Protect the Health of Imported Puppies


Target: Darrell Steinberg, California Senate President pro Tempore

Goal: Ensure the health and wellbeing of imported puppies by requiring health certificates

Sick puppies are too commonly imported to California, and up until recently, there have been no attempts made by government representatives to regulate puppy imports. Fortunately, legislators have proposed a new measure that would help protect the health and wellbeing of puppies being imported to California.

California is one of two states in the country that does not regulate puppy imports, making it too easy for out-of-state sellers to ship dogs suffering from illnesses and bring disease into the state. Assembly Bill 1809 (A.B. 1809) would require out-of-state sellers to submit health certificates for their dogs to the health department of the animal’s destination. The requirement would apply to all puppies and dogs being imported into California for re-sale.

This common-sense measure would “provide local governments with critical information to keep pets and communities safe,” according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Health certificates would not only reduce the suffering of sick puppies being transported, but also protect local communities from highly contagious diseases like rabies. They would also increase the effectiveness of local spay/neuter and dog licensing programs.

The bill was already unanimously approved by the California Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development in July 2014 and needs to be approved by the entire state senate. Urge the state senate’s president pro tempore to support this humane legislation and ensure it is passed into law.


Dear Sen. Steinberg,

As an animal welfare advocate, I am concerned about the lack of government regulation of puppy imports in the state of California and the impact bringing sick puppies into the state has on local communities.

New legislation has been proposed that would protect the health and wellbeing of imported puppies and local communities by requiring health certificates for all imported dogs. Health certificates would protect California’s communities from diseases like rabies, increase the effectiveness of local goverments’ spay/neuter and dog licensing programs and reduce the suffering of sick puppies being transported into the state for re-sale.

As you may know, Assembly Bill 1809 has already been unanimously approved by the California Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. I urge you to ensure California joins the other 48 states in the nation that currently regulate puppy imports and support this common-sense legislation.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: bullcitydogs via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. Emily March says:

    Where do the puppies come from? China or elsewhere in Asia? Then definitely to be examined! Why the need to import puppies at all, anyway? Seems to me there are enough of them in CA already. Shelters are full of them… It is SENTIENT beings you are dealing with, by the way, inside shelters or cargo exported… Not machines!

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