Cool, Green and the best Coffee in the world
I would appreciate info on the easiest way to bring my two cats into Boquete.
I will fly out of Houston, Texas and can go through San Jose, Costa Rica and/or Panama City.
Also, how difficult would it be to drive the cats from San Jose to the Panama border near Boquete?
I understand that there is a vet at the border station who can clear them.
Thanks, Ruth "riki" Stevens
The cats will have to be cleared twice (and doubtless under two different sets of regulations) if you fly through Costa Rica: once at the airport, and once at the border. I think it would be easier to fly to Panama City and be met there by Jose Saenz, a pet facilitator. His contact info is firstname.lastname@example.org. He can provide up to date information about what is required for entry into Panama and can meet your plane and escort you through the process. He's well known there and can make the experience much easier.
Thank you Bonnie Williams for this info. I have already been in touch with Jose Saenz but I just didn't know what the process would be if I went through San Jose.
Ruth "Riki" Stevens
You can't take a rental car across the border. The buses don't allow pets. My advice is to fly into Panama City.
We brought our cat and used Jose. Everything went like clockwork. Make sure your flight coincides with the times the vet is in Panama City or you have to pay extra for the overtime to come out.
Joy, Thank you so much for your quick response and I look forward to meeting you when we actually live in your Boquete. Ruth "Riki" Stevens
Riki, We brought our 6 cats with us in three separate trips. We flew out of Shreveport, with a connecting flight in Houston. The first time Jose met us and it was a breeze. The second time, his helper was late and I did most of it myself. He arrived in time to take us to the airport for our local flight. Third time, Jose was there. For me, the only difficult part (and it wasn't really difficult) was the Stateside part. The Department of Agriculture in Baton Rouge told me what to do step by step. I would never go through San Jose and cause the cats that extra stress. When you arrive, check out Amigoes de Animales and maybe do some volunteering. Looking forward to seeing you.
Dear Curvas, Thank you for your advice. It will be easier for me to fly from ABQ to IAH, stay all night with the cats in the Holiday Inn by the airport because it allows cats and then the next day fly to PTY. I have already received instructions from Jose and will stay all night in Panama City before we drive to Boquete. I will not put any animal in a plane's cargo. The sound is horrendous, the crates can shift, and some 5000 animals a year die in cargo bins. So, your advice is very much appreciated.
Ruth "Riki" Stevens
My wife just arrived with our cat and a couple of things she found
1. The airlines we used (booked thru United but actually flew USAir and Copa) only allowed 1 animal per person.
2. Both Copa and USAIr have a limit on the number of pets allowed in the cabin area and it was first come first serve on USAIr but Copa allowed to reserve a spot for the cat.
3. Copa only allowed cabin animals in first class on specific days of the week - I am not certain of the days.
4. Grace had to go to the ticketing area for Copa to get the cats papers approved - meaning she needed more time between flights to get back through security.
5. Both airlines charged extra for the cat but Copa waived the fee since Grace had already payed USAir
In retrospect we should have booked this as a 2 day flight in case of a flight delay even though it did work out ok.
Also some of the other requirements we discovered more by accident then because of any reasonable online documentation.
Since you are flying through IAH I assume you are on United(Continental). I would talk to them directly to find out any and all special rules they may have
Our cat made it here with no major problems but that was because Grace spent a lot of time and effort taking care of all of the details. We used Golden Frog in PC and had no issues at the PC airport. Spent the night in PC and drove to Boquete the next day. Cat has adjusted faster then Grace :)
Thank you, Dennis,, Your info is valuable. I have already clicked on to the airlines' regs and Golden Frog as well. Since I won't put a cat in cargo, a friend is helping me and we will fly ABQ to Hobby Airport in IAH because southwest will allow two pets in the cabin. We will then shuttle to the international airport and stay all night at the Holliday Inn there, because it allows pets. The next day Jose Saenz will meet us in PC to help clear the cats and then we will stay all night at the Allbrook Inn, which also allows pets. The next day one of Jose's people will drive us to Boquete because Air Panama does not allow pets in the cabins.
What we won't do for out cats!!!k And mine are little rescues, so they are nervous about most things anyway.I don't know just when I will be moving to Boquete because I am waiting for my Santa Fe house to sell. But when there I hope to meet you and your wife. Riki Stevens