Experience · Ho Chi Minh City · Pet

Ricky – An Adoption Story

8 September 2017 is an important date for me and my friends because Ricky got adopted and had to fly to Canada! There was a couple who adopted a dog from ARC last year, Bi is his name, and they live in Victoria, Canada. Bi was Ricky’s best friend. When they told us that they would take Ricky as well, we were super excited and happy. Ricky has been in the shelter for almost 3 years. He is a calm dog and well-behaved. He really deserves this happy life.

Saigon Pet Clinic helped us with their pet relocation service. They have been doing this for a while so they know exactly how it works. All the documents are prepared by them. We also found a flight volunteer to bring Ricky to Vancouver. The couple will pick him up at Vancouver and bring him to Victoria by boat. It is much cheaper to send an animal with someone compare to with cargo (alone). For cargo shipping, it can cost around USD$3000! While if the pet flies with a person, we only need to pay for excess baggage, around USD$250 to USD$300, depends on which airline.

Our flight volunteer flew with Eva Air. I heard Eva Air is good for traveling with pets. Another airline that I know pet-friendly is China Airlines and Air France. We’ve sent dogs overseas with them before and they were helpful.

On the day of departure, after the morning walk we put Ricky in his crate to make him used to it. He was quite obedient to go inside the crate. After a while, we took him out again back to kennel to meet his friends one last time before leaving, while me and my friend went for a quick lunch. We need to be at the clinic at 12 pm to pick him up.

At 12 pm, we came back to Saigon Pet Clinic and did last preparation. My friend gave Ricky a medicine to calm him down so he will be less stress on the way. They already gave it to him since 2 days before departure. She put the medicine inside chicken meat and Ricky ate it happily. After that we asked him to go inside the crate. He was a bit nervous at first but after a while he was more relaxed.

We went to the airport with my car. One of Saigon Pet Clinic’s staff took the ride with us. Ricky sat in his crate quietly. Once in a while, I checked on him to see how he is doing. He was quite calm and didn’t panic at all.

Around 12.35 pm we arrived at departure gate, and we met the flight volunteer there. We put the crate on a trolley and pushed it through the security. My friend brought her passport with her, while me just following her behind. Apparently, if you are Vietnamese you can’t go in into check-in gate if you don’t have flight ticket. While foreigner can go in easily after showing her passport. Vietnamese needs special permit if they want to go in without flight ticket. That’s what I see though, not sure how the procedure really is.

The staff who joined us on the ride couldn’t go in with us. He only told us what to do and whom to meet. Another SPC staff was already waiting inside at counter K, so we had to meet him at that check-in counter. The check-in process is the same as baggage. They weighted the crate with Ricky inside. Then they issued a sticker for luggage tag and attached it on the crate.


After finished check-in, my friend went to payment counter to pay for the flight ticket for Ricky. Then they told us that someone will pick up the crate. We waited for a few minutes, while me busy taking photos of Ricky and communicating with him to see how he’s doing. He looked relax and calm which is good.

A person in uniform approached us then grabbed the trolley handle and push it through a room. It’s said “excess baggage”. We all went in and there is a scanner there. Ricky needs to be out of the crate first before they can scan on his crate. Last chance to touch him!! That guy asked us to put Ricky back in the crate after he finished. Then he sealed the door to make sure it won’t easily open on the way. Very professional! The staff of SPC prepared the seal though. Then after finished, he told us that he will leave Ricky in that room first because it is very hot on the outside. When it is time to board the plane, then he will bring him in. Very nice guy! It’s nice to know someone who cares about animals is working at the airport!

Good bye, Ricky! Have a good life in Victoria. You are one of the lucky dogs in our shelter!

I’m very thankful for this experience. A chance to know a shy dog like you and how to deal with you. A chance to learn about how to ship a dog overseas (although I’m not sure about the procedure to enter each country for a dog lol. But at least I know I can rely on Saigon Pet Clinic for their pet relocation service!).

And these are photos from his new home!

Thank you for reading. Ciao!

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