The U.S. is banning the importation of dogs from more than 100 countries for at least a year because of a sharp increase in the number of puppies imported into the country with fraudulent rabies vaccination certificates.
“We’re doing this to make sure that we protect the health and safety of dogs that are imported into the United States, as well as protect the public’s health,” Dr. Emily Pieracci of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells NPR.
The pandemic prompted a surge of pet adoptions, including puppies, as Americans sought companionship while they hunkered down in their homes to protect themselves from COVID-19.
“Early on in the pandemic, the shelters were reporting record-low numbers because everybody was adopting pandemic puppies. And so there is a possibility that there may be a correlation between empty shelters here driving an increased demand to purchase puppies overseas,” she says.