U.S. Bans Importing Dogs from 100+ Countries

UPDATE – Pets with valid US rabies certificates can bypass the CDC Import process.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unfortunately traveling into the United States with your pet just got a bit more difficult. The United States has made the decision to ban the importation of dogs from over 100 countries due to the large increase in the number of puppies being imported into the country over the last year with false rabies vaccinations certificates.

Pandemic puppies were all the rage during quarantine as people sought companionship, and when shelters were running out of puppies for people to adopt, they turned to dog importations instead. According to the CDC, in 2020 they discovered more than 450 pets arriving in the United States with fake or falsified rabies documents, which equates to a 52% increase over the last few years.

Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and the importation of even one infected dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and other wildlife. 

Updated Airline Restrictions

What It Says

Until Jan. 7, 2022, dogs coming from countries deemed high risk can enter the United States in 18 airports, including O’Hare Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. After Jan. 7, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry, including just three airports in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. All dogs imported into the U.S. must be healthy upon arrival.

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, all dogs that have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months may only enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

Talks of these new updated airline restrictions began in July and have now officially gone into full effect on October 14th. The ban applies to foreign dogs as well as dogs traveling with American owners and re-entering the country after a trip in a country abroad.

Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the previous six months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or other paperwork, but most airlines will require a rabies vaccination certificate or health certificate. Once the dog is in the US, the state in which it resides will govern its rabies vaccination requirement. The majority of states require rabies vaccination by 3 to 4 months of age.

They have begun issuing small numbers of permits to dogs coming to the United States from certain high-risk countries, but the requirements are steep, permits require microchipping, and there are several other hoops you’ll have to jump through.

Airpets International Can Help

Before these new CDC bans, the United States was a relatively easy location for pet travel. There are hundreds of details to take into account when you and your pet are traveling internationally and especially now if you are attempting to reenter the United States. At Airpets International, we have pet transportation specialists that can assist you and coordinate customized pet travel arrangements that fit you and your pets’ specific needs. Visit us online to request an estimate or contact us to start planning!

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