Legislative Action Center

Pet Imports: Protecting Pet & Public Health
Action Alert
Dogs are more popular today than ever. The demand for pet dogs—without accounting for population growth—is more than 8 million dogs annually. To meet this demand, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a million dogs are imported annually.  

Exponential growth in the import of dogs, particularly from random sources, has resulted in recent incidents of dogs with non-native parasites and zoonotic diseases such as rabies, viral infections, brucellosis and others being imported and passed into the general public.    

Current pet import oversight mechanisms administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Customs were established prior to the exponential growth in imports and are unable to adequately check canine health upon entry or protect against the public and animal health threat this represents.

The American Kennel Club recognizes the value of importing breeding stock from overseas, freedom of choice in selecting a pet, and ensuring that people may travel with their pets with a minimum of disruption. However, we are also concerned about the increasing documented incidences of the importation of unhealthy random-source pets, particularly for transfer, where public and pet health may be inadequately protected.

AKC supports efforts to ensure that all dogs imported into the United States are fully immunized; free of infection, parasites and contagious diseases; and are individually certified as such by a qualified veterinarian.

AKC Position Statements

Pet Imports: Protecting Pet and Public Health 


Joint Letter of Support for the Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2021 

HR 4239/S. 2597 - The Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2021 

Healthy Dog Importation Act Fact Sheet

U.S. Congress: AKC Lauds Introduction of Healthy Dog Importation Act to Protect Animal and Public Health

View AKC’s Letter of Support for the Healthy Dogs Importation Act

Frequently Asked Questions

Senators Take Action to Forestall Potential Crisis of Unhealthy Imported Dogs

Joint Letter in Support of HDIA  

Related Articles & Blogs

U.S. Senate Update: AKC Lauds Introduction of Healthy Dog Importation Act to Protect Animal and Public Health

Breaking: CDC Extends Suspension of Dog Imports from Countries Classified as High-Risk for Rabies

Yes, You (Probably) Can Import that Show Prospect Now - Article by Sheila Goffe in ShowSight Magazine 

Does your rescue dog have rabies?

Determining If A Dog Can Enter the U.S 

Sample Health Requirements for Dogs Traveling Internationally

Imported Canine Rabies in Ontario – Again

Healthy Dog Importation Act Is a Solution to Potential Crisis of Unhealthy Canine Imports

Proposed Healthy Dog Importation Act Requirements Similar to Current Policies In Other Countries

Updates to Canadian Dog Import Laws May Impact U.S. Breeders

Did an Imported Rescue Dog Trigger CDC Action?

Press Memorandum: AKC Lauds Introduction of Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2021 to Protect  Pet and Public Health

Ban on Dogs From ‘High-Risk’ Countries a Wake-up Call About Importation Health Crisis

Informational Update: CDC Temporarily Expands Acceptable Ports of Entry for Canine Imports

Safeguarding Public Health - The Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2021

The American Kennel Club Appreciates CDC Leadership On Health Issues Related to Import of Unhealthy Dogs, Urges Nuanced Longer-Term Solutions

Lawmakers Aim to Hold Off Another Health Threat — Importation of Sick Dogs

CDC Guidance Regarding ‘Rabies Free” For Importation of Dogs, Estimated Annual Import Volume 

AVMA: State Authorities See Disease Risk in Imported Dogs 

CDC: Illegal Puppy Imports uncovered at JFK Airport

Cornell CVM Health News: Importation of Asia-1 Strain of CDV  

Coronavirus Highlights Danger of Importing Dogs from High Risk Regions 

Rescue Dogs and Stopping a Potential Danger

The US has become a dumping ground for foreign ‘puppy mill’ and ‘rescue’ dogs. Here’s what needs to change.

USDA: What You Need to Know When Importing Dogs into the United States

AKC Statement Urges New Import Protocols to Protect Pet and Public Health


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