Entertainment Movies Depp’s dogs face US customs exam

Depp’s dogs face US customs exam

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Pistol and Boo better have their paperwork in order and appear healthy when they land back in the US.

Terrier Pistol, jetting his way home.

Johnny Depp’s infamous, illegally-imported Yorkshire terriers may have jetted out of Australia and escaped being euthanised, but they will be scrutinised by officers from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection after touching down in Los Angeles.

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“We do a visual examination and if we see any sign of illness we’ll take action,” Jaime Ruiz, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.

“This is standard procedure for us.”

Australia may pride itself as being free from diseases found in other nations, but the US classifies Australia as not being free of rabies.

Johnny Depp (right) as Jack Sparrow in a scene from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Johnny Depp (right) as Jack Sparrow in a scene from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

That’s bad news for Pistol and Boo.

“Australia is not considered a rabies-free country as lyssaviruses in bats have been reported, as well as fatal human rabies cases,” Mr Ruiz said.

If the terriers do not have proof of rabies vaccinations or if the vaccinations have expired, they might still be admitted to the US if Depp or another guardian agrees to self-quarantine the dogs and arrange for the necessary shots.

“Are the dogs going to be allowed in? Most likely so,” Mr Ruiz said.

Depp is believed to have remained on the Gold Coast for the filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales while the dogs were being flown to the US.

They had to leave Australia by Saturday to avoid being euthanised.