Sen. Kennedy introduces PUPS Act to unite pets and owners during health emergencies


TOPSHOT – An illustration photo shows Ziggie the dog wearing a mask put on her face by her owner in Los Angeles, on April 5, 2020. – After a tiger in the Bronx zoo tested positive for Covid-19 the zoo emphasized that there is “no evidence that animals play a role in the transmission of COVID-19 to people other than the initial event in the Wuhan market, and no evidence that any person has been infected with COVID-19 in the US by animals, including by pet dogs or cats.” (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, Senator John Kennedy introduced the Permanently Uniting Pets Stateside (PUPS) Act to ensure that American pet owners returning from abroad during a public health emergency are not unnecessarily separated from their pets.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is an original cosponsor of the PUPS Act.

“Earlier this summer, Socrates reminded everyone that pets must be allowed to come home with their owners whenever possible. The PUPS Act will help keep pets and people safe and together during public health emergencies. I hope my compassionate colleagues move this bill forward before bureaucracy tears any more dogs or cats away from their owners,” said Kennedy.

The PUPS Act would allow an animal arriving with a U.S. citizen or resident to enter the country without regard to the Centers for Disease Control or U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements concerning pets if the owner agrees to comply with those requirements as soon as practicable. 

The PUPS Act is crucial to help pet-lovers navigate public health emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic and has support from Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation.

“We applaud Senator Kennedy for his work to put common sense and compassion ahead of bureaucracy and ensuring that people are not separated from their beloved pets during times of crisis. This bill would ensure that what happened to Socrates won’t happen to another rescued dog coming to the U.S. to join a loving family,” said Holly Gann, Director of Federal Affairs for the Animal Wellness Foundation.

Kennedy is a proud dog owner to Jack and Charlie.

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