Johnny Depp Dogs Boarding Flight for Life

5/14/2015 3:27 PM PDT

Johnny Depp -- Dogs Boarding Flight for Life

EXCLUSIVE

Johnny Depp's dogs ain't no dummies -- his Yorkies are getting the hell outta Dodge ... just hours before Australian officials promised to put them down.

TMZ has learned Boo and Pistol will be boarding a private jet back to U.S. soil within a few hours. The Friday afternoon departure, Aussie time ... means they will not be euthanized on Saturday as the country's Minister for Agriculture had threatened to do. 

The Minister said Johnny and Amber Heard never declared the pups when they touched down in Oz last month, so they were never quarantined ... which is required for all animals entering the country.

The dogs may be safe, but Johnny's not out of hot water yet. The Minister tells us Depp will likely have to pay a hefty fine ... and that's getting off easy, because Pooch smuggling is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.

Ex-penal colonies play hard ball.