WACO, Texas – Isabella Carruth and her service dog have been stuck in Honduras over a week after the CDC banned dogs from entering the U.S. due to a high risk of rabies in the country.
She applied for a dog import permit which has been denied five times by the CDC – leaving her devastated and wondering when her and her service dog Dante will return home.
“I sent everything they asked me to the first time, and now they are saying I didn’t send anything to them,” Carruth said.
Carruth says when she initially booked the trip to Honduras, she completed all required forms to travel. Two days after her arrival, she found out the CDC banned dogs from entering the U.S. from high-risk rabies countries.
She immediately applied for a CDC Dog Import Permit, which will allow her to return home with Dante through a CDC-approved entry port.
In the middle of her interview with FOX 44, she received an email that it was denied again – for missing information.
“They ask me for one thing. I send it to them. Then they go, ‘Well, you didn’t send this. It’s in the email I sent you.’ I sent every single thing. I sent a picture of everything,” Carruth said. “I sent the Department of Transportation form. They said in my next email, we need a Department of Transportation. So then I sent that specifically again with everything!”
According to the CDC website, the permit application to import a dog immunized against rabies incudes a personal questionnaire about the owner and dog – including supporting documents of the dogs teeth, a vaccination certificate and a microchip number – which she says she included.
The application can be submitted three ways – electronically, fax, or by mail – which is difficult for Carruth to do in Honduras. So her sister in the U.S. has been helping her.
“I have email receipts showing that we sent this, and that they had that information. And all they wanted was the rabies certificate with the license and veterinarian,” Carruth said. “I sent that, and now they are saying they don’t have any of the information I sent them!”
Carruth says she is going to apply for a permit again, hoping this time she will get the approval she has been waiting on.
In the meantime, she and Dante have run out of food and medication – and she is working on using the money raised from the GoFundMe account to have someone bring it to them.
“This is about Dante, and him getting home,” Carruth said. I can do whatever I need to do for myself, but Dante’s safety comes first. Because without his safety, I don’t have my own.”