Navigating the import of dogs from other countries

Navigating the import of dogs from other countries

posted in: Education, General News, Resources | 4

ISDF has been receiving dogs from other countries into the US for re-homing for over 12 years. Our current country partners include S Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Oman, Tunisia, Albania, and Jordan. Over the years the regulations to import a dog into the US have changed and in some ways become more complicated.

Due to the increase in the number of rescue dogs entering the US to be re-homed, US Customs has begun to pay closer attention and in some cases start to enforce existing laws. My experience has been that the laws are being interpreted differently at different airports and ultimately the Customs Agent handling the import. The import laws are often times not stated accurately or interpreted correctly by the Customs Agent causing much duress and unnecessary cost to the rescuers.

I have personally been told so many variations by Customs Agents at O’Hare and what is the most troubling is that most of them are incorrect. As a result, I am sitting for the Customs Broker exam in April to make the process easier for ISDF and other rescue organizations.

Studying for the exam has been very eye opening to say the least. I have learned many things that have never been communicated to me by the US Customs Office at O’Hare, cargo personnel or Customs Agents at the airport. This is shocking to me and I feel it is imperative that rescuers know the law and most importantly their rights as reliance can not be placed on the agent handling your dogs arrival to the US.

Recently a Kuwait rescuer had to pay over $7,000 and had 5 dogs shipped back to Kuwait. This is money that caused a crisis for the people who were trying to help these dogs. Jewelry was pawned and money borrowed and a desperate plea for funds went out. What outrages me the most is that the money could have helped so many other dogs in desperate need. I am not going to opine on the specifics of the case and whose to blame. The fact of the matter is that mistakes can happen and will happen. However, there is no excuse for the mishandling of this case by the US Customs and Border Security Agency. The only way to prevent events like this from occurring in the future is for rescuers to know the rules and their rights.

ISDF will be happy to consult with any rescuers who are trying to navigate through the process of bringing dogs to the US. Feel free to contact Dawn at ISDF will be publishing a Fact Sheet on Importing Dogs to the US which can be used as a reference for others.

4 Responses

  1. This has been needed for a really long time. Thank You

  2. Donja El Gendy

    Greetings from Qatar
    This article is very useful for all of us as we are a foster base rescue group in Qatar operating for almost 3 yrs now and sent around 400 dogs overseas so far. We would love to learn more about the process as we have been told different stories from different rescue groups in USA. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  3. Esra Gray

    Furthermore each States DOA has different requirements that are different then USDA

  4. Esra Gray

    What are the rules and regulations. We think we know them but this article scares me