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Old Jul 1, 12, 4:20 pm   #1
 
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experiences crossing US/Canada border (by land) with a pet?

Does taking the family pet with you to Canada trigger problems crossing the border? Does the Border Patrol (from either nation) give you extra attention? Delay the process?

I do have the cat's health certificate and proof of rabies vaccination as required by the Canadian authorities, but I wondered if other paperwork might expedite the process.



p.s. I know there is a travel with pets forum, but as this question relates strictly to crossing the border with the pet I thought I might get more information here.

Last edited by CDTraveler; Jul 1, 12 at 4:55 pm.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 11:52 am   #2
 
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This is an interesting question, because I may be also looking at such options in the not too distant future.

When I was researching the issue, it appears that the US and Canada have largely harmonized their vaccination protocols and common domestic pets (cats and dogs) can travel freely, but must be declared and presented for inspection. The one exception, I believe, is that you can't take pit bulls into Canada.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 11:36 pm   #3
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Some friends regularly bring their dogs across the border. One thing to wach for crossing southbound (except at Detroit/Windsor) is that pet food has to be in its original containers (there are USDA restrictions).
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Old Jul 5, 12, 9:27 am   #4
 
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Never a problem hauling a couple retired greyhounds across to Canada and back.
Proof of vaccinations is all...pooches were never given a second look and, if anything, made the process a little quicker. Why would a drug smuggler bring his cat with him, anyway?
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Old Jul 5, 12, 9:30 am   #5
 
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Why would a drug smuggler bring his cat with him, anyway?
Extra storage (or luggage) space for the drugs, I suppose.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 7:13 pm   #6
 
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Extra storage (or luggage) space for the drugs, I suppose.
If you've ever tried to bathe a cat, you know there no way in hell you're getting a kilo of coke into any bodily oriface.

Or as Mark Twain put it, "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."
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Old Jul 5, 12, 7:30 pm   #7
 
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Originally Posted by airmotive View Post
If you've ever tried to bathe a cat, you know there no way in hell you're getting a kilo of coke into any bodily oriface.

Or as Mark Twain put it, "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way."
So, can one tranquilize a cat before inserting drugs ?
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Old Jul 5, 12, 9:41 pm   #8
 
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Why would a drug smuggler bring his cat with him, anyway?


Are you suggesting I am a drug smuggler? Or would use our cat for such a purpose?
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Old Jul 6, 12, 7:27 pm   #9
 
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I can throw some questions out there that a Canadian border agent may want to know:

(1) what is the purpose of your visit to Canada?
(2) why do you feel the need to travel with the pet?(dog or cat)
(3) how long do you plan to stay in Canada?
(4) which hotel(or friend/relative's house) are you staying at and are they okay with the pet?
(5) will the pet leave Canada with you?
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Old Jul 11, 12, 10:27 pm   #10
 
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I can throw some questions out there that a Canadian border agent may want to know:

(1) what is the purpose of your visit to Canada?
(2) why do you feel the need to travel with the pet?(dog or cat)
(3) how long do you plan to stay in Canada?
(4) which hotel(or friend/relative's house) are you staying at and are they okay with the pet?
(5) will the pet leave Canada with you?
Thank you for the useful tips. I have been coaching both my kid and cat on the appropriate answers to give CBP agents on both sides of the border. I think the cat has mastered his answers, but kid is 12, and quite likely to give the typical adolescent type reply, i.e. "None of your business!"

I will put the email confirming that cat is welcome at our lodging with cat's other paperwork, which is currently tucked in my passport.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 2:37 pm   #11
 
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Update: the northbound experience

Entered Canada with cat today via I-87 checkpoint. No wait, pulled right up to the booth and handed the Canadian official 2 passports and the cat's paperwork. She pulled out the vet forms and looked at me as if she was puzzled, so I said "Those are our cat's proof of vaccination; we have our cat with us."

Then we got the official glazed eyes look, the one that says "I have no idea with I'm supposed to do about this, so I'll ignore it."

She then asked me multiple questions about guns, alcohol, tobacco and pepper spray, none of which we were carrying. Her final question was to ask if I own the car I was driving, and then we were on our way. Not a single question about the cat and she certainly didn't read his paperwork.

I'll post again after we return to the US about our experiences re-entering the US with the cat.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 6:46 pm   #12
 
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Return to the U.S.

Today we returned to the U.S. with our cat, this time via the Roussy crossing. Again, I pulled up to the window, handed the border agent the passports and the cat's paperwork. Again, the agent ignored the cat issue completely. Rather I was asked about my shopping, particularly if I had purchases any liquor (I hadn't).

In summary: border agents of both nations have no idea what to do about traveling cats, so they ignore them.
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