October 15, 2016
Pint-sized Poco once padded Bondi’s Promenade but has recently swapped life Down Under for LA LA Land.
We followed the chestnut Chihuahua on his American adventure and the process that helped him arrive Stateside. This pampered pooch and his two owners, Grant and Zoe, have their sights set on a new life in the US, and have taken Poco (little in Spanish) to Hollywood on a “big” adventure that will see him unleash his four-legged Aussie swagger on the rich and famous.
Poco began his early life in Bondi, swimming in the azure seas of Sydney, strolling along the golden strip of sand, frequently rubbing shoulders with celebrities and turning the heads of the bronzed locals that frequent the beach. He also enjoyed the odd Sydney treat: his favourite pie or fish and chips when his owners were feeling generous.
Poco is now having to adapt to rubbing shoulders with a different set of celebrities and their pooches, and also sampling the different cuisines, beaches and culture on offer, this capable canine is showing the locals, “what’s up Down Under.”
Poco flew over 12,000kms with Qantas and the assistance of a Jetpets a pet travel company. Despite the fact Poco could fit into most handbags, international regulations stipulate that the pocket-sized pup had to fly in an IATA standard animal container in the cargo hold.
But it’s not all bad news, according to Vivien Norman from Jetpets, “contrary to popular belief, animals do not travel in pitch black, freezing cold conditions. In fact, their experience with flying is very similar to what we experience as humans. Pets travel in climate controlled, dimly lit section of the aircraft, where their crates are firmly secured.”
Rules & Regulations
Some airlines have specialist pet services that can assist with moving pets ensuring your furry friend flies the most direct route to minimise stress, and ensure the safest journey possible. Although there are strict guidelines regarding the transportation of companion animals by air, it’s not impossible to organise by yourself, however, Poco sought the assistance of a professional pet transportation company for a less stressful solution.
With each country having its own strict quarantine rules, it is essential to become familiar with the regulations ahead of your departure to ensure there are no mishaps at the airport.
It is important to remember that pets leaving Australia are checked into the Freight terminal, not the main passenger airport terminal, and must be lodged between 90 and 120 minutes prior to the scheduled flight departure. As with most countries it is necessary for dogs to be vaccinated against rabies before arrival into most countries, and the United States is no different.
Grant explains, “Poco had his rabies jab before flying. The cost was around $100 dollars at a vet in Bondi Junction. He was very scared of the needle but it was over in seconds. Confirmation of the rabies jab was needed for the US immigration paperwork.”
America is among the most popular destinations for Aussie pets to travel overseas, Vivien says, “some of the more popular locations for international pet travel include, New Zealand, Singapore, USA and the UK.”
LA’s Dog-Friendly Beaches
After experiencing the glorious beaches Down Under, this well-travelled pooch is keen to explore LA’s iconic beaches, and intends to do it as quickly as his little legs will take him. With only one on-leash dog-friendly park in Marina del Rey, where he is currently residing, Poco is looking forward going to the world famous Venice Beach, so he doesn’t start to miss the surf lifestyle he’s been accustomed to. Unfortunately for Poco though, Venice Beach has similar rules to Bondi, and while he can pad the famous Boardwalk at Venice Beach, he won’t be dipping his paws in the surf anytime soon as dogs are not permitted.
But, the good news is he can make use of The Westminster Dog Park, which is located three blocks from the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Meanwhile, he is busy making use of LA’s numerous fire hydrants.
According to Grant, “Los Angeles is a very dog friendly city – there are doggy bins and bags available along the seafront and also at our apartment complex.”
When Poco gets the chance he may even pay a visit to his ancestral homeland of Mexico. Papers permitting, of course! He hopes to chow down on some chimichangas and meet his ancestors south of the border.
With all this travelling experience Poco is sure be to become an AmeriCAN not an AmeriCAN’T!
Bringing a dog into USA
United States Department of Agriculture