Sunday, 8 March 2015

When Dogs Fly

The past week had me learning quite a bit about pets and air travel. Well, specifically, having a pup fly from Jamaica to Canada.

Here's the thing: Rotties here are very expensive. I've heard the suggestions to adopt. I've done some homework and have unearthed nothing favourable. Sigh. I really do love Rotties. So, I thought, why not take one back from Jamaica on my next trip? We - yes, we, as I enjoy the pups vicariously through my parents - have the pleasure of watching the latest litter grow. And, a pleasant surprise followed shortly after that litter: Tara gave birth. Her lone pup is coming along so nicely, due in no small part to Mommy's TLC.

Well, I've been doing some research as I contemplate this move - well, the move to move one of the pups to my humble abode. As it turns out, Jamaica has strict regulations prohibiting pets from travelling on passenger flights. So, pets travel neither in the cabin, nor as checked luggage. Pity. With West Jet, the pup would've had to be older than eight weeks, and the flight would've cost only about CAD$75 - a figure I got just before the rep checked again and brought the bad news about the regulations. And, oh! Jamaica's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has this to say about exporting dogs and cats. And, it says this about importing dogs and cats.

So, cargo. West Jet doesn't offer cargo service from Jamaica. So, Air Canada? They offer cargo service, but they don't take pets younger than 12 weeks. By the time the rep priced out the shipping cost for an older dog (the approximate age and weight the pup would be on my next visit), it sounded like around $600.

So, CAL, then? (Not Southern California. Do keep up. :-))  CAL offers cargo service and they take pups younger than 12 weeks. I called their Mississauga, Ontario, office and a very helpful Emile walked me through the process. Well, as much as he could "from this side." Learned that they'd charge landing, processing and handling fees. He recommended I get in touch with CAL cargo in Kingston, Jamaica, to find out a bit about the process from their side.

I did. I completed the online query form and got a reply from Laura via email shortly after. That was precious. She needed clarification and I had a few other questions. All in all, it was a very helpful exchange. I had to approximate the dimensions of the carrier/kennel - ditto for the pups - but, the long and short, a nine-week old pup would perhaps cost about $180; a five-month old, approx $500. Again, based on my best guesses. The plan was to visit or call once I got there and could provide more concrete info.

The carrier/kennel would need to follow certain guidelines, by the way. I'm sharing West Jet's pets/kennels page because they were pretty thorough in their write up. Of note, the carrier should be strong and sturdy; the pet must be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down, without discomfort. Many airlines make a quick reference to the IATA standards.

But, back to Ontario, Canada. I checked online and subsequently called the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Importation of live animals falls within their jurisdiction. The age of the dog would be a factor. I wouldn't need a rabies certificate for a pup younger than three months. I'd need a vet certificate, as well as a document from a "competent government authority" confirming the country of origin was rabies-free for the six months prior. Jamaica is rabies-free. It's listed on the site. Still, the document would be necessary. Of course, there'd be the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)  inspection fees.

I have also been checking out boarding for when I'd have to leave the little one at home. All these things. Oakville has a nice little place - Wag-a-Way - I would consider...considering when that time comes.

Who knows? I might opt for getting another breed altogether - from here! In the meantime, a trip down memory lane:

Tara's a great mom!

Scoot over! Tara and pups.

Gettn some "me time".

Who's their daddy? (Dreadie)


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