There are rescue dogs worldwide, that have been adopted in other countries and need to fly to their forever home. Sometimes the owner can't fly with them themselves and need some help. The adopters or owners will be forever grateful if you could help to bring their dog to the final destination. SPOILER: It doesn't cost you anything! What is a flight volunteer for dogs? You basically accompany an adopted dog and book an animal on your ticket as "checked baggage" and fly with them to the final airport. Usually dogs or other animals can fly as cargo aswell, but it is so much more expensive and so much nicer to have a flight volunteer.
Let's talk about how you can help rescuers and the rescue dogs to fly to their new home.
(We are not giving advice on bringing dogs out of countries, where it's forbidden to do so) You don't have much to do as a flight volunteer. Let us guide you through the process how it works from Jakarta, Indonesia.
1.) Reach out to local rescuers
See if they are in need of a flight volunteer. If yes and if you have already booked your flight, let them know which destination airport you are flying to and with which airline. They will then check, if the airline accepts dogs. If you are flexible on your dates, check with them what day and which airline you should book.
From Jakarta, the best airline to fly with dogs is Qatar. Some dogs have been waiting for weeks and months to finally leave to their forever home. And rescuers are usually always in need of a kind person to help. You are literally the biggest help, if you take a dog with you.
2.) Book ticket + get dogs confirmed
Make sure you reach out to the airline via email and get the dogs booked and confirmed for your flight. It's usually just one email with information regarding the dogs.
3.) Please don't cancel
There is a lot of background work happening, which you won't notice.
Aswell as all the documents that need to be prepared, the dogs will be send to a facility to be checked by a vet, this is all at the expense of the rescuer. 4.) At the departing Airport
On the day of departure, the agency who helps with animal travel will be in contact with you, they will organise the initial meeting with the dog and check you in a few hours before your flight. They will bring all the documents for the dogs, like vaccination book, recommendation letter from the vet and so on. You will need to keep these documents, until you hand over the dogs to the owner.
5.) Fees are covered
You will need to pay the fees for the dogs at the airport, but they are covered by the agency/rescuer. Make sure you talk about this before and that you have a credit card or cash with you.
After that you will then drop the dogs at a specific drop of zone. The airport staff will take over from there.
The agency will know where and assist with that too. Super easy process. 6.) Fly and relax
The dog has been prepared for the flight, will travel in the aircraft hold and is in safe hands. Time for you to enjoy the flight. 7.) At the destination airport
This is specifically for Germany. And the process my be different in other countries:
You will pick up the animals at the specific pick up point (usually bulk bagagge) and bring them to the local veterinarian at the airport for a quick checkup. The rescuer or agency should have provided all documents to the airport vet beforehand so that the process is easy and fast for you. Sometimes the vet needs to see the dog in person for the checkup – if that is the case, the rescuer or agency should let the airport staff know before so that the vet will be there, when you arrive. 8.) Meet the adopters or NGO
At the airport the dog will be picked up either by the adopters OR an NGO that helps on the ground. This is the most rewarding moment for you.The joy of both the humans and dogs are just insane. Of course you will spend a little bit more time at the airport and have minor extra work to do. But it is really not that much and such a big help for rescue organisations or owners.
You basically donate your time to do something good. Isn't that a great exchange?