Requesting CDC Approval
If you want to import your puppy before they are four months of age, the new process is to contact the CDC in writing and in advance for approval. These requests are made via CDCAnimalImports@cdc.gov. I suggest applying for a confinement agreement 3-4 weeks before your pup is scheduled to go home. Typically, the CDC can take 2-14 business days to process a request.
While the CDC has the option to decline a confinement agreement and require that people wait until the puppy is fully vaccinated, to date, all requests to import a puppy at eight weeks of age have been granted.
Simply email the CDC and let them know you have been approved to receive a puppy from “SwissRidge” in Canada and would like to apply to have your pup imported early. They will send you a generic email asking specific questions. Send them the answers (if you need info on the pup, let us know). Once you are pre-approved, they will ask you to go ahead and make travel arrangements. We will then book your pup’s flight and send you the itinerary. The letter is good for one week only so be sure we have booked the flight and you know the exact shipping date and point of entry before you inform the CDC of the arrangements.
Here is what they send:
- Please provide your name and contact information so that we can identify you for the purposes of the confinement agreement (drivers’ license/passport #, telephone number, email, and physical address). If someone other than you will be bringing the dog into the United States, please provide that person’s name and contact information.
- Please provide as much description of the dog(s) as you can, or any relevant documentation that you have, to assist us in determining if the animal is eligible for a confinement agreement and so that it can be identified at the port of entry. (In the past, applicants for confinement agreements have provided information such as the dogs’ date of birth, sex, breed, descriptive markings/colors, microchip/tattoo number, and country of origin or most current location.)
- Please describe your plans for importing your dog(s) into the United States. Provide us a copy of your travel itinerary, if the puppy is traveling via airplane. Please let us know if the puppy will be hand-carried, transported as checked baggage, or sent via cargo. If the puppy will be transported into the U.S. by vehicle, please provide the name of the transporter, date of importation and name of the U.S. Land-Border Crossing. Please also provide the vehicle tag # of the transporting vehicle.
- In your own words, please explain why you need a confinement agreement and why the dog(s) cannot be adequately immunized against rabies before arrival in the United States.
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