Australia has some of the strictest quarantine regulations in the world, quite rightly as a number of diseases do not exist in Australia, Rabies being just one of these infections of dogs. There are two basic requirements as far as rabies is concerned for dogs entering Australia, vaccination has to be up to date and the dogs blood has to be tested for rabies antibody to prove that the vaccination has been successful. At the time Roxx was adopted regulations meant he would not be released until 6 months after blood was collected for a satisfactory rabies test. I approached a number of companies for quotes on handling the relocation and initially accepted a veterinary practice. There were communication problems with them from the start when trying to get an appointment, but this was arranged and the blood drawn. They then refused to send it away for testing claiming that they did not have Roxx’s vaccination records even though I had myself sent them this. Lack of such a certificate does not in any case prevent the sample from being tested. Later they claimed that the vaccination record was not acceptable and would be rejected in Australia, also nonsense. I found them to be extremely arrogant and the owner even accused me of attempting to undertake a “dodgy relocation”. Eventually the owner admitted to the kennel that they were mistaken and blamed the staff of the veterinary practice and apologised but they never made any attempt to apologise to me. As an experienced microbiologist and with colleagues working in Australian biosecurity I understand the requirements well. It seems to me that certain vets in Dubai are not answerable to anyone and are used to being able to tell clients who have no microbiology background anything they like and expect to be believed without question.
I decided I had no option but to start the process again. This time choosing a company registered with IPATA the International Pet and Animal Transport Association which the vet was not. This time the company I used handled it all well with me looking after the Australian side of things. However the vet hey used for the veterinary requirements again demonstrated arrogance and took offence at my asking if he had given Roxx the required Frontline treatment. I needed to know this since I was handling the Australian side of things and he had not recorded this on the kennels records. As a result he refused to sign the required official documents stating that he had done this! The lady at the relocation company put in a big push to get this done and I was up all night exchanging many emails with all concerned until he eventually signed it off.
So Roxx said farewell to Saskia and began his trip to Australia on the non-stop flight of some 14 hours to Sydney.
Waiting to board the early morning flight at Dubai.
At the time Roxx needed to spend 4 weeks in quarantine in Sydney and I flew down to visit him not knowing if he would recognise me. He certainly seemed to be happy to see me and the kennel staff were clearly animal lovers and taking good care of him.
Finally on the 25th November 2013 Roxx was collected from Sydney quarantine and flown to Brisbane airport then driven to me at the ferry terminal by Jetpets for the ferry ride home.
Happy to have a home at last, under-weight, but he soon regained it and was fascinated by the picture of Digger on the wall.