Who rescued who?
Adopting saves lives and not just the dogs'
Adoptions & Transport Fees
There are two separate fees for adopting dogs. Sometimes transport fees do not apply if there is no transport of the dog involved. But if there is a transport from La Paz to the US, Canada, or another part of Mexico, then a transport fee applies.
|Adoption & Transport Fees|
|Country||Adoption Fee||Transport Fee*||Refundable Crate Deposit|
|US||$400 USD||$300 USD if direct, nonstop from SAN or SJD||$75 USD|
|Canada||$450 USD based on boarding facility availability||$75 USD|
|Mexico||$1500 pesos||$1,000 MXN to $4,000 MXN depending on airline and destination||$3,000 MXN|
Please refer to our Transport Methods & Fees page for more information. For an explanation of adoption fees, please read on.
Adoption Fees – FAQ
Our adoption fees are based on where you will receive the dog (its final destination):
- Dog’s destination is the US or Canada: the fee is $400 USD
- Dog is staying in Baja California Sur: Click the MX flag to pay $1500 MXN (pesos).
If you adopt the dog while you are here in La Paz, but plan to take the dog home with you to the US or Canada, you pay the US or Canadian fee. This helps us ensure the dog meets all vaccine, customs, and documentation standards required to travel internationally and to clear customs.
Adoption fees and a signed adoption contract are due at the time the adoption is approved in order to reserve the dog for you prior to travel. Your adoption coordinator will send you an email with a link for your to make your secured payment either via PayPal or credit card.
When a Baja dog is rescued, it’s journey is just beginning. Your adoption fee helps cover some of the following expenses we incur to make sure your adopted dog is healthy and ready for adoption, including:
Our volunteer health and wellness program includes:
- Tests for erlichiosis, anaplasma, heartworm, and lyme disease; and treatment if the dog tests positive for any of these diseases;
- Transmissible Venereal Tumor cystology for adult dogs and treatment if positive;
- Preventive care including vaccines, deworming, and flea/tick prevention as required;
- Sterilization (spay and neuter) surgery and after-care medications, including antibiotics and pain medications;
- Diagnosis and treatment of other health issues such as orthopedic surgeries to repair bone deformities or injuries, skin tests and treatments, xrays, etc.
- Final health exam that includes International Health Certificate for clearance through US/Canadian/Mexican customs; and
- Microchipping for dogs adopted in the US or Canada
- Our food program, which remains our highest single monthly expense.
NOTE: The adoption fee does not include the cost of transporting your dog. This is a separate expense that normally costs $300 USD but can vary depending on where you are located. Please read about Transport Methods and Fees below.
Adoption fees are normally due when transport has been finalized for your dog. You will receive an invoice from us via email with a link to pay your fees.
If you change your mind after you’ve signed an adoption contract but prior to receiving the dog, $100 USD or $100 CAD of the adoption fee is non-refundable. The rest is refunded to you.
Any transport fees paid are also nonrefundable, as we cannot obtain a refund from some airlines.
If the dog is adopted locally, the $1500 MXN adoption fee is nonrefundable.
Once an adopter takes possession of a dog, all adoptions fees are non-refundable.
Transport Methods & Fees
The transport fees we charge help recover some of the costs of transporting your newly adopted dog to you. There are many things to consider when transporting one of these precious creatures and their safety during the transport process is our utmost concern. They have come a long way in their rehabilitation journey to get to this point. We are very careful with the numbers of dogs we transport at any given time and the types of transport we use.
The dog first must be able to clear USDA and/or US customs to enter the US and then it travels to you. This is often a combination of driving + flying via commercial airline. It can be just one or the other depending on final destination and available volunteers to fly and/or drive.
For the portion of the dog’s trip that involves flying, there are three methods:
- If small enough, in the cabin under the seat in front of the human passenger it is traveling with. The dog is in a soft-sided kennel in these instances. This requires us to have a volunteer passenger who is going to the same destination as the dog and in this case the dog almost always flies out of the Los Cabo airport.
- If over 20 pounds or too tall for inside the cabin, the dog flies in an airline approved kennel in the climate-controlled, pressurized baggage compartment. If flying with a human, the dog flies as a personal pet of the passenger. With this method the dog almost always flies out of the Los Cabo airport.
- If not enough humans are traveling to the same destination as the dog from the La Paz or Los Cabo area, then the dog flies Alaska Air Cargo, generally out of San Diego. The dogs fly in the climate controlled baggage compartment of aircraft – but no human is flying with them.
Not all aircraft are suited for live animals; not all airlines take live animals; some airlines take live animals but with certain restrictions. If there are any connections during the flight then the airlines are very strict about how the dogs are boarded and cared for during the connection/transfer portion of the flight. Our preference is to fly dogs nonstop, direct and if the flight appears too complex and risky, we may ask adopters to drive further to a larger airport to minimize the time a dog spends in its kennel and any chances of the dog being misrouted or lost.
Since we are about 1,000 km south of the US border on the Baja peninsula, it is 2 1/2 day’s drive to get to the US border. We use this method when we are going to fly the dogs out of San Diego on Alaska Air Cargo. There are usually 3 human volunteers that accompany 7-10 dogs. This ensures there are an adequate number handlers to walk, water, feed, and keep the kennels cleaned. The first leg of the trip is from La Paz to Guerrero Negro and the second leg is to just northeast of Ensenada. Since border wait times vary and can be quite long (sometimes 8 hours or more), we cross mid-week and early as the dogs have a flight to catch in the afternoon. This gives us time to get across the border and then walk and water the dogs prior to their flight.
Once the dogs are checked in at the airport, the volunteers then cross back into Mexico, spend a night near the border and then begin their journey back to La Paz while the dogs continue on their journey north.
Transporting dogs within Mexico:
If dogs are adopted to other cities in the Baja, then the transport is combined with a trip to the border unless the adopter would like to come and pick up their dog and avoid transport fees altogether. For other parts of Mexico, we generally fly dogs on Volaris airlines and they must fly with a passenger. So this often involves buying a human ticket as well.
Transporting dogs as a rescue organization is different than personal pets – so we may be charged extra fees and have more requirements than when a person flies with their own pet. Below are some of the hard costs we incur:
- Kennel cost (we reuse our kennels to minimize this);
- Cost of getting kennels returned for reuse. We leverage relationships with the airlines for a free return of kennels when a human is traveling or there can be a $55 charge for a bundle of kennels not to exceed 50 lbs.
- Airline cost ranges between $104 (if flying with a human) and $228 (if flying Alaska Air Cargo unescorted)
- Gas, lodging, parking fees, and toll fees to and from the airport the dog flies from
- Microchip and certification costs for USDA entry requirements. This includes microchip registry; and a USDA approved certificate issued by a nationally licensed vet.
Other costs for our van for the land portion of the transport:
- Wear and tear. Esperanza (the name of our van) must have an oil change after 2 or 3 trips up the Baja and goes through tires very quickly;
- Insurance, registration, and license fees. We carry insurance in 2 countries.
We generally charge adopters a $300 fee for transport and we absorb the shortage. In a few cases, we may charge more if the dog is going on a particularly long journey with significantly higher costs involved.
Some years back, transporting a rescue dog on certain airlines was free. The only cost was the transportation to and from the airport which included parking and toll. We could transport 5-7 dogs per flight with one human which made transporting much less complicated and costly.
Today rescue dogs are not permitted to fly internationally as it is considered “commercial cargo” and the airlines must be specifically registered for that. So, only personal pets are allowed and only 2 per passenger.
Because of these changes in regulations and because of the impact of the pandemic, we had to change our entire transport strategy.