Rescue dogs

CDC import ban makes Bend Group’s efforts to rescue dogs overseas difficult

The ban applies to 113 countries, including China

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Amanda Jo kept hearing horror stories about dog abuse and murder in Asia, so she decided to take action.

“I mean they would be boiled alive, burnt alive, it’s just awful,” Jo said on Tuesday. “I said to my husband, ‘We’re going to launch a dog rescue, because there’s nothing I can do about it.'”

So she and her husband, Kyle, founded Bunny’s Buddies, a dog rescue agency that has saved the lives of hundreds of dogs from countries like China and South Korea.

Which led her to helping people like Sunriver’s Jennee Elliff, who contacted Bunny’s Buddies after hearing her own horrific stories of dog abuse.

“Actually,” Elliff said, “my parents went to China, and when they came back, they told me stories about dogs, on the backs of motorcycles, people had dogs in cages, you go to a restaurant and they serve dogs.”

Ellliff therefore adopted three of his own.

But a recent ban by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made the rescue group’s mission more difficult.

Jo says that despite what many may think, it has nothing to do with the pandemic.

“The CDC ban has nothing to do with COVID,” she said. “The CDC has decided that rescue dogs pose too great a risk to import rabies.”

The ban applies to 113 countries, including China, India and Russia.

This follows an incident last month involving a group of 33 dogs brought to the United States from Azerbaijan.

One of those dogs tested positive for rabies, which the CDC says was eradicated in the United States in 2007.

But Jo thinks the ban is an overreaction.

“No dogs were imported from 111 countries, so it doesn’t make sense,” she said.

And Elliff thinks the group’s efforts are too important to stop now.

“Amanda just has a way of finding these crazy, cool dogs and pairing them with the best families,” Ellif said. “The families that Bunny’s Buddies have are amazing.”