Search Menu

Increasing demand for pets and restrictive breeder laws mean that U.S. breeders cannot meet the demand for dogs in the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates approximately one million dogs are imported into the United States annually. This has resulted in increasing reported incidents of imported dogs bringing contagious diseases including rabies, distemper, canine influenza, brucellosis, any many others into the United States. Lax health checks and forged health certificates put our dogs, our public health and even U.S. livestock at risk.

We are contacting you because your Representative in Congress is a member of the influential Congressional Veterinary Caucus and/or the House Committee on Agriculture and can play an important role in helping to protect pets and public health Please take a moment now to contact your member of Congress (click the link and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box) and ask them to support the bipartisan Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2020 (HR 6921). Scroll Down for information on how you can help.   

About the Healthy Dog Importation Act (HR 6921):

Passing the Healthy Dog Importation Act will help ensure that all dogs entering the United States are healthy, fully vaccinated with a health certificate from an accredited veterinary authority in the country of origin, and that each dog is microchipped so individual health records can be verified upon arrival here.

The Healthy Dog Importation Act is strongly supported by the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Animal Interest Alliance and other animal organizations.  It is designed to protect pet and public health while also allowing responsible owners to import pets with as little inconvenience as possible. Key provisions include:

  • Dogs entering the U.S. must appear in good health and be accompanied by a health certificate, issued by a licensed veterinarian accredited by a recognized veterinary authority. The health certificate must certify that the dog has received all required vaccinations and demonstrated negative test results as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Dogs must be accompanied by an import permit.
  • Dogs must be identified by a permanent method (microchip).
  • USDA will facilitate electronic submission of all required documentation, including health records for expeditious verification upon arrival in the U.S.


For more details, view and share the official Healthy Dog Importation Act Fact Sheet and visit AKC’s Key Issues Page on Pet Imports: Protecting Pet and Public Health. Click here to view FAQs.

How You Can Help    

  1. Contact (Email or Call) your member of Congress and ask them to support HR 6921, the Healthy Dog Importation Act.
    1. Click here and type your address in the “Find Your Elected Officials” box to obtain the contact information for your member of Congress
    2. Click here for a sample email and phone script
    3. Here’s a fact sheet you can download and send or paste into your email. (Paste the following URL into your letter: )

2. Share this information with local club members and encourage them to contact the representative too. The more support they receive for this excellent measure to protect pets and the public, the more likely the bill will advance.

For more information, visit AKC’s Key Issues Page on Pet Imports: Protecting Pet and Public Health  or contact AKC Government Relations at