Pet sitting, pet minding and pet boarding services in Melbourne

Australian Quarantine

Australia only has 3 quarantine stations these are:
Melbourne – Spotswood Quarantine Station
Sydney – Eastern Creek Quarantine Station
Perth – Byford Quarantine Station
They get booked up quite quickly and sometimes there may be a long waiting list especially for Spotswood in Melbourne. It is therefore necessary for you to plan your pets travel well in advance. If you find your animal is due to be released before your arrival in Australia Melbourne Pet Minders can collect your pet and board it until you arrive.

Staff at Quarantine Stations
The staff are experienced and carefully selected, ensuring that your pet receives expert care and attention throughout its stay in quarantine. Staff are fully trained and in many cases have prior experience as veterinary nurses and boarding kennel attendants. Your pet will be assigned to carers who will attend to them throughout their stay.
Please note that the staff are Commonwealth government employees and are unable to accept gifts. If you wish to express your thanks to staff members, Client Feedback forms are available at the stations.

Booking Cats and Dogs into an Animal Quarantine Stations

The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) wishes to advise that there is currently high demand for kennels at some of our Australian animal quarantine stations. Due to this demand the quarantine stations may not have kennels available at the intending time to import. People wishing to have their cats and dogs accommodated at an Australian animal quarantine station should contact the relevant quarantine station directly to confirm availability.

REMEMBER: An import permit does not guarantee a space at an animal quarantine station.

To book a space at an Australian animal quarantine station, a valid import permit is required. Once an import permit has been issued, contact the relevant animal quarantine station to make a reservation for the animal with the valid import permit number.
Provision of an air waybill number to the animal quarantine station will be required to confirm the reservation closer to the date of departure.

Animal Arrivals

Once your pet is booked onto a flight to Australia, the airline will notify the relevant quarantine station of your pet’s import permit number, arrival date and time.
Your pet will be met at the airport by an AQIS officer. When a plane lands there are a number of formalities that must occur before leaving the airport and taking your pet to the station. Your pet will need to be cleared by the Australian Customs Service. To avoid any delays with this clearance your physical/home address in Australia (rather than a post office box number or the quarantine station address) should be noted on the Air Way Bill. Once formalities are complete, your pet will be transported directly to the animal quarantine station by an AQIS officer.
Staff will always endeavour to get your pet to the station in the shortest time practicable. On arrival at the station your pet will be introduced to a quarantine officer. The officer will weigh your pet and check for signs of stress and illness before settling the animal into its accommodation.
If you are importing two dogs or two cats the station is able to house them together and this should be specified on the import permit application form. If you have more than two of the same species arriving together we will do our best to ensure they are housed next to each other.
Your pet’s transport container will be disinfected and stored awaiting collection. Animals must not arrive on weekends or public holidays or outside station office hours without obtaining prior consent from AQIS in writing.
Generally speaking, dogs and cats cope with the flight and their time in quarantine very well and with your cooperation AQIS staff will endeavour to make your pet’s stay as comfortable as possible.

An invoice will be forwarded to the importer listed on your import permit within approximately 10 days of your pets arrival. If your postal address has changed since you received your permit, you must contact the station so we can update your records.
Your account must be settled prior to the release of your animal. Note: If your animal is due for release on a weekend or public holiday please ensure that you have settled your account on a business day prior, as payment cannot be taken on a weekend. The stations accept Visa, MasterCard, Bankcard and AMEX. Overseas credit cards are acceptable. Personal cheques cannot be accepted within 14 days of release.

Bedding which travels in the crate with your pet is generally soiled and may be destroyed on arrival. If you wish to send bedding for your pet's stay in quarantine it should be attached to the outside of the crate. Alternatively bedding can be sourced in Australia, and mailed to the quarantine station or supplied by you during a visit to the station. Please note that beanbags are not a permitted form of bedding.

Toys and Treats
If you wish to bring in treats for your pet, you will need to discuss their suitability with your animal’s attendant to ensure they are not overfed. Pet food cannot be imported into Australia without first obtaining an AQIS Import Permit.
Some toys can present a hazard to your pet. Please avoid toys that are easily destroyed by biting or chewing (as they are a choking hazard) and those suspended by string. You should discuss the suitability of toys with your animal’s attendant. Suitable toys can be sourced in Australia and sent to the quarantine station.
Your pet will be fed a nutritionally balanced commercial dog or cat food. As feeding differs between stations, please refer to the individual station information for details.
It is the importers responsibility to provide any special dietary requirements including prescription diets to the Quarantine station for your pet/s if required. Do not send food with your animal/s.

Quarantine Station staff provide basic grooming and washing to ensure that your pet’s coat remains clean and un-matted. Owners are welcome to groom their pets during the quarantine period or to arrange for a private groomer at their own expense.
Please note: if an animal arrives at the quarantine station in a matted condition or is difficult to groom, it is the responsibility of the owner to arrange for a private groomer at the owner’s expense.

Visiting your Pet
You can visit and interact with your pet during its stay in quarantine. Visiting hours differ between stations. Please refer to the relevant station information for details.
AQIS does not allow you to visit your pet on its day of arrival, as staff are busy making the trip to the airport, checking your pet into the station, providing food and water and settling it into the accommodation.

Whilst quarantine staff do not generally exercise pets, each station is equipped with outdoor, exercise yards for dogs. Owners may exercise their dogs, weather permitting, subject to the availability of the yards. Please contact the relevant station that is accommodating your dog to find out more about when your dog/s can be exercised.

Veterinary Attendance for Animals
An AQIS quarantine veterinary officer examines your animal within three days of arriving at the station. Quarantine veterinary officers only investigate exotic disease symptoms. A private veterinarian must provide any other veterinary attention should it be required.
A Veterinarian Attendance Authorisation form is required to be completed prior to import . Please complete this and return it at the time of application or to the relevant station as soon as you can. The form gives AQIS the authorisation to seek veterinary services for your pet if required during its stay. It also allows you to nominate a private veterinarian of your choice. If you do not have a private veterinarian, the station will engage one on your behalf. Please note that veterinary bills are not included in your station fees. If a veterinarian is engaged for your pet, they will invoice you separately.
In the event that your animal requires veterinary attention, the station will make every attempt to contact you. If this is not possible the station will not hesitate to call a veterinarian. Each station has a small veterinary clinic for use by private practitioners if medical treatment or surgery is required.
Note: It is important that the quarantine station has a name, address and phone number of a contact based here in Australia, in the event that your pet experiences any feeding or health problems. Please include these details on your permit application form.

Medicating Animals whilst in Quarantine

AQIS discourages, on welfare grounds the importation of chronically ill animals.Owners should also take into account the age and condition of their animals as well as travel and climatic stress when deciding to export their dogs/cats to Australia.
If your pet has any veterinary problems or requires medication (eg. diabetes/ epilepsy) please contact the Quarantine station several months in advance to discuss this with a AQIS officer or veterinarian. This should also be specified at the time of submission of your application.
AQIS does not provide any medication. If your pet is on any kind of prescription medication we will need a letter from your veterinarian outlining your pet's medical history prior to the export of the animal, the type of medication required and the dose rate. Quarantine staff will administer medication to your pet.
The Quarantine station are able to provide good basic care to healthy animals, and in some cases, basic medication to those with stable illnesses.
Please note: AQIS staff are available to medicate animals from 8.00am to 4.30pm - 7 days a week. Staff are not available at the Quarantine Station outside these hours.
Please note that these are NOT the hours that the Station is open to the public. For public opening hours, please refer to the visiting hours for each individual Quarantine Station.
Owners of animals who require the administration of therapeutics (eg. epileptic/diabetic animals) outside the hours of 8.00am - 4.30pm should discuss alternative treatment intervals with their veterinarian prior to importation to Australia.
If staff are required to attend the Station after hours in the case of an emergency, additional overtime charges will apply.

Pregnant Animals

Female pets must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young and must be eligible for the minimum 30 days in Quarantine at time of export.

Heartworm for Dogs
Please note that heartworm disease of dogs is endemic in Australia. Its occurrence varies widely in different areas of Australia. Heartworm is caused by the microorganism Dirofilaria immitis and is spread by mosquitoes. The larvae migrate to the heart and develop into worms over a period of about 6 months. No testing or treatment is required for importation into Australia.
A range of drugs is available to prevent heartworm disease. For dogs that have never been exposed to heartworm, there is at least a four months window during which preventative treatment can be safely started. For most dogs there is no need for treatment during quarantine. Importers should talk to their vet about whether treatment is necessary in their area and type of drug that is most suitable for their dog, after the dog is released from quarantine.
Alternatively, if your dog is staying several months in quarantine and if you would like your dog to be placed on heartworm medication you can arrange directly for a private veterinarian to examine your dog, to take a blood sample, if necessary, and to prescribe the most appropriate medication. The private veterinarian will bill you directly for all costs.

Animal Departures
Animal departure hours differ between stations. Please refer to the relevant station for details.
Owners are responsible for the collection of their animals from the Quarantine station. If you are unable to pick up your animal on their release date, you must contact the station prior to the specified release date. In most cases it is not possible for your animal to stay beyond its designated release date. Melbourne Pet Minders can collect your pet and board it until you arrive in Australia or you have found a pet friendly rental.
Animals may be released on weekends and public holidays. Please refer to the Animal Departures details of each Quarantine station.

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