One of the most critical roles in dog rescues is getting them safely flown from China to the USA. There are several ways to do this, however, the safest and most affordable route is sending the dogs with human flight volunteers which, as you can imagine, relies entirely on selfless humans that are willing to stop their lives to help another in need. Because these are rescued dogs, they do not come with any funding which makes this part hard. All dogs usually come with debt which means it is up to each rescue group to fundraise for their contribution to their rescue.
Rescue Cost Breakdown-
- Initial Rescue- Local Chinese rescues cover the actual rescue costs, emergency medical treatments, the cost to board the animals, their food, vaccinations, spay/neuter and care. This puts them in the hole about $300-$5,000 depending on the dog’s health status.
- Dog’s Travel- Once the dogs are cleared for travel, they then need funds to be flown over to the USA. I cover those expenses by personally fundraising for them. It costs me about $600-$900 per dog, depending on the dog’s weight and the airline’s fees. This includes the dogs above medical care, plane ticket, paperwork fees and crate for travel.
- Flight Volunteers- Because each group can only fundraise so much, the actual human flight over would need to be fundraised by the volunteer as their contribution to the rescue efforts. Flight Volunteers are often flight attendants, people already traveling to the area, people with a bulk of airline miles, flight discounts, those able to fundraise or those personally able to contribute. It’s pretty easy and rewarding to create a You Caring fundraiser to ask family and friends to help donate to your cause, you will be surprised how quickly you can raise 1k just by asking! Flights can average $600- $1,500 depending on the airline and duration.
Volunteer Arrangements Needed-
To ensure your trip goes as smooth as possible, we highly suggest all volunteers have a Chinese Visa when traveling if heading to China. While it is not required for short-term trips, it’s smartest to come ready with one. You will also need to have a place to stay once you arrive, there are a ton of cheap hotels close to the airport you can stay in. Most rescues can be done within a 24-hour turn around so you could be in and out if desired. Many also enjoy cities like Beijing and then take dogs back on their way home.
This flight volunteer was already traveling from Seoul to JFK so River hitched a ride!
How It Works-
Once the flight volunteer arrives to China, the local rescue group will meet them at the airport to drop off the dogs. The airlines are pretty good about assisting you, you would simply check in as normal, dropping the dogs off as you normally would with your baggage. The dogs are placed inside crates we purchase and then placed into the baggage area with your luggage. This flight is very long and grueling for the dogs so we always try to look for flights under 15 hours. Once you arrive to the USA, we strive to have the adopting family present to take the dog from you as soon as you land. If they are not available, we would have a foster home arranged so either way, we would meet you at the airport to pick up the newly rescued pooch!
As you can see, so much goes into rescuing dogs and we really rely equally on each point of rescue. From those that do the actual saving and those that fly them over to those that arrange the homes and the families that adopt them, dog rescue is simply not possible without a group effort mentality ♥