New Office for Pet Travel

Moving pets around the worldThis is one of our happy clients that made their pet move with World Pet Travel known formerly Guardian Angels CR.

Hurray! Hurray! :) World Pet Travel is now open for business!

After much thought and preparation, we have finally branched out with our pet travel services. We have opened an office in the U.S. to help serve our clients coming from the U.S. make the transition a little smother on both ends. Whether you are coming or going from Costa Rica or anywhere else in the world, our pet transportation services are available to you anywhere worldwide.

We have a new website which will be dedicated to pet relocation which you can link to below or find at We are just in the development stages of the website so give us a little time to make it look as nice as our relocationcr website.

There is a contact page that you can complete to better help us understand your needs and come up with the best solution for you and your pets.

We hope that you will continue to have confidence in our ability to serve you and your pets needs and look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Angela Passman with Louis Vuitton and Maxine


Birds Into Costa Rica

Bringing birds into Costa Rica has become difficult to impossible.  There was an embargo put on the importation of birds over a year ago due to the Avian flu.  This however is not the only reason for the embargo.

There is an entity called the MAG that has made it impossible to bring your pet birds into Costa Rica.  Along with a whole series of tests that have to be done to show proof that they are not bringing any diseases into Costa Rica, they have come up with a new law which is barbaric in nature.

You need a CITES from the US and a CITES permit from Costa Rica but in order to obtain these permits you must meet the requirements of the MAG.  Aside from the tests, you must have the tendon cut on each bird that permits them to fly.  There is no way around this.  If you can even find a vet willing to do this in the US, it is a horrible thing to do to a bird.

If you can not find a vet to do this in the states and I don’t think that you will, this surgery will take place in Costa Rica by the vet at the airport before the bird is permitted to leave the airport.

Now this gets tricky in that you can’t get the CITES permit from Costa Rica until you have had this surgery done.

For me and other bird lovers, this simply says that I can not bring my beloved bird into Costa Rica.

This is the new law that has been passed and I don’t see it being turned over as Costa Rica is very behind in the times.

Should you have any other questions or need direction on bringing in your other pets, let us know by email.


More on Pet Transportation

The BIGGEST NO NO’s For Pet Travel!
Safety of a pet is paramount!

* Sedation of a pet (even if the vet says so!) Most airlines have adopted this policy and will refuse to accept a sedated animal.
* Feeding a pet food prior to the flight.
* Buying a cheap crate or using an old broken down carrier/crate with missing bolts/cracked plastic or wire crate.
* Not exercising a dog prior to the trip to the airport.
* Rushing to the airport and stressing you and your pets out. If late checking in, the airline can refuse to accept the pet.
* Placing hard objects in the animal’s travel carrier/crate.

Pet Cargo Area Conditions/Regulations on the Aircraft:
The following must be in place in order for a pet to travel on the aircraft

* Temperature controlled within 10 degrees of the cabin.
* The crate able to fit through the cabin door.
* Oxygen for each pet in the designated area.
* Separated from luggage and all other goods.
* Families of pets are kept together when possible.
* Cats are by cats, dogs by dogs, birds by birds.
* Mechanics of the plane must be in perfect condition in this area in order for any pet to fly on an airline.

Contribution by Bridget Monrad in Arizona at Happy Tails Travel


Pet transportation No No’s

Beware of bad information in books and on websites as it is abundant. There are several people in Costa Rica that will give you out of date or incorrect information about all sorts of things related to your move to Costa Rica.

One example is ARCR, if you are a member, you are paying them for the information that you get from them but if you are bringing pets into Costa Rica they have all of their information wrong. They charge you for documentation that you do not need and give you a list of useless information.

Since I have been moving pets for many years and have been a member of the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association for some time now, I get very upset at entities giving out bad information especially when it comes to pets because this poor information can affect their livelihood and cause unnecessary stress on the family.

I have recently read in 2 books from well known authors that have listed incorrect information. This can not only be misleading, it can be downright dangerous to your pets.

Some of the wrong things that are being written are corrected below:

You can NOT take a pet in your purse in the cabin with you on ANY airplane.

You do NOT need ANY documents authenticated or certified by the Costa Rican Consulate.

You do NOT need an import permit for dogs or cats.

At the present time, you can not bring birds into Costa Rica as the rules have changed in the last year making it impossible to meet the requirements of the MAG and the MINAE.

A rabies vaccine must be OVER 30 days and less than one year old.

Your regular veterinarians health certificate is not adequate for entering Costa Rica.

You MUST have an APHIS form 7001 issued by the United States Department of Agriculture in the state where you live.

I get angry when people have been told a list of lies in order to collect money from them. When you join a group like ARCR only to be left to your own devises when they don’t return emails or phone calls and a family is trying to get the right information for their pets. Or when someone takes what they read in a book as being fact when the author is not an expert in all areas and particularly not in the moving of pets.

Animals are my first love and I do everything that I can to protect them and insure a safe and trouble-free trip for them to Costa Rica and leaving Costa Rica as well.

There is not a lot of information out there about how to get your pets out of Costa Rica and thank goodness for that because the rules of each country vary greatly. Some countries you can not send your pets directly from Costa Rica.

Some countries require tests that take 3 months to acquire, particularly anywhere in Europe.

You can not move pets to Australia or New Zealand without first going through quarantine in another intermediary country.

There are so many ins and outs to moving your pets. It’s just not as easy as calling the airlines and sticking them on a plane. You should really have someone that knows customs and import and export requirements.

I have heard from customs agents of people coming to Costa Rica without the proper documentation. It has taken a day to 3-5 days of them sitting in the customs warehouse in their kennels to get them cleared. If they can’t be cleared, they are put in quarantine.

As mentioned in an earlier blog entry, a veterinarian in Costa Rica that claimed that he knew how to get animals into Europe sent them with only a health certificate from Costa Rica which is completely unacceptable. These pets were returned to Costa Rica at the owners expense. They contacted our office and we got the EU Certificate completed along with the rabies titres and they eventually made their way back to Europe.

If you need accurate and up to date information on what is necessary to get your pets in or out of Costa Rica, contact IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association) from anywhere in the world. They have members all over the world that often work together with other members to insure a safe trip for your pets. It can be expensive, but not as expensive as having your animals shipped back to their country of origin because things were not done correctly.
Go to and on the left side of the screen there is an option for find a pet shipper. You can put in the country you are leaving from or the state if coming from the US. Since we are the only members in Costa Rica, we will help you on this end to insure that your pets are only in customs for a couple of hours rather than several days.

With the agent that you are working with in your home country and our office coordinating our efforts, we can insure that you will have all of the proper documentation, then forward that onto us so that we can pre-clear your pets.

Now you know from my previous posts that I do not talk ill of other people or companies but when my client called me crying because they couldn’t get hold of ARCR after paying their membership fee. They were only days away from flying down and they didn’t have any of the documentation that they needed. I get angry and want to warn other people not to put themselves in the same position.

We had to hustle to get everything together but they made it down with their 3 dogs after seeking help from myself and an agent in San Francisco.

If your considering a move in or out of Costa Rica and you have pets, please contact myself or another IPATA agent.


Pets traveling to Costa Rica

More information about pets traveling to Costa Rica….When you are bringing a dog/cat from another country to Costa Rica, the entry requirements vary depending on where they are coming from.  Some things that never change….

Rabies must be over 30 days and less than 1 year old

Yearly vaccinations must be current within one year

You MUST have an International Health Certificate signed and sealed by the government of your country.  If you are coming from the U.S. you need APHIS form 7001 issued by a USDA approved veterinarian then signed and sealed by the closest USDA office to where you live.

Since this document can not be more than 10 days old when you arrive in Costa Rica, you must send it overnight to the local USDA office with a return overnight envelope.  They are accustomed to doing these the day that they arrive and sending them out the same day.

If you are not flying with your pet, you will need assistance from someone that is accustomed to dealing with customs or it can take you days to get your pets out of the customs warehouse.

Working with our company before you make the actual move, we can pre-clear your pets and they are often out within 2-3 hours or sooner.  We are members of IPATA ( and have experience importing and exporting pets.


Leaving Costa Rica with pets

If you are leaving Costa Rica and have pets there are a few steps that you must take to insure a safe trip for your beloved pets.  Leaving and entering have different rules and regulations.  Depending on the destination entry requirements into another country will vary.  It is extremely important to know these rules and entry requirements or your pets can be put on the next plane back to Costa Rica.

We work with agents all over the world and coordinate with them flights and entry requirements for each country.  We help satisfy those requirements in advance of departure to make this a smooth move for the whole family and to take away a little bit of the worry that comes with moving pets.

Recently a veterinarian in Costa Rica sent 2 dogs to Europe without the proper documentations.  The owners had already moved to Europe and were anticipating the arrival of their beloved pets.  Unfortunately when the dogs arrived in London without the necessary documentation they were put on the next plane back to Costa Rica.  In the owners panic, they contacted IPATA for an agent in Costa Rica that could help them.  We picked the dogs up at the airport and brought them to our boarding facility where we began the process of getting them to England.

We kept the dogs for 3 months (time necessary to get rabies titres) and worked with a veterinarian that is well versed in the requirements for shipping pets to Europe.  After we got back the rabies titres and the EU Certificate was completed, we made reservations for the pets to fly back to Europe.

On October 2nd the dogs arrived in London and were accepted by customs without incident.  This whole episode cost the owners so much more than it would have if they had originally contacted someone that knows about shipping pets.

If you are leaving Costa Rica with pets, contact Guardian Angels CR Relocation Specialists to coordinate this move for you and save yourself a possible nightmare like the one mentioned above.

If you are not in Costa Rica but are planning on coming, we can also work with you to insure a safe move for everyone.


Newspapers in Costa Rica

AM Costa Rica is one of the English newspapers here in Costa Rica. You can find them online at They are a daily newspaper that is at this time only offered online. It is a great source for finding what is going on throughout the country.

Today Mr. Jay Brodell (the editor) wrote an article about our business and highlighted on the pet service that we offer. Here it is….Pets can travel, too, with the right kind of transport aid
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Those who seek a special dog or cat — or even a kangaroo — from elsewhere in the world can bring it here as long as they are prepared to pay the price.

A recent classified in A.M. Costa Rica presented an example of what not to do. The classified was a scam by cyberthieves who just want money.

Costa Rica’s only member of a pet transportation organization, said that bringing any kind of pet can be much more complicated and far more frustrating than people think. But by using experienced individuals, the discomfort can be minimized, she said.

The expert is Angela Passman of Escazú, a relocation specialist and operator of Guardian Angels CR. She has been relocating families for three years. But she also is a member of the Independent Pet and Animal Transportation Association.

Ms Passman said that any kind of pet, except birds, can be imported into Costa Rica. Her job is to get the pet through customs, frequently within a few hours.

Although she may be the only member of her association in Costa Rica, other members are all over the world ready to help get an animal started on its trip. Ms Passman said that for routine shipments, a Stateside pet owner can save a lot of money doing the preparation work him or herself.

The former Tennessee resident said that air flights have a tendency to calm down pets, and they usually arrive in a tranquil state.

“This month I shipped two dogs to England, two to Singapore, and I am preparing to send one to Germany
next month,” said Ms Passman. “Also we have several dogs coming in from South Africa, Spain, Australia, Venezuela and the U.S.”

She also has helped animals in transit, including kangaroos from Spain going to a Guatemala zoo where there was no direct flight. Ms Passman said she checked on the animals at the airport and verified all documents were in order.

Typically, a dog being imported from the United States needs proof of a rabies shot at least 30 days old. That requirement is for dogs over 4 months of age. But. Ms. Passman notes that dogs should not be removed from their month until they are at least 90 days old.

In addition to proof of a rabies shot, the dog will need a certification by a veterinarian that it is healthy. Then there is a required certificate from the the U.S. Department of Agriculture that the vet usually can arrange.

On the Costa Rican end there is additional paperwork, including a customs charge of 33 percent of the shipping costs. If someone does not speak Spanish, trying to get the animal out of customs can be a nightmare, said Ms. Passman. Some folks talk as long as three days, she said.

But because of the avian flu scare, importing birds is a big no no, and she has customers with parrots in the States awaiting shipment here.

But don’t try to ship parrots or any other Costa Rican creature out of the country. That’s against the law, she warned.

Her organization also had a Web page with some tips to animals lovers who might be faced with a potential cyberthief.


Moving pets to Costa Rica

Moving pets to Costa Rica or leaving Costa Rica is easy if you have the right information.  We move pets for many families either entering or leaving Costa Rica to and from all parts of the world.  First thing you need to know is to get the right size cage for your pet so that they can travel comfortably.  I don’t suggest an oversized one like above as you cat/dog will feel very insecure  in such a large cage.  Get one just their size and it is like a haven or a den for them and helps them through the transition.
Requirements differ for each country, so check with your closest IPATA member to find out the requirements for your pet.  If you are relocating to Costa Rica or leaving Costa Rica, Guardian Angels can help you with the moving of your family pets.  For current information on what is required to fly with your pet, email us and we will give you the most up to date information to make this a tranquil move for everyone.


Moving pets

In the summer you often have a pet embargo from May to September with several of the airlines. The will refuse to ship pets due to the extreme heat thus an embargo is put in place. Continental airlines will still ship during this time because your pet is never left outside in the extreme heat. With Continental airlines the pet is transported from the airplane to the terminal in air conditioned vehicles so they are not exposed to the heat for any length of time.

Winter transport can be very tricky too because the airlines will not accept a pet if the temperature is going to be under 32 degrees at any point of their travel. This makes it rather difficult to get dogs/cats to the northern states during the winter months. As in the summer we have to watch the extended forecasts and hope for a heat wave.

If you live in the US you can get a pet acclimation certificate from your veterinarian showing that your pet can withstand temperatures to 22 degrees.  This is not an option when living in Costa Rica as the vets here will not issue the pet acclimation certification.  Most have not even heard of it.  Think about it, why would they need to living in this perfect climate year round.


Birds Into CR

Not many people learn of the Ministry of the Atmosphere and Energy or the MINAE unless they are bringing a bird or want to know something about the National Parks and Wildlife of Costa Rica.  The only reason I know anything about this entity is because I have a bird that is on the endangered species list so I have tried to familiarize myself with their organization.

Now I help other people with birds get them into Costa Rica.  It is not an easy process and requires approval from the MINAE to bring the birds in.  If you are leaving you need their permission to take your bird out of the country as well. All of this is in the form of a CITES permit. You also need a CITES permit from the US government but they are a little more regimented in the way they do things so that part is easy compared to Costa Rica procedures.

At the present time Costa Rica is not allowing any birds to enter the country because of the bird flu.  The way that they handle this is to turn off their fax machine and not return emails when you are making a request.  If you know who to contact (fortunately I do) you can get current information on the status of this latest problem.  I’ve been told it will be a couple of months before they allow birds in again.  We will see.