BC Ferries' new pet pilot project to allow dogs and cats more freedom

Oct 1 2022, 6:09 pm

For pet parents, bringing dogs and cats on a BC Ferries voyage can be tough. Now, the company has announced a new pilot project that will permit pets more freedom on board.

Currently, BC Ferries’ pet policy doesn’t allow dogs and cats to explore the ferry or even get a White Spot burger while on board. They are confined to vehicles or in the designated Pet Area.

But now there’s a new, three-month trial pilot project on the Malaspina Sky vessel on the Sunshine Coast (Earls Cove) ā€“ Powell River (Saltery Bay) route. It will let customers bring dogs and cats to the upper outside decks as of September 28, 2022.

Depending on customer feedback, they may expand the program to other ferry routes.

According to BC Ferries, the pilot directly responds to pet owners asking to bring their furry friends to get fresh air.

As part of the project, owners must keep dogs on a leash and cats must be in a travel carrier while on the outer decks. Customers are limited to two dogs per passenger.

The routinely-cleaned pet area is stocked with water bowls and waste bags. It is accessible via a designated stairwell with access points marked on the deck paw prints, and there’s also restricted elevator entry available to the area.

BC Ferries said there’s been an increase of passengers travelling with pets in recent years from 5.5% in 2018 to 13.7% in 2020.

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