Transport Requirements

Requirements for New Rescue Partners

Both sending and receiving Rescue Partners are required to submit a Rescue Partner application and  Rescue Partner contract prior to utilizing Rescue Express. This does not apply to adopters or foster-to-adopt homes. Contact Rescue Express at 541-525-3232 or [email protected] with questions. Upon approval, partners may place a transport request (below.)

Partner Guidelines

Please read the Rescue Partner Guidelines for information about transport procedures including: submitting transport requests, bus stop locations and schedules, loading/unloading procedures, reservation changes/cancellations, quarantine guidelines. 


Rescue Express uses cargo carriers which are larger than those sold in stores. Please consider this when placing reservations.

Choose a carrier that is 2” taller than the animal’s height at his/her shoulders. The animal must have enough room to stand and turn around completely. Carriers that are too large place animals at risk for injury during transport. All animals are placed in carriers that are the appropriate size for them regardless of the size reserved. Reservation of appropriate carrier sizes allows us to plan transports that save as many lives as possible.

Carrier Sizes
XS – extra-small: 13” tall x 12” wide x 22” deep (pets up to 11″ tall, cats and tiny dogs)
S – small: 17” tall x 16” wide x 25” deep (pets up to 15″tall, cats with kittens, small dogs – Chihuahuas, small terriers)
M- medium: 23” tall x 20” wide x 30” deep (pets up to 21″tall, dogs 20+ lbs, smaller pitbulls)
L- large: 26” tall x 22” wide x 35” deep (pets up to 24″tall, most large dogs: pitbulls, boxers)
XL- extra-large: 28” tall x 24” wide x 39” deep (pets up to 26″tall, shepherds, Great Danes, St. Bernards)

Medical Requirements

  • Quarantine: Animal(s) must be quarantined for 10 days prior to transport on Rescue Express.
  • Health Certificate: Each animal traveling on the bus is required to have a USDA Health Certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian, which must be dated within 5 days of transport. Click here to view the required USDA APHIS Form 7001 Health Certificate.
  • Rabies Certificate: All animals 12 weeks and older require a current rabies certificate.
  • Dog vaccines: All dogs and puppies 6 weeks and older are required to have up-to-date vaccine records or at least one dose of a 5-way vaccine.
  • Cat vaccines: All cats and kittens 9 weeks and older are required to have up-to-date vaccine records or at least one dose of an FVRCP vaccine.
  • Heartworm test for dogs: Per Washington state import law, dogs being transported to Washington are required to have a heartworm test dated within 30 days of transport. Dogs six months of age or older must be tested negative for heartworm or are currently on a heartworm preventative.
  • Animals will not be permitted to board if they display:
    • Symptoms of contagious illness (colored eye or nasal discharge, coughing, excessive diarrhea or vomiting.)
    • Behavior that may pose a danger to people or animals.
    • Signs that they may be unwell enough to endure transport (lethargy, sedation, dehydration.)

Other Transport Requirements

Cover Sheet
No animal will be loaded without an Animal Coversheet 2017 and all required medical documents placed within a resealable, gallon-sized plastic (Ziploc) bag.


Transporting to Adopters and Foster-to-Adopt Homes

When we deliver animals to an adopter or foster-to-adopt home, we require a minimum $100 donation from the adopter or sender, which is due by noon on the Thursday before. This helps us continue to provide our free service to rescue groups. If you are looking to use our transport service for an animal that you have adopted, you do not need to fill out our rescue partner application & contract. However, you must speak with our coordinator at 541-525-3232 prior to submitting a transport request form.

Transport Requests

Space is allotted on a first come, first served basis in the order of online transport request submission by carrier size availability. Carriers are not reserved via call/text/email. Please read the Rescue Partner Guidelines (above) thoroughly prior to submitting a transport request.


Our delivery times are a function of our driving time and they are not flexible.  Delivery times can be in the middle of the night or the very early morning, so please plan accordingly.