Dogs from more than 100 countries will be canis non grata under new rabies prevention measures announced by federal authorities this week. The CDC says that under measures set to take effect July 14, dogs from 113 countries, including Russia, China, and Colombia, will be banned from entering the US for at least a year, the New York Times reports. The CDC says the US was declared canine rabies-free in 2007 and the agency plans to keep it that way by preventing the reintroduction of the canine variant of the disease. The CDC says there was a steep rise in dog importation during the COVID pandemic and a corresponding rise in the number of dogs arriving with falsified rabies vaccination certificates.
The CDC says the move will affect up to 100,000 of the approximately 1 million dogs imported to the US every year, but exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis, including for owners of service dogs and people moving to the US with their pets. Officials say people seeking to adopt dogs shouldn't worry. "We have plenty of dogs available that need wonderful loving homes here in the United States of America," says Dr. Jerry Klein, the chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, per NPR. "There should be no need to go to foreign countries to fill the need for loving homes for dogs and cats in the USA." CDC veterinary epidemiologist Dr. Emily Pieracci says anybody who bought a "pandemic puppy" from a high-risk country should consider having it checked out or revaccinated. (Read more rabies stories.)