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Paralyzed dog sent to U.S. from Jordan stuck in limbo at JFK Airport


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    New York, NY (WCBS) — An animal rescue group on Long Island is trying to help a paralyzed dog from Jordan that’s stuck in limbo at JFK Airport.

Berry is a Border Collie mix, trying to get help in America, but her long journey has reached a complicated snag.

Meredith Festa is with the East Patchogue animal rescue group Paws Unite People.

“Can you imagine you get off a plane, you’re in a crate, people are poking you in a crate, you don’t understand what they’re saying, you’re in pain,” Festa said.

She says a similar animal rescue group across the globe in Jordan shipped Berry to the United States, flying into JFK on Monday.

A transporter was then going to drive her to another animal group in Pittsburgh for medical care, but when Berry arrived at JFK customs, Festa says there was a typo on her paperwork.

“The CDC decided because the dog was uncomfortable, they weren’t aware the dog was paralyzed, they thought it might be rabid, so they were going to have to put her on a hold. They told the transporter she was liable. She said, ‘But it’s not my dog.’ So they said, well then you have to leave the dog in the care of the Ark,” Festa told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.

The Ark is an animal-handling facility at the airport.

Festa says although she does not believe the dog has rabies, the CDC understandably wanted Berry to get a new rabies shot and quarantine for 28 days.

Originally, she was worried Berry might be euthanized.

“Nobody at the CDC or customs wants the dog to be euthanized. It just comes to the legalities of the situation, and there’s a lot of red tape and I know the airline is very confused,” Festa said.

Festa says Royal Jordanian Airlines is technically now in charge of the dog. She’s trying to get the CDC to transfer ownership to her group instead.

The Ark says it’s working with several agencies to get this resolved, dealing with numerous regulations around international cargo.

“When you add in the complication of a live animal, that adds an additional level of scrutiny that’s required,” said Elizabeth Schuette, managing director at the Ark.

She says Berry is being cared for at the Ark and will hopefully soon reach her final destination.

Festa says the animal group in Jordan contacted her for help because they’ve worked together in the past.

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