The temporary suspension on the importation of dogs into the United States (US) as of July 14th is not only affecting dog lovers but future pet adoptions destined for the US from the islandís Saga Humane Society. The temporary ban implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was announced at the end of June and applied to high-risk rabies countries, including Belize. Over the past years, the rabies reports made public by the government are those affecting cattle. In 2018, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) informed the country, particularly cattle producers, that paralytic rabies was detected in the Cayo, Orange Walk, and Belize Districts.

The Saga Humane Society on the island shared that the stopping of dog importation into the US has had a significant effect on their operations. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the non-profit organization has been struggling and doing its best to shelter homeless animals. According to them, in the past, volunteers from the US would visit and, in most cases, opt for the adoption of a dog to take home. That is not possible now, and Saga must now stretch its resources to continue taking care of its animals. Although they do get adoption requests from within Belize and even Canada, most were from the US. While the organization continues working for the community, anyone willing and able to donate is welcome to visit their offices on Sea Star Street south of downtown San Pedro. Donations can also be made via this link https://bit.ly/3w18R88.

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