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Illegal Pet Importation a Major Statewide Problem
May 21, 2007
Contact: Norma Worley, firstname.lastname@example.org
AUGUSTA—By law, all dogs and cats imported from out of state for retail must have health certificates and be properly quarantined to insure they are in good health before they are adopted or sold. However, many animals are being brought in illegally, without the required paperwork and quarantine time, and are being housed by private persons who are not licensed as an animal shelter. The result is many animals with serious and life-threatening health issues. Most of these animals have also not been vaccinated against various diseases, including rabies.
“Unfortunately, importers and rescuers are thinking with their heart instead of their brain and the animals are suffering,” says Maine Animal Welfare Program Director, Norma Worley. “The Program veterinarian is spending an enormous amount of time investigating and placing these illegal facilities under quarantine and dealing with very ill animals, some that are too ill to survive and must been euthanized. This is also adding to Maine’s already-existing pet overpopulation problem, where we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the HELP FIX ME spay/neuter program. It’s important for the public to be aware of this situation and educate itself before answering an ad in the paper or on the Internet for the ‘cute little fuzzball.’”
The purpose of the Animal Welfare Program is to insure humane and proper treatment of animals by developing, implementing, and administering a comprehensive program that upholds the animal welfare laws of Maine through communication, education, and enforcement.
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