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. Also, there are over 300 veterinarians on the island, so finding a veterinarian to help, it very easy.
*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 night cargo flights to Miami and has relaxed restrictions on dog breeds.
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:
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.)
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.
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. Therefore, it is best to check with each airlines pet policy. Follow those guidelines. Make a screenshot or print them so if you have any issues at check-in, you can provide the ticket agent with the list of regulations. We find airlines staff are not always up to date on policy and may deny your pet for unfounded reasons.
Health Certificate from a local veterinarian. Certain 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." If your new pet is larger than 20 pounds, you will have to make arrangements to fly your pet via cargo American, United or Delta. For a complete list of rules and regulations regarding pet travel please visit your airline website. If you pet needs to stay in Puerto Rico while being treated for an illness, it may fly cargo when he/she is healthy enough to fly.
Please be advised, certain restrictions & rules apply when flying a pet via cargo.
United Airlines is the ONLY climate controlled airline. That means the outside temperatures in the departing, connecting or destination city do not apply. United provides both AC and heat to make sure you pet/s are comfortable throughout their journey to their new home.
American & Delta 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 vet specifies the lowest temperature he/she approves for their journey. This statement must be present on the travel certificate and if you are flying American, it needs to be written on their "Acclimation Form" posted/downloadable from their AA Cargo website.
**Make sure you check 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 and Delta will cancel cargo animal transports. It is too cold and your new pet will be in danger. United has heated cargo throughout travel, so this does not apply.
Cargo Reservation Phone Numbers for Pet Travel:
American Airlines: 1-800-227-4622
United Petsafe: 1-800-575-3335 (United requires bookings be made 5 days in advance to pet's flight, with no exceptions) **United requires you to email travel certificate, customer acclimation form, photo of pet, and photo of kennel to a few days before your pet's travel so they may approve before you arrive at cargo. You must bring all documents and a printed photo of the animal to the cargo the day of flight.
Delta Airlines: 1-888-352-2746 --You can also book a pet flying in cargo online at
**If you need to make a reservation for a pet traveling with you, in cabin, please call your airline reservation number.
*American Airlines allows you to check in your cargo pet/s with you at the main airport. They charge $200 per kennel, limit two kennels per person. You will need all proper paper work from a local veterinarian for your pet to travel on American. This check-in, is easiest than United, which requires you to check-in your pet at their cargo office, located in the cargo airport. For information on the cargo area, click here.
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 paper work is required to ship my new pet via CARGO to the mainland states?
Each airlines has a variation of shipping paper work. ALL airlines require a Heath 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 www.AAcargo.com
*Animals over 4 months of age are required to have a rabies certificate when flying cargo.
United Required Paper Work:
American Airlines Required Paper Work:
Can Island Dog assist me with vetting and flying my rescue back to the United States?
While we do NOT have the funds to pay for your rescued pet, we can help guide you to make the process of transporting your pet/s less stressful. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your phone number in the email.
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 google a rescue group or shelter in your area.
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.