The official policy of the Department of State is that it does not evacuate pets. In reality, pets are evacuated when possible, but there are no guarantees as it depends entirely on the situation. There are crises in which pets cannot be evacuated. Also, one must remember that each individual is responsible for the cost of evacuating the pet. We recommend that, as a part of evacuation contingency planning, one make several optional plans for the pet so that one is ready for any situation that might arise in an evacuation. These options might include:

  • Prepare to take the pet with you when you evacuate. Make sure shots are up to date and the pet carrier is ready in case you must quickly leave with the pet. Be informed about pet travel regulations of host country and any country you must transit. Be aware, again, that you are responsible for the cost of the pet's evacuation.
  • Think about sending the pet out of country ahead of time if there seems to be a likelihood of evacuation, and if there is time. Identify someone back home to whom you can send the pet.
  • Identify someone in-country with whom you can leave the pet if there is a crisis and you cannot take the pet with you. Make arrangements with this person now so that you are prepared in this event.

The Family Liaison Office suggests that all these options be in place at once, since one cannot predict what form an evacuation will take. Keeping shots up to date, your pet in good health and an appropriate carrier ready will be important in all these scenarios.

The Overseas Briefing Center has country-specific information on quarantines and import requirements.

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) has pet information and pet travel guidance available on their website.

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office

[This is a mobile copy of Pets: Contingency Planning for Your Pet]