We are Australian families who returned home due to the escalating situation with COVID-19 and have struggled to bring our beloved pets with us.
Our mission is to bring them home and share experiences to help others with what may seem imPAWSible - PAWSible
Cats and dogs entering Australia must undergo a quarantine period. In 2015, the Federal Government shut quarantine facilities outside of Victoria. Now the country's only quarantine facility is in Mickleham, Melbourne.
When COVID-19 hit, thousands of families returned to Australia upon Government advice. At that time, families also booked and paid for our beloved pets to go into the quarantine facility, paid accredited pet transporters, as well as, carried out the necessary vet checks on their animals.
However, getting a flight directly to the city where the country's only quarantine facility is located has not been possible - resulting in pets being stranded abroad for months. The dire and costly situation also worsened with the cancellation of international passenger flights into Melbourne and the state now in shutdown.
After desperately pleading with the Federal Government for compassion and pragmatism to prevent these animals from being stranded overseas for the foreseeable future - Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud announced a new arrangement that will see animals transhipped through Sydney on September 18, 2020.
Cats and dogs may now be transhipped via Sydney to the Post Entry Quarantine Facility in Melbourne under a new temporary arrangement with Qantas Airways when there is no option for them to fly directly to Melbourne.
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud said the temporary arrangement is great news for Australians with pets stranded overseas due the pandemic.
Setting up Sydney as an alternative pet transfer hub has been made possible due to the close collaboration between a number of government departments and Qantas.
Given the preparation that must be undertaken to prepare animals for their journey, Minister Littleproud said the arrangement would be available from late September.
View the announcement in full here.
Under the new arrangement:
Families who have brought their pets home - will share their journeys, experiences and tips to help others trying to bring their furry family members home.
Thank you to Qantas for going above and beyond to bring pets home and reunite them with their families.
To get further information or to make a booking under the new arrangement, pet owners have been advised to contact their pet travel specialist.
Links to resources are available here.
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