HAWAII Pet Quarantine and How to Avoid IT

To fly with your pet to Hawaii, your pet needs a Microchip, Rabies Vaccine, Rabies Titer Test, (excludes British Isles, Australia, Guam, New Zealand) and Tick Treatment, Health Certificate & Import Permit. Hawaii has quarantine requirements.  You pet may qualify for the DIRECT RELEASE PROGRAM.

Let’s start with the quarantine requirements and how to avoid quarantine and then all the documentation and timeframe you will need to bring your pet to Hawaii.

HAWAII PET QUARANTINE 2021

There are TWO ways to bring your dog or cat to Hawaii:

UP TO 120 DAY QUARANTINE

ALL Dogs and Cats, (all ages) must be rabies-free.  IF they are and you comply with all the steps below, they likely will qualify and be released under the Direct Release Program.  Puppies and Kittens will need to be about 6 months old to meet the requirements.

The period of quarantine is up to 120 days. If your Pet arrives and your Documents are not complete, your pet must be quarantined for up to 120 days.

Restricted breeds are: all non-domestic dogs and cats (including Wolf and Cross-Wolf, Dingo and Savannah).

B. HOW TO AVOID PET QUARANTINE—THE DIRECT RELEASE PROGRAM

IF FLYING INTO HONOLULU, OAHU, use CHECKLIST 1(current as of June 30, 2021), from Hawaii Animal Industry Division’s (AID) HERE

IF FLYING INTO KONA, KAHULUI OR LIHUE use CHECKLIST 2 HERE

IMPORTANT TIP:  Ensure all your paperwork is with the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (AAQHF) 10 DAYS OR MORE BEFORE ARRIVAL to allow time to have those documents reviewed by AAQHF.  

If you do not submit your paperwork for approval at least 10 days before, there likely will be delays in releasing your pet.  They are so overwhelmed with arrivals that are in compliance, you will not be a priority. Your pet may not be released on arrival.

NOW that you know how to avoid Quarantine, here’s a Step by Step Guide to bring your pet to Hawaii.


Your Pet Must Have a Microchip

All Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets must have a microchip implanted. We recommend your pet have a microchip in the standard ISO compliant microchip format. Most country inspection services; veterinarians and animal shelters word-wide use the ISO standard.

ISO Standard Microchip? 

ISO compliant (11784 and 11785) microchips are 15 digits long.  The pet’s microchip ISO compatibility can be confirmed with the microchip manufacturer.

Not an ISO Standard Microchip? 

If the pet does not have an ISO compliant microchip:

The pet will need to travel with a microchip reader that can read the microchip OR contact the Veterinary Officials at the intended port of arrival to verify that they have a reader capable of reading the pet’s microchip.

OR

If a non-ISO compatible microchip was previously implanted and can still be read, then the Veterinarian can implant an ISO-compatible microchip in addition to the non-ISO one the pet currently has. The number and the date of implantation of both microchips must be documented on the Health Certificate.

When recording the “Date of implantation and/or reading [dd/mm/yyyy]” of the microchip/transponder on the health certificate, IT MUST BE ON OR BEFORE THE DATE OF THE PRIMARY RABIES VACCINATION. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated. 

If you have a microchip, ensure it is up to date an accurate for free at AAHA Microchip Lookup.

Read more about Microchips for Pets-Everything You Need to Know for Travel.


Pet Microchips are about the size of 2 Grains of Rice
Microchips are about the size of 2 Grains of Rice

NOW that you know how to avoid Quarantine, here’s a Step by Step Guide for everything else Hawaii Requires to bring your pet to Hawaii.


VETERINARIAN APPOINTMENT—1st Appointment

If you have a microchip, ensure it is up to date an accurate for free at AAHA Microchip Lookup

Your Pet Must have a Rabies Vaccine/Booster Vaccination and a FAVN/Titer Test.  This is done in two steps, FIRST the vaccine or booster and, SECOND, the Titer Test at the 2nd Veterinarian visit. (more about vet visit 2 below)

No other vaccines are required, The only vaccination that is a legal requirement to enter Hawaii is the rabies vaccination. In order to fly to Hawaii, your dog must have been vaccinated against rabies at least twice in his lifetime.

Your dog’s latest rabies vaccination must be administered no less than 30 days prior to arrival in Hawaii.

Pets must be vaccinated for Rabies less than 30 days and less than 36 months before entry to Hawaii.  This information is included in the pet’s microchip. If your pet was vaccinated for rabies before the microchip was implanted, you pet must be revaccinated.  The Rabies vaccine MUST occur the same day or after the microchip implant.


VETERINARIAN—2nd Appointment

Rabies Titer Test/FAVN.  This ensures the vaccination is effective and your pet has the antibodies. (Exception: New Zealand, British Isles, Australia).

A licensed veterinarian will take a sample of your dog’s blood and send it to the authorized laboratory for testing. The sample must be processed at 1 of 2 Labs: Kansas State University or DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas.

These laboratories process samples from all over the world. They are understaffed so, please get your sample taken as soon as possible. Your test is valid for 36 months.

TIP: Ensure your Veterinarian states your destination is Hawaii, so the Laboratory knows to send the results to Hawaii.

Within 24 hours of the Results of the Blood Test (not submission of the Sample:

  • Notice is sent to you via Email.
  • Results are sent to Hawaii Animal Quarantine Station in Hawaii.
  • The Results are available to your Veterinarian to Complete the Rabies Certificate and Health Certificate (more on that next).
  • The Results are Recorded on Your Pet’s Microchip. If you want to be certain the results have been recorded on your Pet’s microchip, Enter Your Chip Number at the Hawaii AQS Microchip Search HERE.

Once the results are returned, a Health Certificate will be completed.

Health Certificate Requirements

A licensed veterinarian must complete a Health Certificate for Hawaii in English. It must be an original, photocopies will not be accepted. This certificate must be issued by your veterinarian within 14 days of your dog’s arrival to Hawaii. USDA endorsement is not required when entering Hawaii from the mainland United States. Details of your Pet’s vaccination will be recorded here as well as on the microchip.


Next, GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS: 

You need 4 Documents: 

  • The Rabies Certificate (from the Veterinarian).
  • A Health Certificate obtained within 14 days of your arrival in Hawaii (from your Veterinarian).
  • An Import Certificate-A notarized Dog or Cat Import Form (AQS 279)
  • Flight Booking Information.

You must mail (no email) this documentation for approval to Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Branch.  To ensure it arrives and is sent back on time send via FEDEX or other “overnight” service. You will need these documents on arrival in Hawaii.

Send documents to: Animal Quarantine Branch, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 9670.

The documents must arrive 10 days prior to your dog’s arrival to qualify for same-day release and reduced fees (Fees are listed below). Again, since the documents must be processed within 14 days of your arrival, you must send them by an overnight carrier to qualify for airport Direct Release of your pet.

IMPORTANT TIP: YOU MUST schedule your flight to arrive no later than about 15:30 because it takes up to an hour to transport your pet to the Holding Facility and the Holding Facility ceases operation for the day at 17:00

If you do not arrive in time, your pet will spend the night in holding.  The Holding Facilities hours are 8:00 to 17:00 every day, including weekend and holidays.  If this happens, you MUST pick up your pet before 10:00 am or pay $59usd.


Dachshund Playing on Beach in Hawaii
Photo by Ion Ceban @ionelceban from Pexels

FEES:

Direct Airport Release$185 $244 if documents are not received by the Animal Quarantine Station at least 10 days prior to arrival
5 Day or Less$244
Neighbor Island Inspection Permit$165
Arriving early before eligible for 5 Day or Less$14.30/each day early + $244
Re-Entry Fee (if qualified)$98**
** The higher fee of $130 for each dog or cat released at the airport shall apply (instead of $98) when documents are not received by the Animal Quarantine Station 10 days or more before arrival (re-entry). This includes situations where documents are submitted on arrival for review and qualification purposes.
Hawaii State Gov’t Website

To reach the quarantine station staff, call (808) 483-7151 or email rabiesfree@hawaii.gov. They are very responsive!

Update: Expect Delays When Releasing Your Pet at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility COVID-19 mitigation procedures have increased the time for pet releases.

Delays happen if you do not submit your paperwork 10 days or more before arrival and have their documents reviewed at the AAQHF.


NOTICE: It may not be possible to release these Dogs if you did not follow the steps.  This is another reason why it is very important to book your flight to arrive before 1530pm so you have time to have your Dog release before the office closes at 1700pm.

Your Airline may require you fill out an Attestation of Health.  An Airline form (not Gov’t.) asserting that your pet is in good health. It is a simple, 1 page form the airline will give you at check in.


Pug Ready for Travel to Hawaii
Photo by Steshka Willems on Pexels.com

You may visit your pet during its quarantine at the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. 

TIP:  The best way to get in touch with Animal Quarantine Station is: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov but, here’s their phone:  808-483-7151.

Procedures to Visit your Pet in Hawaii Quarantine

Owners who have pets in quarantine, will abide by the following procedures to visit pets:

  • Mask or fabric Face Covering
  • Follow the 6’ spacing Social Distancing using Floor Markers
  • Visits may be limited to 15 minutes when at capacity
  • Check in at the window, no visiting is allowed by owners still under 14-day post-travel quarantine restrictions.
  • Submit Your Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 test taken within 7 days must be provided.
  • Receive a Visitor Pass
  • Three visitors maximum at one time (including children). If you have more than 3 visitors in your group, the remaining will wait outside and you must rotate visitors.
  • Visitors must remain in the Kennel with their Pet.
  • Violators to the Procedure will be asked to leave the premises and will not be allowed further visitation.

To reach the quarantine station staff, call (808) 483-7151 or email rabiesfree@hawaii.gov


Parasite Treatment (Ticks)

Within 14 days of arrival to Hawaii, your pet must be treated for ticks. 

Most pet owners can administer treatment themselves; however, it’s best to ask your veterinarian at one of the two visits about which is best for your pet. 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.

Topical Product Ingredients include:

Fipronil Imidacloprid

Permethrin Pyriproxyfen

Permethrin Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen

Permethrin Metaflumizone

Amitraz Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen Dinotefuran

Pyriproxyfen + PermethrinFipronil

Amitraz Indoxacarb

Permethrin Flumethrin

Imidacloprid

Sarolaner + Selemectin

The following list of active ingredients are accepted for tick treatment (oral products):

Fluralaner

Afoxolaner

Sarolaner

Lotilaner


TIPS to SEARCH FOR FLIGHT OPTIONS

But do not book immediately. Write down the airlines that travel to your destination and preferred routes. Maybe begin with your top 3 airlines flying your route to your destination.

a. When flying with a pet, your first choice or favorite may not be best or even available to allow your pet to travel. See more information: Pet Passport Page and How to Get a Pet Passport or Health Certificate for many Countries.

b. Each airline has different requirements. They all follow International Air Transport Association (IATA), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other regulatory agencies but each airline set their own requirements for carriers based on aircraft, cabin and seat selection.

c. Check each airline flying your route for their carrier size requirements.

d. NOTE THE FLIGHT NUMBERS FOR EACH POTENTIAL FIGHT/AIRLINE and call the airline DIRECTLY.

e. Ask IF each flight has space available for your pet and how many are left available to book. The reservationist can also help with finding alternative routes with available pet space.

f. It is not only a matter of whether there is a seat for you, each airline allows only a certain number of animals in cabin for each flight—not each seat. Just because you can book your seat, does not mean you can book your pet in that seat.

See also: How to Book Your Pet to Fly In Cabin


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HAWAII DIRECT RELEASE AND QUARANTINE

How Do I Get My Dog on Arrival at the Airport in Hawaii?

Your Airline will bring your Dog to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. If your pets was in-cabin, airline personnel will take them to the Holding Facility. The Holding Facility is located on the Ewa Service Road that runs between the Interisland Terminal and the Main Terminal.  Map to AAQHF

How Long Does it Take to Release My Dog for Hawaii’s Direct Release Program?

Generally, within 1 hour from the time the pet is received at our facility. Ensure you book a flight to arrive no later than 15:30 as the holding facility closes at 17:00. There will be a delay if you do not submit the original documents at least 10 days prior to arrival. If you are booking connecting flights, it is recommended that you allow at least 4 to 5 hours.

Can I Have Someone Else Pick Up My Dog at Hawaii’s Pet Release Holding Facility?

Yes, Two Ways are Available: List another person (adult) on the Form AQS-279 Dog and Cat Import Form and on the Shipmaster’s Declaration Form that is required by the airline if arriving via Cargo. Pets will not be released to anyone that is not listed on those forms. ID will be required.
You may also submit a notarized letter stating that your pet may be released to a specific individual.

What Happens if I am Not able to Pick Up My Dog at the Airport?

Pets that are not picked up under the Direct Release Program or under the 5 Day Or Less program will be taken to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. If a pet stays between 0 and 5 days, the cost will be $244. Fees for any additional days will be charged at $17.80 per day.

How Long is the FAVN or Rabies Titer Test Valid?

The FAVN or Rabies Titer Test result is valid for 36 months from the day the blood was received at the laboratory.

How Can I Pay the Fees for Hawaii’s Direct Release Program?

You may pay the fees at the airport by VISA, Mastercard, travelers check or cash. For faster processing at the airport, payment by cashier’s check or money order may be sent in more than 10 days prior to the pet’s arrival. Payment must be made in the exact amount and submitted with Form AQS-279 Dog and Cat Import Form to ensure proper credit.

You can see these requirements for entry and quarantine including the 5 Day or Less at Hawaii Quarantine Information Page.

Published by Stephanie Fling

Everything Pet Travel Related by Air, Sea and Land.

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