Bringing a Dog Home from Mexico

37047256Have you ever vacationed in Mexico and seen a stray dog you’d love to take home–but had no idea just how to accomplish that task? Bringing a dog home from Mexico is a lot easier than you might think!

For the past seven years Alison Sawyer Current has divided her time between Colorado and Mexico, operating Isla Animals, the unofficial humane society on Isla Mujeres. Her organization has helped many travelers bring home a dog or cat from Mexico. For her work, in 2005 she received The Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award, and she consulted in Mexico City for the Forum on Small Animal Overpopulation in Mexico. The author of the recent No Urn For The Ashes (Bayfire Press Publishing) is using a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book to further the care of her beloved extended feline and canine family. Here are Alison Current’s tips on bringing home a dog from Mexico:

Tips on Bringing a Dog Home from Mexico
by Alison Sawyer Current,

It’s a beautiful day and you love the warm tropical flavor of Mexico except for the sad sight of the animal condition. One special stray cat or dog has befriended you and you are thinking, it would be great if you could take the cutie home with you.

What a great souvenir that would be. Not as easy to pack as a t-shirt but not as hard as you might imagine. I have sent hundreds of animals out of Mexico and below is a list of suggestions to help you take your new friend home.

  1. Call your airline or look up its web site to check their policies on transporting animals. Most major airlines will transport dogs and cats in the luggage department. I won’t list them because they change these rules and regulations all the time.
  2. If you are anywhere on the Mayan Riviera email me at Even if you are a long way from Isla Mujeres I may be able to put you together with the right people.
  3. Ask around for a local animal rescue group or for the whereabouts of the local veterinarian or animal shelter.
  4. Take your cat or dog to the local veterinarian or animal shelter to assess the health of the animal and get shots if needed. Puppies under four months do not need rabies shots. Older dogs do need a rabies shot and a certificate saying they’ve had one; also get a general health certificate.
  5. Find a pet carrier. Wal-Mart and Costco sell animal crates in all sizes. When in doubt, get the next size larger, as airlines will refuse if the animal is too large for the crate. If your new pet is small, you may be able to take it inside the cabin of the plane; it can go under the seat in front of you. The best way to get around the size regulation in this case is to buy a soft carrier.
  6. The next thing to do is to arrange transportation to the airport. Many taxis and vans will not take animals. We use one company for this and they are wonderful and will happily pick you up anywhere in the area. Call Solomon at 998 845 8503, tell him you are transporting an animal. If you find the phone system daunting, ask someone where you are staying to help you.
  7. Lastly, get to the airport at least three hours before your flight, and take a cleaning kit with some wet paper towels in a plastic bag, a bag for garbage, a container for water, spare newspaper for the bottom of the crate and a leash or rope so you can walk the animal. There is a nice grassy area outside the airport. Show courtesy and respect to airport employees, it helps a lot. If someone gives you a hard time, politely ask to speak to their superior, sometimes the staff doesn’t know the animals policy and won’t admit it.
  8. When you get home give your pet quiet time to settle into his or her new life, sometimes the stress of travel can give them tummy problems, this should pass. Be sure to get to the vet as soon as you can for that first check up. If you mention that your pet is a rescue animal they usually give the first visit for free. If your vet has any questions they can email me and if I don’t know the answer I will know someone who does.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits,, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.