Dogs Returning from High-Risk Rabies Countries No More BAN!

Effective December 1, 2021, Dogs may return to the U.S. from banned High-Risk Rabies countries without a Permit, IF the Dog:

  • 1. Has a Current U.S.-issued Rabies Vaccination Certificate,
  • 2. Was vaccinated by a U.S.-licensed veterinarian,
  • 3. The vaccinations are current,
  • 4. Is microchipped,
  • 5. Is at least 6 months old and,
  • 6. Is Healthy
  • 7. The Dog enters one of the 18 approved Ports.
  • 8.  The Dog is RETURNING to the US, not entering for the 1st time.

The Ports of entry allowed by the CDC for returning Dogs:

  • Anchorage (ANC)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • 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)
  • Washington DC (IAD)

There is no limit to the number of Dogs with a valid US-issued Rabies Vaccination Certificate.

Not every Dog is included.

The CDC’s policy change does not provide relief to all people, including citizens and residents:who want to bring dogs to the United States for the first time or if the Rabies Vaccination Certificate is expired.

Effective December 1, 2021, the United States has changed their rule that bans importation of dogs from 113 countries.

Many of these countries included popular vacation destinations in Latin America.

Many of pet parents struggled to reunite with animals they had adopted during duty trips abroad, and they felt that the rule was too restrictive.

Animals adopted abroad without American vaccination papers are still unable to enter the US without special permission.

If you and your Dog are leaving the country, even for vacation, you should ensure your vaccination paperwork is updated before you leave to ensure their vaccinations will still be current when they return.

The CDC will not accept expired rabies vaccination certificates.

Effective Dec. 1, all Dogs that have passed through a country considered by the CDC to be at high risk for rabies within 6 months of their return, must re-enter the United States at one of the 18 approved ports of entry.

So, choosing the best airline and route will include consideration of one of these ports.

You may be interested in: Is it Too Hot to Fly my Dog in Cargo Or Checked Baggage?

The CDC initially also had plans to reduce those 18 approved ports to just three in early 2022 but has now reversed those plans.

Previously, because of concerns over fraudulent rabies vaccination certificates, Dogs traveling from these countries were banned and required a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) Permit to return.

The change comes less than six weeks after the rule went into full effect. Dog owners complained the ban was overly restrictive and made it timely and expensive to come home.

As of Oct. 14, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had blocked the import of dogs, foreign and those returning to the U.S. after traveling abroad, from 113 countries where the risk of rabies transmission for dogs was considered high due to an alarming number of falsified rabies certificate, many from unscrupulous animal breeders.

Is rabies serologic testing required?

Yes, if the dog’s current rabies vaccination was given outside the United States. Titer testing is required for the CDC Dog Import Permit application.
No, if the dog’s valid rabies vaccination was given in the United States. A CDC Dog Import Permit and titer aren’t required.

Can the dogs enter the United States through any port of entry?

No. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries must enter the United States at one of the 18 approved ports of entry.
These are: 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).

As always, Companion Pet Travel will keep you posted of any new changes regarding travel for you and your Pet Companion.

If you are traveling out of the US, you may be interested in how to obtain entry for your Pet. See our page on Pet Passports and Health Certificates.

Published by Stephanie Anne Fling

Everything Pet Travel Related by Air, Sea and Land.