RPCV (Togo) fights deportation of Socrates, her Peace Corps Best Friend


Peace Corps Volunteer fights government’s efforts to deport her dog to Africa

Audra Elam said the CDC denied her dog entry
into the United States after the pair were initially separated in Africa.

by John Henry, USA9, July 1

WASHINGTON — An American Peace Corps member is working to fight the deportation of her dog to Ghana.

In March, Audra Elam, of Illinois, evacuated her post in Togo after the Peace Corps directed its members to return to the United States due to the coronavirus’ spread.

In Togo, Elam inherited a 5-year-old dog named Socrates.

Elam said Socrates, who had previously been cared for by several other members of the Peace Corps, would go on to become her best friend.

Socrates and Audra

“He’s become very Americanized,” she laughed.

Elam eventually made plans to bring Socrates to the United States following their separation in Togo. She said she worked with a company that agreed to send Socrates from neighboring Ghana to the United States.

However, Elam said a problem suddenly arose when Socrates arrived at JFK International Airport in New York in late June.

“So, he gets here and I’m told that he doesn’t meet CDC requirements,” she said. “[So] he’s going to be sent back.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] denied Elam’s request to import Socrates from Ghana. According to a CDC document provided to WUSA9 from Elam, Socrates’ rabies vaccination had expired.


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  • Rabies vaccinations are easy to update, and there are shelters around which will quarantine a pet. I hope Miss Elam succeeds. John Turnbull Lower Canoncito, New Mexico

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