Update: Feb 8 2020
CBC News has brought to light that there is in fact NO CBSA policy in place as outlined by WestJet. Read CBC’s article by clicking here. WestJet has since deleted their announcement on their website. A screenshot below shows how the announcement appeared on February 6th 2020.
Below is the notice as posted on the WestJet website:
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has changed the way they handle dogs arriving in Canada. This is not a WestJet initiative but one that we are subject to regulation on.
What does that mean? All dogs classified as commercial imports (dogs for sale, rescue and adoption, breeding, show or exhibition) must be shipped as cargo and upon arrival into Canada be received at the CBSA’s Commercial Operations District (cargo) for inspection. They may not be shipped as a pet in the baggage hold or in the cabin. If the dog is younger than eight months, an import permit is also required.
This requirement affects anyone travelling into Canada with dogs destined for animal welfare organizations or adoption by someone else. Dogs can still continue to be rescued – with the proper documentation and respecting any heat embargos – but must be sent as cargo as per CBSA.
Please be aware that travellers falsely claiming that an animal belongs to them may be subject to fines being issued and delays when passing through customs in Canada. Additionally, there is also a serious risk of the dog being sent back to its origin.
Please reach out to the CBSA if you have any questions – https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/contact/menu-eng.html.