Queens man sues after smuggled dogs are seized for bad vaccination paperwork at JFK Airport

Yorkshire Terrier Dog on the green grass
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A Queens man is suing the federal government for taking away dogs that he smuggled over the border, which allegedly had bad paperwork.

According to court filings, 35-year-old Ildar Gimadiev, a resident of Corona, came into JFK Airport from Moscow on Sept. 8 with six Yorkshire Terriers, three Dobermans, one Golden Retriever and one Dalmatian. Of the 11 dogs that were brought over, prosecutors say that Gimadiev hid 2 dogs in a carry-on, both of which had not been properly declared to Customs and Border Patrol. 

Court documents note that only five dogs had adequate rabies vaccination paperwork. The dogs were subsequently seized at the airport, where they are currently being held in Customs.

However, according to Gimadiev, the dogs’ paperwork was adequate and is now suing the federal agencies to keep the dogs in the country. The lawsuit states that the dogs will likely be euthanized if they are to return to Russia. 

According to filings from the CDC, in the past five years, there were three rabid dog imports into the United States, all from dogs arriving from high-risk rabies countries (such as the Russia Federation), and all with falsified rabies vaccination certificates. They also countered Gimadiev’s claims that the dogs would be euthanized if they were sent back to Russia. 

Gimadiev has reportedly attempted to bring another dog over from Russia in July 2020, but the dog was denied entry for having missing veterinary information on the rabies vaccination certificate. A memo filed by prosecutors noted that Gimadiev’s “pattern of seeking to import dogs from the Russian Federation without securing valid rabies vaccination certificates prior to entering the United States” is part of their reasoning for not relinquishing the dogs to him.

A hearing for the lawsuit will take place on Friday, Sept. 18.