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How to Rescue YOUR New Pet!?!?!

Frequently Asked Questions...

Does my newly rescued pet need to be quarantined before travel to the mainland United States?

-No, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are part of the United States and therefore do NOT need to stay in quarantine.  All your pet needs is a Health Certificate from a local vet.  If you pet is under 20 pounds and can fit in an airline approved bag, they may be able to sit under the seat in front of you.  There are over 300 veterinarians on the island.  Finding a veterinarian to help you with travel documents it very easy.  Click here for a list of veterinary clinics on the island.

** For flying dogs or cats in cabin with you:  Please check the airline you are flying with to plan what documents you will need to travel with your pet.  Each airline has different requirements.  Some require a travel/health certificate, while others do not.  

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  Breed restrictions apply to both in cabin and cargo animals.  Please see each airlines restrictions.  If you are trying to transport a "bully" breed, your options are unfortunately limited.  Amerijet Cargo offers cargo flights to Miami with relaxed restrictions on dog breeds.  There are ground transportation services from Miami to various US locations.  We suggest a web search to find the best ground transportation services for your pet.  

Can my newly rescued pet fly with me?
​-Certain airlines allow pets to fly with you either under the seat in the airplane cabin or via cargo underneath.  

Airlines that allow pets 20 pounds or under to fly under the seat with you:

American Airlines


Jet Blue 


Spirit Airlines (Spirit Airlines accepts dog and cats that weight up too 40 pounds, as long as they fit into an airline approved in cabin carrier.)


Frontier Airlines

In order for your pet to fly in the cabin, it must be able to fit in a standard pet airline-approved pet carrier.   You can find these carriers at the local super stores, Walmart, Petsmart, or Petco.  Sometimes they are also available at the airline counter.  Please check with them to see if they are available in your location.  To find the best size carrier, we suggest looking in both the cat and dog sections of the store, as the cat section may have a larger bag type pet carrier.

Do I need a reservation for my pet to fly in cabin?

YES, you must make a reservation for your pet to fly with you in cabin. Certain airlines will allow you to add a pet online, others require you to call their reservation line to make a reservation.  

What paper work is required to ship my new pet via IN-CABIN to the mainland states?

Each airline differs and they are continually changing the rules.  It is best to check with each airlines pet policy and follow those guidelines.  We suggest making a screenshot or printing the airlines guidelines so if you have any issues at check-in, you can provide the ticket agent with the list of regulations.  We find airline staff are not always up to date on policy and may deny your pet for unfounded reasons.  

Health Certificate from a local veterinarianCertain airlines do not require this health certificate (when flying in cabin only,) which means you can can avoid the trip to the vet.  However, you will find our veterinarian prices are significantly less here on the island than in the mainland.  It may be worth your time!  Please check the airlines rules for all documents needed.  

Pets over 20 lbs should fly via cargo, unless they are certified "therapy dogs."  


Note about sick pets:  If you pet needs to stay at a vet office while they recuperate for a flight, most veterinarians on the island have boarding facilities.  Many can also connect you with a person to assist you with flying your pet stateside.

Paperwork required for pet/s flying Cargo

Pet/s must visit a veterinarian for vaccines and a health check to fly on a commercial airline via cargo.  The veterinarian will issue a Travel (health) Certificate for your pet.  This certificate is only valid for 10 days.  If you certificate should expire before your pet/s flight, you will need to purchase an additional certificate from the vet office.  Click here for a list of veterinary offices.  **Make sure to bring two copies of your health certificate with you to the airline.

American Airlines provides an  "Acclimation Form" and a "Breed Acknowledgment Document" downloadable from their AA Cargo website (also listed below.)  Additionally, there is a "Customer Acknowledgment Document."  The Breed Acknowledgement form must be signed by a veterinarian for your pet to fly.  An acclimation certificate is required if temperatures will be lower than 45 degrees for your pet/s flight.  We have listed those documents here:  

American Breed Document 

American Acclimation Letter

American Customer Acknowledgement Document 




Please be advised, certain restrictions & rules apply when flying a pet via cargo.  

Animals flown via cargo will be shipped from the San Juan Cargo Airport.  Directions to this airport are located below.

*Animals over 4 months of age are required to have a rabies certificate when flying cargo. 

*Currently only American Airlines and Amerijet are flying pets at this time via Cargo.  For full information on how to ship and necessary documents, please visit each airlines website.

American Airlines:



Cargo Reservation Phone Numbers for Pet Travel:

American Airlines will only create and/or adjust bookings from San Juan, Puerto Rico via email

(available 24/7) at  Alternatively, you can make a booking online here.

Amerijet Cargo Airlines: 1-800-927-6059  OR 305-593-5500, Email:

*WEATHER & BREED Restrictions

American Airlines Cargo Temperature Restrictions: 

If the temperature is 85'F or over in the arrival, connecting, or departure city, your pet is not allowed to fly.  If the temperature will be lower than 45'F in any of the plane destinations, you will need a temperature acclimation form from a veterinarian, stating that the animal is safe to fly at "SAID" lowest temperature.  Make sure the veterinarian specifies the lowest temperature he/she approves for their journey.  This statement must be present on the travel certificate. 

WINTER Weather Restrictions


*Check often to see temperatures at time of departure, connection, and landing.  The more informed you are of the weather, the less stressful this situation will be on both you and the pet. 

**IF the weather will be below 20 degrees, American cancel cargo animal transports.  It is too cold, your pet will be in danger.  

Where can I purchase a travel kennel?
Walmart, Petco, and Petsmart has a large selection of soft and hard kennels.  Local pet shops also sell pet carriers.  Petsmart has the widest selection.  

What paperwork is required to ship my new pet via CARGO to the mainland states?

Each airline has a variation of  shipping paperwork.  ALL airlines require a Health Certificate for animals flying cargo.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  *It must be valid within 10 days of travel.  For dogs flying on American Cargo, you can find all the information you need at

Where is the Cargo Airport?

Please click here for directions to the cargo airport, alternatively, you can use this link and your phone;

Have you found an Island Dog but because of various reasons, you can not keep a new pet?  
If you have found or rescued an animal that you can not keep, please web search a rescue group or shelter in your area for help in rehoming.  
​If you are a resident of Puerto Rico, and need help spaying/neutering your new found pet, please click here for our voucher application. Each voucher provides a health exam, vaccinations, and sterilization surgery. 

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