We saved a life on our way to America and it was one of the easiest things we could have done. Be a flight buddy!
Its no secret that there is an abundance of stray animals where we live. The transient population means that people often can’t – or won’t – take pets with them when they move on. I thought for exactly a nanosecond about leaving our dog (the original Thing as it happens) behind when we moved here. He moved from Houston to London with us. Frankly the thought of not having him on our adventure made me feel quite nauseous. I guess it turned out that there wasn’t really a decision to be made, even bearing in mind he would have had a much better life at home. One where he doesn’t have to be walked around our compound endlessly or be shaved to survive the summer heat.
How can I help?
Anyway, rant over and I will tell you how you can do it too! Rescue organisations are always looking for a flight angel also known as a flight buddy to help get strays out. What does this mean? Well, most animals travel to most countries as excess baggage. This means they need to be “accompanied” by someone travelling on the same flight. This person is known as a flight buddy.
Is it really complicated?
NO! Quite the opposite!
The rescue organisations need your flight details and a copy of your passport. The rest is taken care of by them. Literally. They meet you at check in, check the animal in with you, pay the fees and hand you the paperwork. At the other end you need one pair of hands to wheel the animal from baggage claim to arrivals. In arrivals, someone else will be waiting to meet you and will take the animal from you. It really is as simple as that and you can travel with up to 2 animals on the flight. I didn’t even get asked to show my paperwork to anyone!
Just do it!
We are fast approaching the summer exodus when half the country it seems will leave for 2-3 months.
People in Doha, if you are travelling this summer please consider being a flight buddy. If you are travelling with kids and can’t do it yourself, maybe your partner could when they come and join you.
This is not an exhaustive list but you can contact any of the following organisations to see if you can help:
- Cat Assistance Team
- Cats in Qatar
- Desert Hound Express
- Dogs in Doha
- Evenstar Charitable Organisation
- Fly Buddy In Qatar
- Paw Love
- Rescue Salukis Middle East
- Second Chance Rescue
- TNR Qatar
- Plus loads of small scale rescuers operating on their own -you can find them through a post on any local Facebook pages
One thing that there is never a lack of here, is people travelling out of this country so surely we can all do our bit?