North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has eliminated a restriction that had blocked adopted dogs from other states from traveling to North Carolina, the agency said on Thursday.
The agency, which oversees the Department of Transportation, had barred the travel of four-legged friends, except with a caretaker’s permission, for several years because of the discovery of two dogs who had been abandoned by their owners in the state.
The agency said that since then, it had re-examined the regulations and decided to allow dogs to travel to North Carolina with a caretaker’s permission and register online.
“In light of public support and problems we’ve had at pet-sheltering facilities, it was time to remove this outdated restriction,” Andrew Young, a spokesman for the department, said in an email.
The agency said that the new rule takes effect on Oct. 15.
The agency was widely criticized in April, when media outlets reported that it had barred pets from traveling with their owners to North Carolina for a bear-hunt ban and due to concerns about the proliferation of unwanted dogs in some of the state’s counties.