Would you make aliyah and leave your family behind? If you've got a precious fuzzy (or scaly, or slimy) friend at home, you probably wouldn't consider a big move without them.
Your dog, cat or reptile may not be exactly Jewish, at least according to the Law of Return, but that doesn't mean they aren't family.
Before we go on, I’ll admit something. Two things, actually.
One, I have owned almost every kind of pet there is except dogs and birds. Lizards, guinea pigs, ferrets, cats, frogs, hamsters, turtles, fish.
Two, when I found out I was expecting my son, twenty years ago, I got rid of every single living thing in the house. I love animals. But I knew I could either raise animals and plants... or I could raise a kid. I wasn't responsible enough to do both.
We've had a couple of near-brushes with cats since then, but so far, nothing has stuck.
So when we made aliyah two years ago, we were petless. To get some advice on what it's like doing it with a fuzzy (or otherwise) buddy, I turned to some reliable sources on Facebook, as well as personal friends who brought their sweet (ginormous) doggie to Israel from Canada.
Clearing all the hurdles
Most important: don't assume that just because you've mentioned your pet to your Jewish Agency rep that it's all taken care of. The Jewish Agency is in charge of HUMAN aliyah.
Pet aliyah is governed jointly by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Nature Reserves Authority, along with the Director of Veterinary Services. All of which will require a whole slew of paperwork of their own (some no doubt redundant and - seemingly - unnecessary).