Air Transport Program

CANDi's mission includes saving the lives of cats and dogs through adoption programs. However, CANDi does not operate an animal shelter. Instead, we rely upon local animal rescue groups in Canada and the US and tourist destinations we work in that are certified by CANDi as "humane partners" to facilitate cat or dog adoptions. View CANDi humane partner certification criteria here.

Yet finding loving and safe homes locally for rescued cats and dogs in Mexico, the Caribbean and other tourist destinations can be challenging, so CANDi assists our humane partners in saving lives by transporting rescued cats and dogs without the airline service fee from Mexico and the Caribbean to Canada through the corporate support of Air Transat. Other fees will apply as listed below.

At this time, CANDi is not able to offer such airline service fee waivers to the U.S. However, CANDi will still work to coordinate the transportation to the U.S. of an adopted cat or dog with the assistance of our humane partners. All airline service fees would be the responsibility of the humane partner and/or adopting parent or animal rescue group in the U.S.

Health Protocols

In order to maintain these benefits from our travel partners, CANDi has put in place strict health and transportation protocols for our humane partners as follows, which apply to all dogs:

  • Up to date on shots (based on their age).
  • Have current rabies vaccine
  • Tested for distemper, parvo, ehrilichiosis, heart worm and anaplasmosis
  • Be spayed or neutered

Transportation Protocols for International Animal Transfer Humane Partner Requirements for animal group in Canada or United States

It is the responsibility of humane partners to find reputable animal rescue groups in Canada (or the U.S.) that will accept the rescued cats and dogs and agree to find them homes. We can also assist our humane partners to transport rescue dogs and cats to direct adoptive homes. Air Transat will fly a rescue dog to Canada for free providing it is accompanied by an escort. All dogs coming into Canada to rescues must be brought in commercially. If the dog is eight months of age, or less, proof of a Puppy Permit must be provided before a waiver is provided. It is the responsibility of the Canadian rescue to ensure the dog travels with all of the necessary paperwork to clear customs in Canada. If customs refuses entry to the dog all costs associated with returning it the originating country will be the responsibility of the escort and/or rescue.

Costs of transportation

The humane partner must also cover the costs of transportation (CANDi does not have a rescue fund available) as follows:

  • Rescue and rehabilitation

    Vet costs and all health protocols required to get rescue animal ready for transport to Canada (or the U.S.). Required health protocol here.
  • Custom charges

    Rescue groups in tourist destinations are responsible for customs charges upon departure and groups in Canada/US pay for any additional charges with customs or cargo upon arrival.

  • Airline service fees for U.S.-bound rescued cats or dogs

    As mentioned above, all airline service fees would be the responsibility of the humane partner and/or adopting parent or animal rescue group in the U.S.

  • Kennels

    Groups must purchase kennels that are airline-approved for transport. Here is an example of airline-approved kennels. ** Please note, if you are able to have a rescue group or shelter in Canada who provides kennels, CANDi can arrange to have them transported for free from Canada to Mexico/Caribbean or anywhere Air Transat flies for free with someone flying on Air Transat (see flight routes at: The kennels come through with the luggage of the passenger so cargo is no longer involved. For more info, click here.

If you are a rescue group or tourist wanting to transport a dog or cat for free, please contact our transport coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Air Transat doesn't own cargo and Swissport Cargo doesn't send crates down anymore. The only way to get kennels down is to go with a passenger and is treated as luggage. This can be arranged once you have the passenger’s flight information. To do this, email our transport coordinator the request. You will need to have the passenger’s name, confirmation number, flight number, departure and arrival destination and the date of the flight. You can request a specific amount of crates if you only have a couple. Otherwise you request the quantity of 50lb stack of empty crates that you want to send down. Kennel weights vary depending on size. The total weight of the stacked crates can not be over 50lbs.

  • Air Transat does not fly dogs in cabin. They only fly in the pressurized cargo hold. The dogs must fly escorted. The max amount of dogs per flight varies depending on the type of plane used. Anywhere between three to five dogs are allowed on each plane. Only one dog allowed per kennel. A passenger paying for their personal dog to fly always takes priority over any waiver. This means a waiver could be rescinded if a passenger is paying for their dog to fly. The fee to bring in one dog into Canada is approximately $35.00. Additional dogs cost $5.00.
  • To ensure safety of transporting dogs or cats you should never open the crate until the dog is safely at its final destination. Never open a kennel in the airport upon arrival. Make sure the dog has a towel or mat to stand on for stability and safety if they have an accident in their kennel. Newspaper alone is NOT allowed.
  • To ensure ease through customs you should make sure you are familiar with the custom requirements for the animal you are bringing in and provide the original vetting paperwork to the customs agent.
  • To ensure the integrity, ease of the program CANDi has established with Air Transat ALL requests must be sent directly to CANDi’s transport coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please do not contact Air Transat directly.