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Request A Flight

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Important Things To Know

  • ARF will provide transport for rescue animals from the suitable airport closest to your location to the airport nearest your destination through the use of volunteer pilots who fly their own planes. ARF volunteers fly general aviation aircraft that are single engine or twin engine. ARF can not transport large numbers of animals in a flight. Animals need to be of a size and weight that fits comfortably into a small plane. All animals transported by ARF must be in a hard sided kennel. Each plane handles a different size kennel. If you are to provide the kennel, you will be told the size it must be. Many pilots have their own kennels for their plane.

  • ARF will NOT transport to any KILL, PET STORE, RESEARCH or BREEDING facility.

  • ARF is not a replacement for ground transportation but an additional resource when time or circumstances do not allow for ground transportation.

  • Long transports present special challenges. Transports of over 500 miles require special planning and may require ground transportation for intermediate stops. Many times, the best way to transport an animal is by a combination of ground and air.

  • ARF will be responsible for the transport of an animal from airport to airport. Responsibility for any ground transportation, overnight fostering or long term fostering is the responsibility of the rescue requesting the transport and must be arranged 48 hrs in advance of the transport with notification of the persons involved.

  • ARF flies safely. Many factors such as ice, wind, fog, rain, snow, dust, pilot health, family emergencies, aircraft mechanical problems can affect whether a flight can be done or not. Remember, it is not only the weather conditions where you are but along the whole route of flight that is considered.

  • ARF will not transport an animal that has been sedated, unless it is a medical transport and the veterinarian has administered the sedative and given specific directions. ARF pilots check on how the animal is doing during flight by talking to them, reaching into the kennel to pet them, etc. If the animal is sedated, the reactions of the animal are not normal. Secondly, a sedated animal will not give indications if they are having difficulty.

  • At refueling stops, your pet is walked, fed (if needed) and receives water.

  • ARF will do its best to follow any special instructions which are given for the care of the animal in transport. All transports requiring, medical care will be evaluated on an individual basis. ARF is not capable of providing in-flight veterinary care. Animals that are under a veterinarians care will need to be evaluated as to whether the transport can be successfully done. In the event of a medical transport, detailed veterinary instructions and / or medication and documentation must accompany injured or ill animals for the duration of the journey to their destination.
Requesting A Flight

Animal Rescue Flights receives a large number of transport requests every day and each needs to be evaluated for urgency and probablility of accomplishment. It is important to carefully follow these steps in order to request a rescue flight:

  • 1) Have a backup plan in place.

    Rescue flights are a last resort. You should have first researched all other options including local adoption, closer adoption, and ground transportation. Weather can postpone a flight for several weeks so it is important to continue to look for non-flight options throughout the planning process. Posting your transport need on the PetFinder.com Forum is an excellent way to find a backup plan.

  • 2) Do not email us with your request.

    The information we need is in the Transport Request Form.

  • 3) Completely fill out and return an ARF Transport Request Form.

    You can obtain an ARF Transport Request Form in three ways:

  • 4) Email the fully completed form to Help@AnimalRescueFlights.org.

    Once your request for transport is accepted by ARF, the ARF Flight Coordinator will work with the pilots and with you to ensure the animal is transported safely and in a timely manner.

Animal Rescue Flights also regularly monitors the PetFinder forum for transports we feel that we can successfully accomplish. Feel free to post your transport needs on the PetFinder.com Forum and if ARF can help, an ARF Flight Coordinator will contact you by emailing you directly or via a reply to your PetFinder Forum posting.

Required Documents for Transport

The following documents must be provided to ARF prior to transport in addition to any other requirements per U.S. State and Territory Animal Import Regulations:

There are certain U.S. State and Territory Animal Import Regulations that must be met. For clarification on any of the rules and regulations, contact the state health officials.

Useful Links

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

APHIS Import/Export Regulations

United States Department of Agriculture