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CDC import ban makes Bend group’s efforts to rescue dogs abroad challenging

Ban applies to 113 countries, including China

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Amanda Jo kept hearing horror stories about the abuse and killing of dogs in Asia, so she decided to take action.

"I mean they'd be boiled alive, burned to death, just horrifying," Jo said Tuesday. "I told my husband, 'We're going to start a dog rescue, because I can't not do anything about this.'"

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

Which has led her to help people like Jennee Elliff of Sunriver, who reached out to Bunny's Buddies after hearing some gruesome dog abuse stories of her own.

"Actually," Elliff said, "my folks went to China, and when they came back, they told me stories about the dogs, on the backs of motorcycles, people had dogs in cages, you go to restaurants and they serve dogs."

So Elliff has adopted three of her 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 despite what many may think, it does not relate to the pandemic.

"The CDC ban has nothing to do with COVID" she said. "The CDC has decided that rescue dogs are too great of risk to import rabies."

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

It follows an incident from last last month that involved a group of 33 dogs brought to the U.S. from Azerbaijan.

One of those dogs tested positive for rabies, which the CDC said was eradicated in the U.S. back in 2007.

But Jo feels the ban is an overreaction.

"No dogs have been imported from 111 countries, so it doesn't make sense," she said.

And Elliff believes the group's efforts are too important to stop now.

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

Bend / Central Oregon / Local News / News / Top Stories / video - DO NOT USE
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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.



  1. The West continues to try to force its culture onto other people. This is nothing less than cultural colonialism.
    Additionally, the Carbon footprint of these pups is atrocious. Are there no dogs in need of care and shelter on this Continent?

  2. These people should focus their money and efforts on helping dogs (or god forbid people) that are actually here in the US. I dont get this mentality of needing to help animals halfway across the planet while ignoring the problems in our own back yard.

  3. How about let’s start with abused kids right here in central Oregon. Then help abused kids in this nation then the world. After all the humans are helped then maybe help with the animals here. I’d say dogs in Asia are about 10,000 down on the list. Good grief, this story was only put on here to show the misguided directions of people with half a Brain and no compassion

    1. These people are doing great things for a cause they believe in. It’s their time and energy not yours, so stop trying to convert people into helping the causes you care about and appreciate that they are doing awesome things for animals in need. The constant crap being thrown around at people working hard to do good things is amazing.

      1. The people at Planned Parenthood are doing great things for a cause they believe in. I’m sure the Proud Boys think they’re working hard to do good things too. “Good” is subjective.

        1. Pretty sure killing a baby and actively taking part in racist activities do not qualify under “good things”. You truly must be dumb comparing animal rescuers to those groups or just incompetent in understanding the decency of humans.

  4. For every dog that is brought in from Asia and adopted in place of a local dog, you guarantee a dog from our own country will be put to death. Not to mention the astronomical cost of bringing them here and the extra risks of bringing in other foreign diseases is not worth it either. Refocus your attention on local dogs, you will never run out of those to save.

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