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Migrations of people, importation of companion animals, global trade in plant and animal agricultural products all carry risks of importation of infectious agents. Globalization of agricultural trade and climate refugee migration along with migration to escape social danger and resultant fear should have us looking thoughtfully at meaningful ways to be humane and safe along all of the world's borders rather than fearing invasions and threatening to build walls.

In the case of both West Nile virus (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3967162/) and Zika virus (https://br.usembassy.gov/cdc-models-risk-zika-virus-importation-resulting-travel-2016-olympic-paralympic-games/) arriving in the Americas importation of materials infected with the viruses resulted in emergence and establishment of these diseases in new locales.

The establishment of West Nile virus throughout North America took less than ten years. Thankfully Zika has not spread so far or so fast.

One of the reasons these diseases and others like them (think Dengue, Chikungungya and such) spread as far and wide as they do is a lack of herd immunity among the newly exposed population. The same things can happen with zoonotic (non human animal diseases) and plant diseases. This is part of why a large part of immigration and trade history is loaded with inspections at ports of entry. While we might see risks in immigration at our southern border it is not invasion of people we should be worried about but rather entry of people carrying things like undiagnosed Chagas disease and malaria.

The risks are probably much more worrisome regarding zoonotic diseases such as new strains of distemper or canine infectious influenza strains than for human illnesses since humans can report their illnesses while dogs can't. I have another reason though for concerns about importing rescue dogs which is the displacement of local surrendered dogs born in the US out of rescue organization facilities to kill shelters. There are more dogs in the US (and by extension in the world) than can be rescued as is. I think we should take care of locally rescued and surrendered dogs first.
 

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The risks are probably much more worrisome regarding zoonotic diseases such as new strains of distemper or canine infectious influenza strains than for human illnesses since humans can report their illnesses while dogs can't. I have another reason though for concerns about importing rescue dogs which is the displacement of local surrendered dogs born in the US out of rescue organization facilities to kill shelters. There are more dogs in the US (and by extension in the world) than can be rescued as is. I think we should take care of locally rescued and surrendered dogs first.
Amen, C...

I think I once told the tale in here of the ON woman who was in a CBC story 'cos she was 'rescuing' 'pure bred Goldens' from 'the streets' in Greece. After those terrible fires... last year(?).

I gently explained, in a public Fb thread, why this sounded unlikely.

But deep down, I was thinking it would be nice to put an end to these well-meaning but dangerous people.
 

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I'm sorry but I think we have enough issues in our country that need addressing before we save the world.I believe in vaccinating. I remember as a kid having to get the polio shot, then later in school they later put it in a sugar cube . And smallpox vaccine was required before you went to school. We really don't need animals from other countries to save. Each country should be responsible for their own. Help with education and money..yes I'm on board but really we have plenty of our own helpless animals to care for, people too for that matter. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Not all animals in trouble can be rescued. I wish there was a reset button on the rescue movement. One important cultural shift would be for people to stop thinking of companion animals as recyclable. It cheapens our relationships with them to think oh well I don't have time anymore so I will just take Fluffy to a rescue group. Shelters and rescues should nearly always be close to empty not always bursting at the seams.

Also many people I have worked with (not all) who have rescues spend tons of time feeling sorry for them and therefore excuse neurotic, obsessive and destructive behaviors because the dog had a bad life before they got them. In my own family one household that has two Puerto Rican rescue dogs is in disarray because one of the people feels so sorry for the dogs that they rarely leave the house because it is so hard for the dogs to be crated (they were street dogs, not family pets displaced by the hurricane, moved to a US rescue to make room for family pets that there was hope of finding family members who would reclaim them). This is not a sane way for the people or for the dogs to live.

And Mufar I agree with you largely about taking care of our own first, although I do think we have an important global role to play in controlling polio and measles since they are only a plane ride away and matter to all people. Now we see we are risking the public health of our companion animals as well as ourselves.
 

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Lillycd I can agree that we should support the means to have polio/measles etc addressed in one's country of origin . My niece each summer spends her time with a missionary group to help assist with clean water and vaccinations protocol.
 

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I’m a sucker for those stories where one of our military forms an attachment to a street dog and brings it home. I think of them as unofficial emotional support animals. That’s the only exception, I can make because our shelters are full in Houston. Shamefully full.
 
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