If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably gathered that we’re a bunch of dog freaks over here at New Life ESL. Whether it’s a boop or a bamboozle, we love the pupperinos.
From Yorker to Yippers, Borkers to Boofers… okay, we’ll stop.
But seriously, we’ve fostered dogs, been flight volunteers, and even flew our own fur babies across the world with us. Now, we want to spread the good word about how to become a flight volunteer for dogs and help change their lives forever.
How to become a flight volunteer?
First, let us give you some background on why we need flight volunteers.
Look, It’s no secret that China doesn’t appreciate dogs as much as we do in the West. Don’t get me wrong, they’re coming around to our furry friends, but it’s mainly pure breeds like Huskies, Golden Retrievers and those super dainty little miniature Poodles.
Side effect? Mutts can’t catch a break on finding a good home and a belly rub.
Not only that, but the demand for pure breeds creates an industry for puppy mills which are basically factories where poor mamas are pumping out puppies at an unhealthy rate. If the puppy isn’t adopted quickly, they’re often discarded and sent out for meat. Often times, the dogs will be rescued from the meat trucks and given a chance at a new life abroad and that’s where you come in…
What’s a Flight Volunteer?
A flight volunteer is a regular old jet setter who would basically “adopts” a dog for the duration of their flight back to the States, Canada, or Europe.
Why Only Those Places?
Typically because it’s pretty difficult to import animals into isolated countries like Australia or the UK where they’ve control rabies and prefer not to risk introducing diseases.
Who’s Organizing All of This Magic?
Dog lovers throughout China have organized communities that volunteer their time and resources to help get dogs out of sticky situations and into clinics to be treated. From there, they arrange getting the dogs into foster homes and eventually on flights to their new families abroad.
How Do the Dogs Get to Their New Homes?
That’s where you come in.
Whether you’re flying to Europe for Chinese New Year or back home to visit family for the holidays, you can essentially share your ticket with a dog so they can hitch a ride. Seems easy, right? That’s cause it is!
Step 1: Share your Itinerary
Share your itinerary with the amazing group of folks who dedicate their time to the cause and they’ll match you with a dog who is ready to go to their new home. This connection is all done over WeChat.
Step 2: Booking
If your airline accepts dogs, they’ll gather a bit more information from you and confirm the reservation. Don’t worry, the last thing these dudes want to do is jeopardize the very program they’re passionate about. Your information is safe and secure, pinky promise.
Step 3: Check-In
Head to the airport 3 hours before your flight and a volunteer will meet you with your rescue dog(s). They’ll take care of the whole check-in process (paperwork and securing the crate) and you’ll continue on like normal.
Step 4: Arrival
Once you land, you’ll go through customs and pick up the doggo at baggage claim. The adopter or rescue organization will meet you at the gate and that’s it! They take the dog and you continue onto your vacation.
You’ve changed the life of a dog and earned some major karma points.
So, if you’ve got a trip planned or a friend or family member who’s heading back home or on holiday, shoot us a message and we’ll connect you with the folks that make this all possible. If you have WeChat already, scan the QR code to be added to the TAC Flight Volunteer Group.