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What is involved in moving my pet to Hawaii? Hawaii is very strict with the import of pets but the regulations have recently changed allowing for a shorter waiting period to qualify for the same day quarantine release program. Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawaii’s dog and cat import requirements

This law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5 Day Or Less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu) after inspection.

How do I qualify from the 5 day or less program when moving my pet to Hawaii? The law requires dogs and cats that do not meet all of the specific 5 Day Or Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival in Hawaii. Hawaii has recently updated their waiting periods, effective August 2018. Hawaii requires pets coming from the mainland US States to have a Rabies Titer Test done. Previously this required a 120 day wait from the date of blood draw to the date of arrival but has now been updated to only 30 day wait. The blood results must be > .5/IU/mL . Please note that the RFFIT (Micro Screen Rabies Screen Test) is NOT accepted. KSU and DOD will send the results directly to Hawaii AQS if Hawaii was listed on the form. You can look online for your results by clicking HERE.

Basic Summary of Requirements for Pets to Enter Hawaii:

What are the basic requirements to move my pet to Hawaii?

Rabies Vaccinations– Certification of at least two rabies vaccinations is required. If your pet has documentation for only the most recent vaccination, it will not qualify for the 5 Day Or Less quarantine program. To qualify, your pet will need to receive a booster no less than 30 days after the previous vaccination. In addition, this second vaccination must be given more than 30 days before arrival in Hawaii.(For pets already located in Hawaii, the second vaccine must be administered no less than 30 days after the previous vaccination and more than 14 days before departure from Hawaii.)

Rabies Titer Blood Test – Microchip must be implanted prior to the blood draw. Must be at least 30 days before arriving and no longer than 36 months. Results must be >.5 IU/mL

Parasite Treatments – Dogs and cats must be treated by your veterinarian with a long-acting oral or topical product labeled to kill ticks that is equivalent or better than Fipronil within 14 days prior to arrival and the treatment must be documented on the health certificate.K-9 Advantix® is an acceptable treatment for DOGS ONLY, DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT ON CATS. However, Revolution® IS NOT an acceptable treatment. You should always consult with your veterinarian prior to application of flea/tick products on your pet. For a list of acceptable tick treatments click HERE

Waiting period requirements for Direct Airport Release and the 5 Day Or Less program have changed.

The periods affected are:

    • FAVN Rabies Antibody Test (FAVN) waiting period has been reduced from 120 days to at least 30 days before arriving in Hawaii; and
    • The waiting period for the second (most recent rabies vaccination) before arriving in Hawaii has been reduced from 90 days to at least 30 days.

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      Inspection hours for dog and cats at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (Honolulu) are between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays. This information is particularly important for those who are qualifying their pets for direct release in Honolulu. Pet owners should be sure to arrange for their flights to arrive by 3:30 p.m. because it may take up to one hour for the airlines to transport a pet to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility and animals not arriving at the facility by 4:30 p.m. will not be released at the airport that day.Pets arriving in the late afternoon and evening will be held overnight until inspections are completed the following morning. Pets qualified for direct airport release that are held overnight for release in the morning at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility must be picked up by 10:00 a.m. or an additional $59 will be charged. Pet owners who are arriving in Honolulu and connecting to neighboring islands should pay particular attention to the inspection hours. No permits are issued or required to fly a dog and cat into the Daniel K Inouye international Airport in Honolulu.

  • DIRECT RELEASE HNL – Processing times vary, depending on how long it takes your airline to deliver the pet to our facility and the number of pets arriving for inspection at the same time. In some cases, the airline may take up to one hour or more to deliver a pet to our facility for processing. Generally, we are able to process pets within an hour from the time the pet is received at our facility. However, If you do not submit original documents ahead of time (at least 10 days in advance) or problems with paperwork will significantly increase processing time. Priority is given to pet owners who properly submitted their paperwork. If you are booking connecting flights, it is recommended that you allow at least 4 to 5 hours.

(UPDATED 08/21/2018)

A Neighbor Island Inspection Permit issued by the Department must be obtained and provided to the airline and is required to fly a cat or dog directly to an approved neighbor island airport.

All procedures must be followed or the dog or cat will be denied entry at Kona, Kahului or Lihue Airport. Pets that are denied entry will be transported to Honolulu for inspection or transported out-of-State at the owner’s expense.

Due to the large volume of requests for Neighbor Island Inspection Permits, pet owners must ensure the documents are received by the AQS at least 30 days ahead of the planned travel. Documents to submit include:

  • Completed Dog & Cat Import Form (AQS-279).
  • Original rabies vaccine certificates for the 2 most recent vaccinations.
  • Payment of $165 in cashier’s check or money order made out to the Dept. of Agriculture (no personal checks).
  • Flight information (i.e. Airlines, flight number, date and time of arrival).
  • A letter from the owner requesting Direct Airport Release at either “Kona” or “Kahului” or “Lihue”.

Owners must also contact one of the listed veterinary hospital to arrange for the inspection at the desired airport.

  • Ali’i Veterinary Hospital, (808) 329-8999 or Keauhou Veterinary Hospital (808) 322-2988 for Kona arrivals
  • At Home Animal Hospital & Mobile Veterinary Services (808) 873-0102, Central Maui Animal Clinic (808) 893-2380, Kahului Animal Hospital (808) 871-7387, Kihei Veterinary Clinic (808) 879-5777, Makawao Veterinary Clinic (808) 572-9003, Maui Humane Society (808) 877- 3680, South Shore Veterinary Care (808) 874-3422, or West Maui Animal Clinic (808) 662-0099 for Kahului arrivals
  • Kauai Humane Society (808) 632-0610 for Lihue arrivals

These contractors will send a confirmation to the Animal Quarantine Station that they have agreed to perform the inspection and release procedure. Owners are responsible for the additional fees to the contractor for this service.

Military Families with PCS Orders to Oahu

If you have received your PCS Orders to Oahu Hawaii, we are here to help with the process. Most often, the challenge is finding the options for airlines that will ship pets to Hawaii (especially with the larger dogs). United Airlines no longer accepts crates taller than 30″ , and many airlines restricts snub nosed breeds, and fighting breeds, so this can create a challenge. We can help and there are options available. Contact us to request a quote and be sure to include the breed, weight and measurements of your pets. Click HERE to access our booking form.

Pets Located in Hawaii:

Owners wishing to leave Hawaii with their pets and return without extended quarantine must meet all requirements listed on the “Checklist Only For Resident Dogs And Cats Originating From Hawaii And Returning For The 5 Day Or Less Program.” The length of the waiting period after a successful rabies blood test is modified and must be completed before leaving Hawaii.

Re-Entry Fee Requirements:

For pets re-entering Hawaii after completing a Hawaii rabies quarantine program, click here for requirements when a reduced “Re-entry” fee for Direct Airport Release or 5 Day Or Less quarantine applies.

Direct Release on Neighbor Islands:

Owners wishing to fly their pet directly to Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA), Kahului Airport (OGG) or Lihue Airport (LIH) must obtain a Neighbor Island Inspection Permit (NIIP).

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