hours and i am sure there is even no grass!!!! Australians are really good and kind people but they are totally sick LIE diseases…. Everywhere here in Australia is lie lie and lie

      • BobinOz April 25, 2016, 5:09 pm | Link

        Martin, seems to me that you yourself have added a bit of a lie. Please Google ‘Melbournes post entry quarantine facility’ and look for images, you will see there is grass.

        Bronnie, I cannot pretend to know how the government’s thinking on this went, but at a rough guess I would suggest they invested in this multi-million dollar facility primarily for the welfare of Australia and to protect this country from importing diseases we don’t yet have here.

        Johnny Depp knows all about that, he has a YouTube video on it 🙂

        I do agree, and I have mentioned it many times before, that I think the no visit rule is rather Draconian, but it is only for 10 days. Not so long ago it was 30 days, so I do think this is easier on everybody’s pets in the long run.

        We have had several pet owners complaining about the condition of their pets when they picked them up, but you have to remember that many thousands of animals go through this system every year and the vast majority breeze it.

        Good luck, Bob

        • Martin April 25, 2016, 6:21 pm | Link

          Bob, i do not need to look photos as i was picking my dog there on December. I was inside and i saw only concrete roads, not professional and too young people working there. This is not my opinion or guess- this is FACT! But similar things are happening in Australia. It took for me 8 weeks to rent the house, because no one wants to let me in with Irish Wolfhound, VET doesnt want to give me simple 2 tablets from diarrhea for my dog until I pay him 120 AUD for his visit at my motel room. So you are blind or what is wrong with you? How had you felt if you was in my situation? I am not against quarantine, no way, but Australian quarantine is full of –naughty word removed by admin– so think a bit before calling me liar

          • BobinOz April 26, 2016, 8:56 pm | Link

            Martin, you may have noticed your comment was held for moderation, please do not use any kind of bad language in these comments as it is against my comment policy.

            You have a very strange understanding of the meaning of the word FACT. The quarantine facility in Melbourne covers 144 hectares, seems to me you covered maybe 200 metres or so when you picked up your dog? Grass is clearly visible in the photographs I looked at, but of course, you don’t need to look at them, you picked up your dog.

            We’ve already talked about your $120 vet callout fee, not sure why you feel that’s worth mentioning again.

            • Martin April 26, 2016, 9:11 pm | Link

              I spent there 3-4 hours (inside and outside around the whole object). No GRASS only field for POTATOES, just dark sand across all the object. You even havent been there and you saw only photos so why I am talking with you, more than funny Bob

  • Suna April 21, 2016, 9:52 am | Link

    Hi all, very interesting to read all of the comments. Our fur kids are on their way back to Australia after 2 years with us in Indonesia. We used JetPets on the way over and are using them on the way back, but first they spend 55 days in Kuala Lumpur ….due to Indo not being in the direct transfer list. So happy the rules have changed to 10 days but as some of the other people have said the price for quarantine for 10 days is ridiculous ! They charge it because they can. For 2 dogs it is $3600 AUD ! And for that price they should be eating a better quality food and getting more than 5 mins a day attention ! Total rip off ! Australia is a wonderful country that I absolutely love, I immigrated from Canada 17 years ago and after 2 years in Indo I can honestly say I was grateful to be home in a country that respects humans and animals alike – Except it appears when they are travelling. To charge these exorbitant prices and not even provide a decent meal is bad form. That’s my 2 cents worth. 67 days before our dogs get here … Poor buggers ….
    Signed – anxious fur parents !

  • Nikki April 7, 2016, 10:57 pm | Link

    Hi, I was just wondering if you knew if the quarantine facility gets rid of the carriers the animals come in, or will they be returned to you in the carriers they arrived in.

    Thanks!

    • Mj April 8, 2016, 1:01 am | Link

      You get the carrier but not the bedding.

      I wonder how things are with the new facility? We took our dogs into Melbs about 16 months ago and used the old place. I was hoping for a huge outpouring of great things about the new place.

      I had zero problems. My dogs were tail wagging and even a bit chubby when we picked them up. In need of a bath but nothing near as bad as some kennels here in USA. Both my husband and I are DVMs and I like to think I have high standards.

      Yes, it was frustrating and upsetting trying to navigate the rules and regs but all in all I believe the dogs were treated well with reason. I was pretty appalled at the price. The dogs should have been getting fed caviar and having daily spa treatments!

      Mj

      • Nikki April 8, 2016, 1:18 am | Link

        Thanks so much for the information ! I really appreciate it !

      • BobinOz April 8, 2016, 6:02 pm | Link

        MJ, we haven’t had too many reports back about the new facility, but we have had a few. For example, Christine and Pete who have commented about 10 or so comments below were not too happy, I can’t remember how many other comments we might have had about it.

        Sometimes I think it’s the luck of the draw as well as maybe how each individual dog copes with the situation. Sounds like your dogs did just fine at the old place, ours did as well.

  • Anika March 20, 2016, 2:53 pm | Link

    Hi, I was wondering if someone could help me, I am Australian but I live in the Dominican Republic (caribbean), I’m planning on getting a dog but I’m worried about taking my dog back to Australia. How long will it be in quarantine and how much will it cost me?

    • Nikki March 20, 2016, 4:48 pm | Link

      Hi anika, please refer to this link for the requirements to imprt into Oz: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs

      They are really nice and helpful too.
      I think min quarantine is 10days, from memory 10days approx $1,600. U will also need a Permit (for a yr) to import = apprx $460. Then u have all the required shots … rabbies etc.
      Then… the flight to Oz which CAN be expensive, depending on the airlines – u can get in cabin or ur pet can go as cargo. U can get great deals if i investigate it. There are companies that u can get to help u transport ur pet aswell.
      Some advise : do ur research b4 u buy. Some people have been quoted $500 to bring animal home, which i think is awesome-me i was quoted $8,000… im still researching 🙂 $8,000 doesn’t include the costs of purchasing my cat!

      • Anika March 21, 2016, 2:11 am | Link

        Thanks Nikki

        • JoAnne April 25, 2016, 8:39 am | Link

          We just moved to Canberra and we hopefully pick our Klaus up in 10 days time. We hired Island Pet Movers and they have been wonderful, they actually contacted us first to let us know Klaus arrived before the quarantine facility.

  • Nikki March 18, 2016, 6:49 pm | Link

    Again u are missing my point…
    I have no issues for quarantine, i agree with the security and haven’t even mentioned it.
    My issue is the cost of transporting an animal from a to b. Id prefer in cabin flying but if not, it’s fine going as cargo. As lynne Mentioned above jetpets LA charge $500 when aust jetpets change $8,000. = REDICULOUS.
    Its my opinion that $8,000 is disgusting to charge any1 trying to bring home a loved pet in cargo (UNDER THE PLANE) when im paying $650 for my flight

    • Martin March 18, 2016, 6:58 pm | Link

      I can say one thing about Australia. It is really great country with good people. But when I moved here and needed help for my Irish Wolfhound they just told me that it is not possible to treat him until I cant bring him to the VET. So at that time I was without car, living in the per friendly motel and had problems with my european credit card…..i told that to the VET and he told me that he can come to our Motel for 120 AUD 🙂 NO OTHER WAY AND HE CANT HELP IF I AM NOT ACCEPTING HIS METHOD 🙂 We needed just one or two pils from stomach problems as food has changed….just that. So how these stupid Australian people can talk everywhere around the world that they love nature and animals more than anyone else???? And about the price at quarantine station……..1800 AUD for 10 days for DRY FOOD and one 5 minutes walk on the leash???? It is just disgusting for me. If I knew australian law a bit more or my lawyer did, I put them all to the trial

      • BobinOz March 20, 2016, 11:11 pm | Link

        Martin, I think you’ll find it standard practice in most countries for pet owners to take their pets to the vet for treatment. If that’s not possible for the pet owner, then I’m also pretty sure it’s more than reasonable for the vet to charge a callout fee to visit you wherever you are.

        That this vet offered to come to you for a mere $120 I think is marvellous, a bargain! Yet because you didn’t have the ability to pay, you think it’s okay to talk about ‘stupid Australian people’ and, most laughably, that you would ‘put them all to trial’.

        I guess it’s lucky for all of us then that neither you nor your lawyer know enough about Australian law, otherwise the entire Australian nation would be in the dock on Monday morning 🙂

        • BobinOz March 20, 2016, 11:25 pm | Link

          Nikki, you’ve missed my point. In your original post, which is actually below (you hit the wrong reply button) you blamed Australia for the high flight fees. My point was simply that it isn’t ‘Australia’s’ fault at all.

          The fees are decided by the airlines, they are nothing to do with Australia.

          If I were you, I’d clarify exactly what Lynn got for her $500, because it certainly was not a flight from the UK to Australia. You won’t get one of those for $500. Good luck trying though.

          • Lynn March 21, 2016, 8:27 am | Link

            I looked up the exact price I paid. Flight was from LA to Australia, not UK. Airfreight (Qantas, LAX – Melbourne) $540.00
            Jet Pets handling fee $500.00
            Total $1,040.00
            As I said, I did all the paperwork myself. This company is Jet Pets LA Airport. This company specializes in pet transport to Aus and NZ. I hope this helps anyone from the US,

            • Nikki March 21, 2016, 8:41 am | Link

              Awesome deal Lynn 🙂
              If i could get pricing like that-im sold!
              Even though im from Oz its handy to see the difference in pricing.
              Just proves they are out there-depends where u are and the cost the companies charge for pet transfer….
              I’m going to see wat i can find from Berlin!!
              If any1 has similar costs or hav heard of decent prices to import a cat from berlin to oz, would be great to hear from u 🙂

          • Martin March 21, 2016, 12:31 pm | Link

            Boby if you will come to my country with your dog and your dog will need some help…..you will come to me and I will say you: Pay me or go away with your dog! You will be happy with that? That is why I am not saying that people are nice in my country and all Australians ara stating that they love animals, but it looks like they love only money and their time at all

            • Sarah May 30, 2016, 10:48 am | Link

              Martin pls just stop if u can’t pay for your dogs vet bills u shouldn’t have a dog it’s very sad your dog was sick but in all country’s including England if u can afford your vet bills your dog will not be treated simple so stop going on ur in the wrong!! that is a very reasonable fee for a call out charge I would expect it to be more .. It’s like traveling with a child u have to be organised and have back ups insurance cash another account its not the vets problem ur card was not working.. Get a grip pls and if all Australians are stupid why would u come in the first place?! 🙄😁

          • Sarah May 30, 2016, 10:57 am | Link

            Hi bob, I’m actually going through motions just now my dog is booked into the new facility in Melbourne and I was very worried about the whole thing so called them today asking if I could come and have a look at the place and see were my dog will be kept in July. I was told that I could request it but that they don’t like people to as they are quarantine built to contain nasties from getting out so makes sense not to have people wondering in and out…
            But she told me a little about the kennel she said there is underfloor heating and lots and lots of bedding provided they have company and there own doggy door flap leading to a run were they can soil so they have a clean indoor space and a small run they are also walked by the staff on the grounds.. They said if my dog shows signs of anxiety or stress they will contact me to make arrangement for a visit if they feel it is best for him.. So overall I don’t think I could expect much more it serves a purpose I don’t like it but it’s 10 days! For a life time with his family.. I just hope my little man don’t get to confused and all will be well..
            Ps that Martin fella is annoying haha x

            • Martin May 30, 2016, 11:11 am | Link

              1. I am in Australia because i trusted in australians who were just liars like mostly of you. So you are not just a stupid 🙂
              2. When you will be in auto accident and doctors will ask you to pay before they can save your life I will be happy then. I am really thinking are you so stupid that you even dont understand what i am talking about?? Do you think it is possible to come to Australia without insurance and all other documentation from Eastern Europe??? You are talking and having no idea what are you talking. We had everything but in fact australian vet ferused to give us stupid pills from stomach pain, just that. In my country this doctor was shooted in few days or spent at last 5 years in prison. But you can keep talking how people are good in Australia. When you will be in the same situation with you kids just write me to make my day 🙂

              • BobinOz May 30, 2016, 5:27 pm | Link

                Sarah – yes, it is only 10 days and the vast majority of dogs breeze through it. I’m sure your dog will be fine.

                Martin – just about the funniest thing with your comments is you call all Australians stupid and yet you post the silliest comments I have here on this entire website. Now you are telling us that in your country, wherever that is, you shoot doctors? Hilarious.

                As funny as you are though, I am now completely bored with you and so therefore I’m going to block your comments; jokes that continually get repeated simply aren’t funny anymore.

  • Nikki March 17, 2016, 6:34 am | Link

    It has been hard but i have found people that have saved $1,800 when bringing their pet home – its not highly advertised and people don’t know about it. Which is sad, it is alot of money to waste.

  • Lynn February 4, 2016, 9:09 am | Link

    Hi Prasanna,
    So glad I could help. If you have any more questions I’d be happy to help if I can. As I said, I did this and was overwhelmed most of the time and know what it feels like. Error on the side of over organised. . .ha ha! I also went to the Officail Vet (USDA) at my state capitol. I didn’t leave it to anyone else. This saved on some costs too. It also allowed me a days grace in the event something was wrong. However I think Jet Pets can do this also if you don’t have the USDA near you.. Did you go to the website
    http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs?wasRedirectedByModule=true
    and print out your timeline. Fill in the blanks and your time line will be developed. This was most helpful. Somehow checking each thing off the list made me feel better. ha ha!! Anyway, I wish you all happy and safe travels.

  • Joan Bernstein February 3, 2016, 1:52 pm | Link

    It’s my understanding that the pre-shipping period is 6 months from the time of the rabies shot/titer test. Then 10 days in quarantine in Australia. I shipped 2 cats to Australia last February, and have 2 more going in March.
    You need to be really careful about preparation meds and tests. The Australian government requires specific brands given at specific intervals. The pet transport service we used provided a list that designated every detail; they also arranged the quarantine.

    • Nikki March 21, 2016, 5:28 am | Link

      Hi Joan, im interested to hear more about ur experience 🙂
      where are u shipping from?
      Are u going through a company in Australia to import or are u doing this urself?
      How much is ur flight for kitty?
      Is kitty under plane as cargo?
      I am still yet to find a company in australia that will charge reasonable importing 🙁
      Are u find this extremely expensive?
      Looking forward to ur response

  • Christine Freke February 3, 2016, 12:31 am | Link

    My friend just went back to Oz with her 2 dogs, collected them on day 10, both had bleeding noses, one had bruises on his head and both had lost 1/5 of their total body-weight and looked like they came out of a rescue facility! Totally disgusted by the way these animals have not been looked after, they have a duty of care which obviously is not being met and should be visited by the equivalent of RSPCA to ensure minimum standards are me. Not being able to visit or walk or have a special diet is against our dog welfare act in the UK. Australia listen up, you are not looking after the animals in your care and it’s disgusting and distressing at the very, very least.

    • Pete March 20, 2016, 8:50 pm | Link

      Christine, I strongly agree…just picked up a dog that has spent ten days in quarantine, and the dog is about half its bodyweight, with her skeletal system visible, very easily frightened (possibly been hit?), and had faeces matted through her hair, as well as being all over filthy. Australian Quarantine does NOT care for animals, it confines them in deplorable conditions, with little or no concern for their welfare. No wonder Johnny Depp tried to skirt the process – after seeing first hand an animals condition when released, I would not do this again. Tomorrow is a trip to the vet, followed by a written complaint to the RSPCA, however I am not expecting much action on thier part either….politics…

    • Sarah May 30, 2016, 11:03 am | Link

      Wow that’s scary my dog is due to go in July reading this has made me feel sick to my stomic I hope my boy will be ok I don’t feel there are any ways around trusting these kennels I have pestered them and so far been reassured about his care but then I seen this 😳😢

  • Prasanna February 2, 2016, 10:20 pm | Link

    I am in the midst of moving to Australia from the US for work. I have two 12 year old cats. One is perfectly healthy. The other has chronic renal failure, well maintained with diet and medications. I am using JetPets to transport them. I am worried about the shock of quarantine on them. I just want them to come back to me safe and sound. Any advice would be very welcome.

    • Lynn February 3, 2016, 7:27 am | Link

      Hello Prasanna, I just moved from US to Australia with a 11 yr old cat, she made it through quarantine just fine. I believe the special foods and medications will accompany your cat in transport with veterinary instructions. Clarify this with vet and phone the quarantine station to make sure. The quarantine facility usually tells you they don’t take calls or they are too busy. . . be persistent! We were, and they finally let us speak to someone. The whole process can be daunting and worrisome, but it will work out in the end. If you have an questions I’d be happy to help if I can. I remember going through the process not long ago and any advice was welcomed. Wishing you the best. Lynn

      • Prasanna February 3, 2016, 7:54 am | Link

        Hi Lynn, thank you! Your comment put me at ease a bit. I am in the early stages of planning their travel. They just got their titers drawn in mid January and I should be requesting their quarantine space in late February/early March. A few questions. When you say make sure the vet documents my cats needs. Is there any special documentation? I have both cats full medical records which will be accompanying them and it clearly documents Luna’s kidney problems and what we are maintaining her on. Should I ask them to write a separate note stating she requires these meds and food just to make sure it’s all clear? Also you say the food travels with them. Can I provide them with her special diet and if not who should? And in terms of contacting the quarantine. At what point did you do that? I definitely want to discuss it with them but I fear if I do it too early, they will have forgotten over the months between the conversation and when they arrive. Also did you use a pet transport service? And why did you make your choice to use one or not? Sorry for all the questions! I’m so nervous for my babies! Thank you so much for offering your help!

        • lynn February 3, 2016, 2:27 pm | Link

          Hi Prasanna,
          I hope I can help. Even though Luna’s condition will be documented on the medical records, I would still request a clear letter from the vet stating the needs, food, diet etc in maintaining the cats health. My approach is; don’t assume anything when it comes to the well being of your cat. They are processing many animals every day. I followed up, and then followed up again. I wanted to MAKE SURE I was doing everything for a smooth journey and quarantine stay for the cat. Even with all that prep, I still worried. (that’s normal)
          When booking the quarantine, have your list of questions ready because you don’t know when you will get them on the phone again. They do answer emails regularly though. Ask them about the special diet and how you can make sure your cat is receiving this food. Ask them if the food should be taped to the carrier. I had to do this before. I too travelled with a cat with this condition and I was told to strap/tape the food to the carrier. However, this was travelling in Australia and then to the US.
          I contacted the quarantine to make the payment due, I had my questions ready. I also emailed them and they were pretty good about answering my questions. Email is great because then you have documentation. After the cat was processed in Australia and in quarantine, I wanted to phone them and check on her. They said they don’t take calls because they are too busy. They did tell us a better time to phone, which we did. They reassured us that all was okay. The way I saw; I just paid them $1800 AUD to keep my cat, the least they can do is take my call!
          I did all the paperwork and processing myself. Pet courier companies charged 3 times the amount it would cost. At first it was very overwhelming. I printed out the timeline from the Australian Gov page. I did each step exactly as they wanted. Also, make sure the Vet you are using is USDA Approved and Registered. They should provide you with their registered number.
          The only part of a transport company that I had was Jet Pets located 9111 Falmouth Ave, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293. They are very near the airport. They check all documentation and take the cat to the plane. Everything went very smoothly. Sandy at Jet Pets was so helpful every step of the way. That day that I dropped my cat to Jet Pets, there were 11 other pets travelling to AUS with her. They seem to specialise in transport to AUS and NZ. That is why I went with this company.
          Meanwhile
          I hope this is helpful. I don’t mind answering any questions. I was in the same place and wanted answers too. My cat flew to AUS December 8, 2015 and was out of quarantine before Christmas. She is doing fine.

          • Prasanna February 4, 2016, 6:24 am | Link

            Thank you so much Lynn! This was very helpful. I am also using JetPets just for the transportation because they seem to specialize in transport to AUS and NZ. I am collecting all of their paperwork on my own. Luckily the vet I use in NYC is used to doing travel certificates for international pet travel and have a whole team dedicated to that. I will make sure they write a separate detailed note about Luna’s condition and what she is being managed with etc. I will make sure to be persistent with the quarantine and get my list of questions ready!!!
            you have been so helpful, thank you!!!!

      • Leeza March 30, 2016, 1:49 am | Link

        Hi Lynn. Do you mind telling me how much you paid in total to bring your cat to Australia? I’m from Canada and I want to being my 2 year old 15lb Shiba Inu dog with me. I would greatly appreciate it!

        • Lynn March 30, 2016, 7:24 am | Link

          With permits, vet costs, quarantine boarding and air travel, I would say approximately $4000 US dollars. But I did all the paperwork and planning myself to cut costs. It is very time consuming and not for everyone.

    • Nikki March 16, 2016, 9:30 pm | Link

      Hi prisanna

      There are a few airlines that let u fly with ur cat (1per person) in cabin with u and u save $1800. I’m disgusted that Australia seems like the only country that is behind the time’s…. better for both owner and pet 🙂 very disappointed with JetPets, they quoted $6,000 JUST for a cat to be flown to Australia, just the pet container and flight. Then 2k for permit plus quarantine.
      $8,000 total…. I’m still looking for alternatives. And am shocked and disgusted they can charge so much for an animal in cargo when a human sits in luxury for a substantially cheaper price.
      Airlines haven’t really been helpful-they don’t really know about pet transfers-they can’t even tell u which carriers have in cabin option for ur pet. U have to research each airline which is very time consuming…

      • BobinOz March 17, 2016, 12:49 am | Link

        Jet Pets are one of the good guys, wait until you get quotes from other companies, I’m sure you’re be even more disappointed. When we brought our dog over his flight cost more than me, my wife and my daughter combined.

        Not sure why you are blaming Australia for this one Nikki.

        • Nikki March 17, 2016, 6:12 am | Link

          My point is the cost – other countries can charge $50-$200 and we are still being charged $8,000. Australia has a rule in place that even when we are dealing with an airline that allows in cabin flying the pets, ot seems pets still hav to go under as cargo.

          • Lynn March 17, 2016, 8:20 am | Link

            Nikki, I too was quoted $6000 from Jetpets Australia. they are a great company and I have used them traveling out of Australia. When leaving the states to Australia, I used Jet Pets in LA California. Don’t get the two mixed up. Jet Pets in LA charged me approximately $500. That was a huge savings and the service was excellent. I mentioned their address in the above posts to Prasanna. I hope this helps.

            • Nikki March 17, 2016, 11:37 am | Link

              Hi Lynn
              Apologies for the mix up- i would definitely pay $500, but not $6000… wow!
              I’m still researching to get around this-it seems to be harder flying into Australia than out.

              Some1 was able to fly a pet from WA to USA in cabin and saved $1,800. I’m still waiting for my discovery – I’m trying to transport from Germany to Australia 🙂
              Is been a horrible / time consuming few months

          • BobinOz March 17, 2016, 4:32 pm | Link

            Nikki, I still don’t get why you are blaming Australia for the high fees charged by the airlines. I would imagine the reason Australia insists on pets travelling in the cargo area is so that they complete the entire journey in quarantine like conditions, which makes perfect sense.

            Australia has some unique wildlife, we have many creatures that just do not exist anywhere else in the world. We are also free of certain diseases that other countries have, and we’d like to stay that way to protect our wildlife.

            I think Australia has every right to want to do that.

          • Sarah May 30, 2016, 7:47 pm | Link

            I have payed about 3000 pounds for my flights and permits 500 pounds for vet bills and was about 1400 au dollers for quarenteen fees… Waiting for Ciro (dog) to arrive I will be invoiced another fee that is 99 dollars for airline handling fee and 120 dollars for a late collection as his flight arrives late …
            Hoping we will not have anything else to pay but what ever it takes to get my dog here! Xx

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