The United States Department of Agriculture is looking to crack down on the illegal importation and distribution of young and usually sick puppies brought into the United States from other countries. These puppies frequently come from Asian and South American countries taken away from their mother's too soon or with illnesses developing from no vaccinations. In China, they are referred to as 'week dogs' as that is about how long they will live within their new owner's homes.
Starting in November, a new law will only allow US citizens or immigrants to bring pups into the United States that are over six months old, in good health and have proof that they are up to date on their vaccinations. The law book currently states that, with some exceptions, anyone can bring puppies or any dog into the country with simply a health certificate. Currently, those who cannot prove proof of vaccination will have these dogs confined to their property for a set period of time, but the dog is rarely checked after admitted into the country.
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), this lax current law has allowed for an influx of sick or unvaccinated dogs to be brought in from other countries, putting other dogs at risk. The dogs also use invalid and fake certificates to enter the country and sold to potential pet owners that do not know the difference between faked papers.
“There’s no question this process of raising them in puppy mills in foreign countries and long distance transport without people properly caring for them during transport puts them at great risk,” states Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
Importing puppies has always been big business as a number of different breeds are not often bred in the United States. In order to get the latest designer breeds, some are willing to pay thousands of dollars to get their hands on them. These breeds also only sell for a couple hundred dollars in their home countries so puppy importers are able to make a huge profit from importing them.
However, the new law that takes effect on November 17th will be cracking down on the importation of these abused pups.