Bavaria Branch Veterinary Services
PCS-ing is incredibly stressful, which is only compounded by ensuring your children and pets have what they need prior to travel. Your on-post veterinary treatment facility (VTF) is here to help you.
It’s important to call us months in advance with any questions so that we can help you iron out the kinks well before it’s time to PCS. Here are some key pieces of information you’ll need to know:
It is required by German law that your dogs and cats be up to date on rabies vaccination while living in Germany. It is also required that rabies vaccination be up to date in order to bring your dog or cat back to the U.S. when you PCS. This is not something you want to be scrambling to fix at the last minute.
2. Health Certificate
A Health certificate is required to PCS — and to clear the VTF. It must be issued within 10 days of your arrival at your destination. This can be done on- or off-post. To get your health certificate issued by the Vilseck Veterinary Treatment Facility, you’ll need to call to schedule an appointment. Schedules for each month open on the 15th of the month prior (or the first business day following the 15th). Call as soon as you know your flight date — the earlier the better.
You will not be able to clear the VTF before your pet’s health certificate is issued. An airline reservation for your pet is insufficient. This is because your pet is not guaranteed to be issued a health certificate just because you have scheduled the appointment.
3. Clear the VTF
Other documents that are acceptable to clear the VTF are: (a) proof your animal is deceased, (b) transfer of ownership paperwork signed by yourself and the new owner of your pet, (c) proof your pet already returned to the US, such as the health certificate, and (d) a memorandum signed by your commander taking responsibility for any animals you are unable to take with you when you leave. Feel free to call the VTF if you have any questions about clearing procedures.
4. Specific OCONUS Requirements
Certain OCONUS areas have more stringent import requirements, particularly in regard to rabies vaccination and may also require blood testing. If you get orders to certain rabies-free OCONUS locations — such as Hawaii, Guam, South Korea, or Japan — call the Vilseck VTF with any questions you have and we are happy to provide you with information pertaining to the importing and exporting of animals. However, the responsibility to meet all travel requirements is solely that of the owner. So be proactive. We are here to help.
5. Do your homework
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service pet travel website is a helpful tool. This site contains up to date information for traveling to or from the United States with animals and gives country- and state-specific guidance. This website can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel.
The veterinarian cannot sign anything designating your pet as an emotional support animal (ESA). ESA’s are like any other beloved pet at the vet, and we want to ensure they are healthy and vaccinated prior to travel, but we cannot sign airline documents requiring information other than medical care and vaccine history.