Questions and Answers: Haitian Earthquake Victims Seeking to Bring Pets into the United States
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Will pets from Haiti be allowed into the United States?
Yes. Most pets coming from Haiti will be allowed to enter the United States as long as they meet state and federal government public health requirements. CDC’s requirements for dogs and cats are listed below. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also have laws about importing pets. Pet owners are advised to check with each agency for its pet import requirements.
How many pets may I bring into the United States?
CDC has no regulations limiting the number of pets that a person can bring into the United States.
What does CDC require from me to bring in my pet from Haiti?
Dogs and cats should be healthy when they arrive, and dogs must have proof of rabies vaccination. If the proof of rabies vaccination is missing, the person importing the dog must sign a legal document stating that the dog will be confined until 30 days after it has been vaccinated against rabies. This is called a dog confinement agreement.
Should my cat from Haiti be vaccinated against rabies?
There is no federal regulation requiring that cats to be imported have been vaccinated against rabies. However, cats should be vaccinated against rabies according to national recommendations (Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, 2008) and should be confined for 30 days post-vaccination.
My dog has been vaccinated against rabies, but the paperwork was lost during the earthquake. Can I still bring my dog with me to the United States?
Yes. Dogs without proof of rabies vaccination will still be allowed into the United States as long as a dog confinement agreement is filled out and the dog owner or importer agrees to get the pet revaccinated as soon as possible after arrival into the United States.
How do I get a CDC confinement agreement?
CDC Quarantine Officers or U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at U.S. ports of entry will give confinement agreements to persons importing dogs without proof of rabies vaccination. The form may also be downloaded; it is available in French, Russian, and Spanish as well.
What if my pet is ill or injured?
If a dog or cat appears to be ill upon arrival, the owner may be required to have it examined by a veterinarian before the animal can enter the country. The owner will be responsible for paying for any examination or veterinary care the pet receives to satisfy entry requirements. CDC recommends veterinary care for injured animals, but does not require such care as long as there is no threat to public health.
I have been asked to fill out a CDC confinement agreement, but I don’t have a permanent address in the United States. What should I do?
CDC asks that you provide as much information as possible so that public health officials can follow up on the rabies vaccination status of your dog. A temporary address or the address of a family member or friend who will know how to locate you is acceptable.
How can I contact the CDC about any other pet importation or rabies vaccination questions?
You can find information about pet importation, including requirements and limitations for pets other than dogs and cats, by going to one of our websites: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/animal/index.htm http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dq/quarantine_stations.htm.
Or you can contact CDC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 24 hours/every day