Movement of Companion Animals

The term "health certificate", or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, is a document that is completed prior to transport of a companion animal into Vermont by a veterinarian licensed in the state of the companion animal's origin.  Health certificates document the consignor and consignee names and addresses and confirm that the animal to be moved is free of contagious disease prior to transport.

The examination of an animal and completion of its health certificate is an important prerequisite to moving that animal interstate.  Vermont only requires the completion of health certificates in instances when companion animals are being imported into Vermont for purposes of exchange, sale, resale or adoption.

If you are permanently relocating to Vermont with your companion animal or traveling to Vermont with your companion animal to go on vacation or attend school, a health certificate is not required.  However, it is recommended that you consult with your veterinarian prior to travel to ensure that your pet is healthy enough to handle the travel and that he or she is appropriately vaccinated. 

Importation from another state

Transport of dogs, cats, ferrets, or wolf-hybrids into Vermont from another state is governed by Vermont Statute Title 20: Internal Security and Public Safety Chapter 194 which states:

§ 3915. Health certificate for transport into state

(a) A dog, cat, ferret, or wolf-hybrid imported into the state for sale, resale, exchange, or donation shall be accompanied by an official health certificate or similar certificate of inspection for the dog, cat, ferret, or wolf-hybrid issued by a veterinarian licensed in the state or country of origin. The certificate shall certify that:

(1) The dog, cat, ferret, or wolf-hybrid has been inspected and is free of visible signs of infections or contagious or communicable disease; and

(2) If the dog, cat, ferret, or wolf-hybrid is more than three months of age, the dog, cat, ferret, or wolf-hybrid has a current rabies vaccination or is a specific breed, for which a rabies vaccination is not age-appropriate.

(b) The agency of agriculture, food and markets may adopt rules regarding the issuance and contents of any certificate required under subsection (a) of this section. (Added 2009, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 15.)

Importation from another country

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regulates the importation of companion animals from other countries. If you are bringing a companion animal into Vermont from outside of the United States, please call the CDC at (404) 639-3311 or visit the CDC website for more information.

CDC resources:

Dog Importation into US

Dog Importation into US Spanish

Cat Importation into US

Additional USDA Resources 

Export to another state

The requirements for movement of a companion animal from Vermont to another state are dictated by the state of destination. To receive the current requirements for your state of destination, contact that state's Department of Agriculture. The USDA website has contact information for each state veterinarian's office.

Export to another country

The requirements for movement of a companion animal from Vermont to another country are dictated by the state of destination. To receive the current requirements for your country of destination, review the USDA website. Depending on the country of destination, strict and time sensitive requirements may apply. Contact your veterinarian as early as possible after you know you will be traveling abroad to ensure that the requirements are met. If they are not, you may face additional charges and/or your pet may be denied entry or have to endure an extended quarantine period in the destination country. For additional information, please contact:

       USDA-APHIS-VS, National Import Export Services (NIES), District 1 Service Center
       500 New Karner Rd, 2nd Floor, Albany, NY 12205
       518 218 7540 phone| 518 218 7545 facsimile

Contact Information

Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

116 State Street
Montpelier, Vt 05620-2901


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