Loading articles...

Rescue agency furious over WestJet changes for transporting dogs

Last Updated Feb 7, 2020 at 9:22 am MDT

Caracchio the dog hopes to be brought to Canada by CB Rescue Foundation in Calgary (CREDIT: CB Rescue Foundation, Facebook)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – A Calgary dog rescue group is livid with WestJet after changing how rescue dogs can be transported into the country.

According to the new rules, any dog that isn’t a personal pet is deemed commercial and will travel as cargo, meaning rescue organizations will have to pay hundreds of dollars more for each animal.

The airliner said it will no longer allow commercial dogs in baggage holds or cabins of passenger flights.

WestJet claims the change is being recommended by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) but Belinda Morrison with Calgary-based CB Rescue said she called the agency who told her otherwise.

“I spent the whole morning with CFIA, Canada Agriculture, Canada Border, I phoned the head vet at Calgary inspection, he says ‘Belinda, we have no news of this, this is not in our system.'”

She adds Air Canada told her they’ve received no changes in policy from CBSA and are flying dogs as usual.

Morrison said she has never had a problem with any of the dogs she’s brought into the country and every animal has gone through screening.

She adds she’s always had the proper paperwork for the dogs and includes extra health inspections that aren’t mandatory to make sure the animals aren’t bringing over potential problems.

Morrison recently took to Facebook to encourage people to push the airline towards changing the policy.

“I just want to continue helping these dogs, it’s all I want to do is make a difference in this world and now I’m being stopped. We need these dogs back on these flights because these dogs will die, they have no families. There’s nobody to adopt.”

Flying a dog with the Flight Angel program costs the rescue about $75 but flying with commercial cargo could bring the bill into the hundreds per transport.