Interested in being a Flight Volunteer? Email [email protected] with your route and approximate travel dates.
Loved at Last Dog Rescue is in urgent need of traveling companions to assist us in escorting dogs from a variety of countries to Vancouver, BC. We escort dogs from the Middle East, Bahrain, (parts of) Mexico, Nicaragua, India, Shanghai (China), Singapore and other countries (just let us know where you are travelling).
We work closely with local rescues to ensure that the dogs applying to come to Canada are healthy, vaccinated and authorized to be transported. Once in Canada, the dogs become the responsibility of LALDR until an adoptive home is found. We will not transport any animal without an approved adoptive or foster home available.
As a flight companion all you need to do is let us know your itinerary. The local rescuer will take care of all paperwork and fees. They will meet you at the airport for check in, and we will meet you at the airport when you arrive. You will need to arrive earlier for your flight and customs will take a little longer once you’ve landed in Vancouver.
If you are interested and able to escort a rescue dog with you during your next international flight to Vancouver, please contact us at [email protected] with your flight itinerary.
Up to three dogs can be brought back per passenger and they are handled as oversize luggage. Porters are used at both departure and arrival airports so there is no handling necessary by the escorting passenger. Advance notice is appreciated so that we can ensure everything is set up.
Five Steps to Becoming a Flight Volunteer
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Flight Volunteer! Becoming a LALDR Flight Volunteer helps to save a dog’s life as there is no other way to get our homeless dogs to Vancouver, so thank you!
The process can be broken down into five simple steps (Also available in PDF format):
1. Let our Travel Coordinator know your itinerary at least 10 days in advance
Our Travel Coordinator will complete all paperwork and pay all fees to add the dog as one ‘oversize luggage’ to your ticket.
2. Meet the Airport Coordinator who will give you the dog’s paperwork & help hand the dog off to airport crew.
On the day of your flight, our Airport Coordinator will bring the dog to the airport and meet you inside the terminal to assist with check in.
3. Board your plane and have a pleasant flight!
4. Upon arrival in Vancouver, pick up the dog at the oversize luggage area & pass though agriculture clearance
- Proceed through Immigration and get your luggage from the baggage carousel as you normally would
- Go to Oversize Luggage Area #35 to get the dog. If you are unable to pick up the crate on your own, please ask for the assistance of a porter. A porter will lift the crate onto a luggage cart for you and guide you to the agriculture inspection area. Porters are a paid service that we will pay for once you are in the main arrivals area.
- At the agriculture desk they will do a brief inspection. You can give the inspector all the dog’s paperwork and let them know that the owners are in the front customs office waiting to pay the $32 inspection fee. Sometimes the inspector will ask you to pay the fee there. If this happens, we will reimburse you with cash when you come out.
5. Meet us in the arrivals area!
Proceed through the exit doors. We will be waiting for you when you come out.
Flight Companion FAQ's
Don’t forget to check yes that you are “bringing in meats, animals, animal/wildlife products” on the customs card. Most importantly, don’t forget to pick up the dog(s) from the oversize luggage area.
Where does LALDR need flight volunteers from?
We have dogs waiting in many different cities so please email us for an up-to-date answer! Currently, these are our flight routes (starred routes have an urgent need for flight volunteers):
Amman, Jordan (AMM)
Bahrain (BAH) *
Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL)
Puerta Vallarta, Mexico (PVR)
Tel Aviv, Israel (TLV)
Tehran, Iran (IKA) *
What happens if there is an interruption in my flight?
You will be provided with the contact phone number for a representative of Loved at Last and anyone meeting you at the airport. They will be waiting for a call once you’ve landed (or at any time during your travel) and will meet you right outside the international arrivals area at YVR airport.
What is the main benefit of being a Flight Volunteer?
You are saving a dog’s life! The biggest delay in getting dogs to their homes is due to a lack of Flight Volunteers.
How does it work?
Simple! The dog and crate are added as one Oversize Luggage to your ticket.
How long has LALDR been using Flight Volunteers?
Since 2015, so you can rest assured that our information is accurate and reliable.
How many other Flight Volunteers do this?
About 300 per year as we bring approximately 300 dogs to Vancouver every year and each one must be accompanied by a Flight Volunteer.
Does being a Flight Volunteer cost me any money?
No. We pay all fees associated with being a Flight Volunteer.
Do I have to get to the airport earlier than normal?
No. Most airlines recommend being at the airport at least 3 hours ahead of time for an international flight and this is generally plenty of time to meet up with our Airport Coordinator and get the dog.
Once I get to Vancouver, do I have to wait for the dogs to be unloaded off the plane?
No. The dogs are generally unloaded before the luggage so there is not usually any extra wait.
How long does it take to get through Agriculture?
The Agriculture inspection can be as fast as 20 minutes but will take longer if there is a line up.
Are the dogs healthy enough to fly?
Yes. Dogs are not allowed to fly internationally unless they have been thoroughly checked by a vet and have a current vet certificate.
Are the dogs’ shots up to date?
Yes. Our dogs come with a passport that identifies the dog’s name, age and lists the shot history including the date the shot was given and what it was for.
Is it safe for the dogs to fly?
Yes. The dog will be in a locked crate and have enough water to last the duration of the flight.
Where do they put the dogs on the plane?
Unless it is a very small dog who can travel in the cabin with you, live animals are placed in a temperature-controlled, air-pressurized area of the plane.
What else can I do to help?
Ask your friends to become Flight Volunteers and promote becoming a Flight Volunteer on your social media! There is always something you can do to help! Contact us for more info.
“There are few things as wonderful as seeing a frightened dog come out of her crate and into the arms of a loving, welcoming family. The glow of my first flight volunteer experience lasted for days. I will never forget it.” – Andrew H.
“Although I was originally hesitant to be a flight volunteer, following my first experience I was hooked. Just seeing the joy in the faces of the new family members as the dogs quickly become more happy and comfortable is all I needed to know that I would be doing this again…and again. And I have. Every new flight is a wonderful experience and I eagerly anticipate my next opportunity to help save the life of another beautiful dog.” – Joseph D.