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Taking our pet home to India (Toronto)

I am in Toronto for a year-long contract. I've just completed it and am going back to India. My wife and I adopted a homeless kitten while we were here and brought her up like our own child. Folie is now 10.5 months old, and we were excited about taking her back to India with us. We got all her vaccinations, certification and approvals done and prepared for our trip.

3 days before our trip, we were informed that a new legislation passed in India required Indians to have spent at least two years abroad (continuously) before they can travel back to India with their pets. This legislation was recently passed (April) and most people, including airlines, were not aware of this till two weeks back.

We have tried all avenues; checked with pet travel agents in Toronto and Mumbai, put in application with our full case to Customs (which got rejected), and even called the Indian consulate. We are being told everywhere that there is no solution to this problem, except to apply for a commercial animal import license (which involves quarantines, long waits, and huge commercial fines).

We have our bags packed and have no option but to travel without our cat for now, leaving her behind with whatever care we can find in two days. My wife and I are extremely devoted animal lovers and have a history of adopting strays and finding homes for them. We had adopted a stray cat and found a home for her just days before we left for Toronto from India. Now, this new law (supposedly made to prevent animal breeders from bringing pedigree dogs into the country) is forcing us to abandon our cat to uncertain fate here.

We are calling out for whatever help or advise anyone can provide. Under extreme circumstances, we would request a family who has been here for more than two years and is moving back to India to bring Folie back with you. She is an adorable and friendly cat who is more like a puppy than anything else. Thank you for reading through and hope to hear back from you.

Toronto Forum