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Dr. Woolf Responds to CDC Dog Import Suspension

Bringing an animal into the United States,CDC Dog Import Suspension,High-risk Dog Import Suspension,U.S. Dog Import Permit,veterinarian advises about CDC dog import suspension June 25, 2021

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention temporarily suspended dog importation from countries with high risk of canine rabies effective July 14, 2021. The CDC action protects public health and ensures against reintroducing dog rabies in the United States.

“This change may affect your pet’s ability to return to the United States. Pet owners who live with their dogs in high risk countries are personally responsible for requesting a pet import permit in this scenario. This also applies to pet owners who have visited high risk countries with their dogs in the past six months,“ according to Walter M. Woolf, veterinarian founder of Air Animal Pet Movers.

Dog import permits from high-risk countries will be extremely limited and granted case-by-case. Travel is not a valid reason. Criteria:

  • A US government employee with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders.
  • A US citizen or lawful US resident relocating to the United States for employment or education.
  • An owner of a service dog trained to assist a person with a disability.
    • Emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not service animals.
  • Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, or exhibition, or for bona fide law enforcement

“Before applying for a permit,” Woolf advises, “Eligible pet parents should make sure they gather documents required. If your dog originated in the U.S., make sure you submit all those documents. Then follow these steps in order.”

  1. At least four months before planning to return to the U.S., check IPATA.org and find a local professional pet shipper to advise you. Watch the Air Animal website for updates.
  2. Assure their dog is microchipped. If their dogs' rabies vaccinations and the accompanying certificates expire in less than six months, assure the dogs receive a rabies booster before expiration.
  3. Have a rabies antibody test (FAVN-OIE) run by an accredited lab.
  4. Wait at least 45 days before applying for the U.S. pet import permit.
  5. Plan another 45 day wait to hear if the permit has been approved. If the permit is approved schedule pet transport. All dogs must arrive at the live animal care facility at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.

Permits will not be given at arrival. Dogs without a permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the owner’s expense.

There is no appeal for denied applications. Application does not guarantee approval.

Click these links for further requirements and more information


The CDC will periodically review the suspension.


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