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If you have questions about your pet or if there is an animal in need, these are the guidelines and rules in the Netherlands regarding pets (from abroad) and the organisations that can offer assistance.
What to do with a pet on arrival in the Netherlands
As of 15 June 2023, your pet must meet European Union import requirements. These requirements are there mainly because of the dangerous disease rabies. Until 15 June 2023, the European Union (EU) had a temporary relaxation for bringing pets by refugees from Ukraine. The pets of refugees from Ukraine did not have to meet the same requirements as the pets of EU citizens.
If you are coming to the Netherlands by plane and have brought your pet with you, you have to report this to customs in the Netherlands. Customs will check if your pet meets EU requirements. If it does not, customs will arrange for a veterinarian. The veterinarian will check if your pet poses a serious health risk. Your pet may have to be quarantined.
If you come to the Netherlands by car and have brought your pet with you, you have to have your pet checked at the point where you first enter the EU. If you are travelling to the Netherlands, this is another European member state, for example Poland.
If you are already in the Netherlands, but your pet does not meet European Union requirements, make an appointment with the veterinarian as soon as possible. The vet will tell you what to do, such as getting your pet vaccinated. This visit is free at many (but not all) veterinary practices and the animal will receive a general examination, necessary vaccinations, microchipping and registration if necessary. Before visiting the veterinarian, make sure the animal has as little contact with other people and animals as possible. The veterinarian will register the pet with the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit, NVWA).
Your pet may always be taken to a shelter
If you want to take your pet with you to a reception centre or refuge, 'Hulp voor dieren uit Oekraïne' (Aid for Ukraine Animals) helps you and your pet to find a suitable place. This can be done at reception centres or free refuges where you and your pet can stay. You are not supposed to bring your pet to a random reception centre. Register on the website first. On the website of Hulp voor dieren uit Oekraïne (Aid for Ukraine Animals) under the heading 'opvang' you will find several application forms. You need to fill in one form per pet.