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Interesting question from a friend: Let's say a college student is about to go on a study abroad program for six months, where they will be staying in an apartment Florence, Italy. Let's also say that this person has a rat that their therapist has declared an Emotional Support Animal. (an animal that is not a trained service animal but is there for the emotional benefit of the owner) In America airlines and housing are required by law to make compensation and accommodate these animals. So if they took the rat onto a plane, as long as she has the letter from a medical mental professional, supposedly they have to allow it, thus the rat won't have to sit in the cargo bay.

If this person wanted to take their rat with them during their stay in Italy, what would be the pros and cons? I know of another woman who took her support animal, a dog, there and was fine. Allegedly according to a couple of websites I've read so far, as long as you have that letter and possible a health check up from a vet, as well as state that the animal is coming with you during your stay ahead of time, it should be possible.

What do you guys think? Has anyone had experiences taking their rat(s) to another country?
 

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Someone just posted about moving internationally. I would say, all animals have to go through customs and most have to be quarantined. And I doubt a letter will get the rat out of cargo which means flying with a airline with a program like petsafe. All in all, it was costly and stressful on the rats and the person concluded it was best to not do it again.

Since it's only six months I would get the rat some friends and leave it with family or friends.
 

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This is one of those things that you really have to research and work your way through step by step, literally to the landlord where your friend will be staying that might not permit rats...

Now I travel with rats all of the time and locking a rat in a small airplane cabin with a rat phobic passenger can turn into an international incident... I rely on people's ability to keep their distance and walk away everywhere we go. Some rat phobics aren't going to be able to fly on a plane knowing there's a rat in the cabin... My wife is rat phobic, and after years of having rats free ranging the house she still winds up on the furniture regularly screaming and throwing things at the rats, who seem to enjoy tormenting her... But before she acclimated as well as she has... if she sat down next to your friend's rat... that flight would have been delayed and someone would be taking a different flight. And if a rat ever got loose on an airplane with someone like my wife was, I'm thinking emergency landing...

Rat phobics are actually very rare... less than one out of 100 people react hysterically to rats because of a phobia... but how many people are on an airliner? And what if one of them is the pilot?

Just a thought.
 
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