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Travelling with a pet on board in the passenger car

This policy applies only on Corridor trains (Québec City to Windsor)

VIA Rail allows dogs and cats to travel in cars with their owners as long as the animals are small enough to fit comfortably in a carrier that meets our carrier standards.

This policy does not apply to service and support dogs. For this policy, please consult: Travelling with a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog

Animals are sentient beings, so we want to make sure that they’re treated respectfully and travel comfortably while on board. To help us help your loyal friends, here are a few steps to follow.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

GENERAL CONDITIONS

  • Only small dogs and cats are permitted. Pets must be at least 12 weeks old and fully weaned.
  • Due to Ontario government regulations, pit bulls are not accepted. 
  • A maximum of one carrier per passenger is allowed. Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
  • This service is available in both Economy and Business class.
  • The pet and carrier are considered an addition to the carry-on baggage allowance. Therefore, an on-board carrier fee will apply.
    (https://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/baggage
  • Pet travel is booked on a space-available basis, we accept a maximum of 2 pets in Economy and one pet in Business Class (does not include service and emotional support dogs).
  • Please ensure that your pet has received all necessary care and vaccinations and has undergone an annual health check.
  • You are responsible for transporting and keeping your pet in its carrier and with you at all times throughout the journey.
  • In stations, for security reasons, the pet must wear a muzzle on a leash at all times when out of its carrier.

PETS ARE PROHIBITED FROM TRAVELLING WITH:

  • Unaccompanied minor
  • Passenger travelling with an infant under the age of 2 years old
  • Passenger who requires the use of a medical device at their seat as a CPAC machine, oxygen tank, etc.
  • Passengers travelling as a support person to passengers requiring assistance
  • Passengers already travelling with a service dog or an emotional support dog*. We accept the support person to travel with a pet as long as he can take care of the pet and the passenger who requires assistance.
    Note: A passenger with a disability and the support person travelling with him are entitled to this service. However, only one animal can be part of the journey and the support person must be able to assist the animal and the passenger.
  • Passengers with intermodal reservations
  • Passengers travelling on The Maple Leaf (Toronto-New) Amtrak train.

*Please consult VIA Rail’s policy for service and support dogs (Travelling with a Guide Dog, Service Dog or Emotional Support Dog)

WHY VIA MAY REFUSE TO TRANSPORT YOUR PET

VIA Rail may, at its sole discretion, refuse to transport any animals that appear to be unruly, aggressive, distressed, and dangerous or appears to be dangerous or in pain therefore VIA Rail personnel may require the passenger to remove the animal en-route or from the station premises if:

  • The animal is out of control and effective action is not immediately taken to control the pet (for example, a dog barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or is not housebroken).
  • The pet poses a threat to the health or safety of others.

FEES FOR TRANSPORTING YOUR PET ON BOARD

The pet and its carrier are considered an addition to the carry-on baggage allowance. Therefore, an on-board carrier fee will apply.

 (https://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/baggage/carry-baggage)

WITHIN THE CORRIDOR
(Québec City to Windsor)

 

     $50per direction (plus tax)

*If additional space is required, passengers may purchase an additional seat at the applicable rate depending on availability. The carrier can then be placed on the floor at the foot of the adjacent seat rather than at the passenger’s feet. The $50  carrier fee will apply in addition to the price of the seat.

Under no condition can the pet carrier be placed on the seat.

 

PET CARRIER SPECIFICATIONS

Make sure the carrier is comfortable and complies with relevant regulations. It must prevent your pet from exploring the train and avoid causing them unnecessary stress.

VIA Rail employees may refuse traveller-supplied carriers that appear to be unsafe or inadequate and/or that don’t meet the following criteria:

PET CARRIER RESTRICTIONS:

  • VIA Rail accepts hard and soft-sided carriers.
  • Only one pet is permitted per carrier.
  • Pet carriers must be leak-proof and well ventilated.
  • Your pet must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably.
  • No part of the pet may extend outside the pet carrier.

MAXIMUM CARRIER SIZE

PERMITTED IN CAR

Hard or Soft-sided

Height: 27 cm (10.5 in.)

Width:  40 cm (15.5 in.)

Length: 55 cm (21.5 in.)

CONDITIONS FOR TRAVELLING WITH PETS AT YOUR SEAT

THERE ARE THE CONDITIONS THAT THE CUSTOMER MUST AGREE TO IN ORDER TO TRAVEL WITH A PET IN THE CAR:

  • The pet must be kept under control and must be attended at all times in the station and while on board the train.
  • The pet must always remain in the carrier.
  • The pet must remain on Floor at the passenger’s feet.
  • The pet must not be left unattended in any public or private area such as a washroom.
  • Under no condition can the pet carrier be placed on the seat.
  • Considering the shape and structure of the seats in our cars, animal carriers cannot be stowed under your seat or the seat in front of you. They must therefore remain on the floor at your feet or between your legs.

HOW TO BOOK / CHECK-IN TIME

ADVANCE BOOKING

The passenger must let us know at least 48 hours before your departure. You must contact our call centre to let us know that you’ll be travelling with a pet at 1-888-VIA-RAIL

(1-888-842-7245) or 1‑800‑268‑9503 (hearing impaired).

CHECKING IN THE PET - Staffed Station

Passengers travelling with their pet must arrive at the station as follow:

  1. Main Staffed Station: 1 hour before scheduled departure time.
  2. Intermediate Staffed Station: 30 min. before scheduled departure time.

Once at the station, you must go to the baggage or ticket counter to register the carrier and pay the fee for transporting their pet on board. The carrier will be labelled as proof that you and your pet may travel together.

CHECKING IN THE PET - Unstaffed Station

For unstaffed stations, the same validation process will be carried out on board.

PETS IN BUSINESS LOUNGES

Passengers traveling in Business class with their pets will be allowed in the VIA Business Lounges as long as the pet remains with the passenger and is kept in the pet carrier at all times and not left unattended.

PASSENGERS WITH PET ALLERGIES

If you have an allergy to pets and prefer not to be seated next to a pet during your trip, please let us know prior to departure. Reasonable efforts will be made to move you or the pet and pet owner to seats which may provide some relief.

ANTICIPATE YOUR PET'S NEEDS

In case of a delay, please anticipate your pet’s needs:

  • Make sure you bring enough food and water for your companion.
  • Before you leave, make sure your animal has done its business. In order to ensure a smooth trip, make sure they have everything they need to be comfortable.
  • Pee pads may come in handy in some situations.

LIMIT OF LIABILITY OF VIA RAIL

VIA Rail will not be held liable for the loss, delay, injury, sickness or death of any pet accepted for transportation.

VIA personnel may require the passenger to remove the animal en-route or from the station premises if the animal is out of control or if the dog poses a threat to the health or safety of others. VIA Rail will reimburse the non-travel portion of the trip

If the passenger is asked to remove the pet, but would like to remain on the premises and/or continue to travel without the pet, the passenger must make arrangements at their own cost for another person or local animal control organization to assume custody of the animal. The passenger may be required to continue the VIA journey at a later time or at later date (no fee will apply).
 

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

In the event of an emergency, our passengers are our first priority. Our crew may not be able to attend to your animal in case of an evacuation.  While our crew will make every attempt to release your pet, priority will be given to our passengers.