Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Animal Quarantine

Updated on April 16, 2023

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Why does Hawaii have a quarantine for dogs, cats and carnivores?back to top

Rabies does not exist in any other US state save Hawaii. The upkeep of that standing is crucial. An introduction of rabies would have devastating consequences for Hawaii’s unique ecosystem, tourism industry, and native way of life, among other things.

Residents’ pets don’t need rabies shots because the state of Hawaii doesn’t have a rabies problem. If rabies were to spread throughout the state, it would have a significant financial impact on both animal and human health initiatives, as well as disease prevention efforts.

Dogs, cats, and carnivores are required by law to undergo either a 120-day or 5 Day Or Less rabies quarantine to prevent the spread of rabies inside the state. Users of a rabies quarantine facility are required by law to cover the full cost of the program. This initiative is not permitted to use general money (taxpayer dollars).

2. How much does it cost to quarantine my pet? back to top

The price of the mandatory 120-day quarantine is $1,080 per animal.
Priced at $244, the 5 Day Or Less Quarantine program is ideal for pet owners who want to minimize the stress of a long quarantine.
There is a one-time fee of $185 for each animal participating in the direct release program.

Multiple pets are not eligible for a discount. To comply with legal requirements, the program must be self-sufficient and funded entirely by those who benefit from quarantine.

Quarantine costs for dogs and cats owned by active duty military members may be covered, up to a maximum of $550 per family, by the United States Department of Defense. Members of the armed forces who are interested in this allocation should verify its availability with their chain of command.

All prices are subject to change without notice.

3. How do I qualify my dog or cat for the 5 Day Or Less quarantine? back to top

Qualifying for the 5 Day Or Less Quarantine requires that certain pre-shipment requirements be met (for further information, see the Rabies Quarantine Brochure).

The animal must have received at least two (2) rabies vaccinations. The second shot had better have been given 30 days following the first.

More specifically, for 12-month licensed vaccines, the most recent vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days and no more than 12 months prior to arrival in Hawaii, and for 3-year licensed vaccines, the most recent vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days and no more than 36 months prior to arrival in Hawaii.

The animal needs to be microchipped so that it may be properly identified. The blood sample must be sent to a certified lab for the OIE-Flourescent Antibody Serum Neutralization Test (OIE-FAVN), which determines whether or not the pet’s immune system properly responded to the rabies vaccine. The following programs require a test result of >0.5 IU/ml; and The pet must fulfill the required waiting period from the moment the laboratory receives the blood sample before entering the state.
There is a thirty day waiting time before arrival if the quarantine period is less than five days.
Pets who do not meet the pre-arrival conditions will be required to go through a longer quarantine period.

Check out the 5 Day Or Less FAQs for more information.

4. What if my pet arrives in Hawaii before the required waiting period has elapsed? back to top

Your pet will not be eligible for the shorter quarantine program if you bring it in before the required waiting period has passed. Once your pet has passed an OIE-FAVN rabies serological test, it must remain in quarantine for 120 days. After getting your pet vaccinated against rabies, you’ll need to keep it in quarantine for at least 90 days. In this case, you will be charged $14.30 per day in quarantine in addition to the initial $244 fee.

5. How will I know if my pet passed the OIE-FAVN test? back to top

The labs will forward the findings of your pet’s tests straight to the Animal Quarantine Station and your vet. Most of the time, your vet will know the results before the quarantine station posts them on the department website at /hdoa/organization/animal-ind/ai aqs/microchip/. Assuming a 120-day waiting period, the website will also show you the earliest date your pet can visit Hawaii and be eligible for the 5 Day Or Less quarantine. It’s important to remember that in order for a pet to participate in the 5 Day Or Less program, both of the mandatory rabies vaccines must be up to date.

Website content is typically updated every week, though updates may be delayed by up to three or four weeks during high-volume times or staffing shortages. It is possible to request that the veterinarian’s office get in touch with you as soon as the results are in.

6. Are there any exemptions to the quarantine? back to top

Exemptions from mandatory quarantine confinement are provided by law for the following situations:

Certified service dogs for the disabled and guide dogs for the visually impaired. Before they can be shipped to Hawaii, guide and service dogs need to be certified as having a titer of > 0.5 IU/ml on an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test. To learn more about guide and service dogs, check out the resources at /hdoa/organization/animal-ind/ai aqs/guidedog/.

Cats and dogs from the United Kingdom, Australia, Guam, and New Zealand. A valid import permit number is not needed to bring a dog or cat from one of these rabies-free regions to Hawaii. Call the Animal Quarantine Station at (808) 483-7151 or send an email to rabiesfree@hawaii.gov if the country of origin requires an import permission number prior to shipping a pet to Hawaii.

7. What is the procedure when my pet arrives in Honolulu? back to top

All animals must enter the country through Honolulu. Honolulu is the designated inspection and quarantine location for all animals.

Airline employees will remove canine and feline passengers from their flights and transport them to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility upon arrival in Honolulu. The animals are unloaded from their carriers and put into climate-controlled kennels where they are given food and drink. At the landlord’s request, we can supply some food.

There are two daily van runs that transport daytime pet arrivals to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. Your pet will spend the night at the airport facility if you bring it in after 3:00 p.m., and the next morning it will be taken to the main Animal Quarantine Station.

8. Can I visit my pet after it arrives at the airport? back to top

Those who are worried about how their pets fared on the flight are welcome to visit the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility for a quick visual inspection. The office can be found on Ewa Service Road, which connects the main terminal to the interisland terminal. (Directions to the Airport Complex Map)

The airport facility can provide owners updates on their pets by phone. Call (808) 837-8092 to reach the establishment. Security personnel are on duty at all times.

9. I am transiting through Hawaii to another destination and will vacation in Hawaii for a short period with my dog/cat. What do I do? back to top

The quarantine period lasts as long as your pet is in transportation. Transported by the airline to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility before being taken to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley, the animal will undergo quarantine there. Additional documentation including a health certificate obtained by a licensed veterinarian within 14 days of your arrival in Honolulu is required.

At this time, it costs $45 for administrative fees plus $14.30 a day for food and boarding for each pet.

You can pay the costs in cash, VISA, MasterCard, or a travelers check at the Airport office, or you can pay them the day after you arrive at the main Quarantine Station.

If you want your pet returned to the airport in time for your journey, make sure the staff knows at least 72 hours in advance. At the time of check-in, be sure to remind the airline that they need to pick up your pet.

10. Is my pet allowed to fly with me in the passenger cabin of the airplane? back to top

There are no restrictions on where pets can sit aboard airplanes set by the USDA. There is no universal rule; airline policy varies widely. All arriving animals must be taken straight from the plane to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility, as per legal mandate.

Quarantined animals that are being transported from the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility to a satellite quarantine facility on an eligible outer island or an approved veterinary hospital are not allowed to fly in the cabin. If the animal needs to be accompanied by an inspector due to medical concerns, specific arrangements must be made with the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility.

11. Can I send my pet prior to my arrival in Honolulu? back to top

If you can’t be there when your pet gets there, don’t worry. Include both your name and the name of anyone else who will be responsible for your pet’s welfare on the airline container. Don’t forget to provide all of the necessary contact information in case of an emergency.

To ensure that your pet’s details are on file, you should submit an AQS-279 Dog and Cat Import Form well in advance of your arrival. For the purposes of quarantine, only the name(s) listed on the Shipmaster’s Declaration form will be considered the lawful owners of your pet.

12. If I am not in Hawaii, can I designate someone else to look in on my pet? back to top

By adding a co-name owner’s on the Dog and Cat Import Form, you can assign someone in Hawaii to take care of your pet while you’re away (AQS-279). A visit to the pet and any subsequent actions on behalf of the owner are now permitted under these terms.

A notarized letter granting someone access to your pet at the Animal Quarantine Station is another option. If writing to this person, make sure to provide their identification number.

13. Where is the Animal Quarantine Station? back to top

To reach the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley, go to 99-951 Halawa Valley Street. Please dial (808) 483-7151 to reach the designated office. (808) 483-7161 is the fax number.

Inquire at (848) 848-5555 or visit The Bus’s website for details on how to get to the facility via bus.

14. When can I visit my pet while it is in quarantine?back to top

The quarantine center’s visiting times are as follows:

Hours: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Time: 1:00 PM – 5:30 PM on Wednesdays.
Open from noon on Sundays and 3:00 on Saturdays.

(Visitors cannot enter the station on Mondays, Fridays, or state holidays.)

15. Can anyone visit my pet in quarantine? back to top

Your pet’s designated handler, along with only the registered owners or co-owners, will be allowed to visit your pet. All visitors are required to obtain an AQS visitor pass and present government-issued photo identification at each and every visit.

Any and all visits must take place inside the kennel. You are not permitted to take your pet out of the kennel.

16. How large are the kennels? back to top

Sizing up the dog population and making assignments. Kennels are on average 6 feet wide, 14 to 25 feet long (depending on the size of the dog), and 7 feet high. There is a run in front of each kennel, and in the back, the animals are completely protected from the elements.

Kennels for cats are about 5 feet wide and 10 feet long and feature multiple levels, a covered walkway, and a platform for the cats to roam.

A bench is provided next to each dog and cat kennel so that guests can take a seat.

17. Can my pets be housed together? back to top

Animals are housed individually so that caretakers can keep tabs on their eating and elimination habits.

If the owner is willing to take full responsibility for their pets’ daily needs during quarantine, including feeding, cleaning, health monitoring, medication, grooming, and more, then pets of the same species may be housed together. Those who commit to “Complete Care” for their pets are obligated to provide round-the-clock attention. (Please see the brochure for details.)

18. Can my pets be together during visitation? back to top

If their pets are enrolled in the Multiple Pet Visitation (MPV) program, their owners may be allowed to bring all of their pets to the same kennel for afternoon visits. It is the responsibility of the owner to submit the MPV Visitation Request Form to the veterinary staff for approval after attending the MVP orientation session. Animal companions must be from the same species.

19. What do I have to do for my pet to be quarantined under the 120-day program? back to top

A veterinary health certificate issued within 14 days of your pet’s arrival in Honolulu is required. Parasite-free, with a current record of tick and external parasite treatment, your pet’s health is a top priority. For information on specific immunizations, please refer to the brochure.

20. Can my pet be quarantined on Kauai, Maui or the Big Island? back to top

Two additional quarantine outposts can be found on the nearby islands. The facility’s owners require owners to make prior arrangements.

Postal Service Box 3330 Lihue, Hawaii 96766 Telephone: (808) 632-0610 Kauai Humane Society

Bar-King Dog Kennel, PO Box 1184, Keaau, HI 96749, (808) 966-8733, is located on the Big Island.

Maui, Molokai, and Lanai do not host any kind of satellite facility. However, pets may be quarantined at approved animal hospitals on the islands of Maui, Big Island, and Kauai.

Satellite kennel pets must report to the Animal Quarantine Station on Oahu for positive identification and an examination before they can be transferred to the main facility. Animals typically spend two* days in Honolulu before being shipped elsewhere. (*Pets arriving on Thursdays or Fridays may have to wait until Monday to be transferred due to a lack of available inter-island flights.)

Pet owners must make a monetary donation to the Animal Quarantine Station before their animals can be moved to the off-site veterinary clinic. Further, proprietors must foot the bill for any charges levied by a satellite facility.

The estimated cost of a 120-day quarantine is $136. (in addition to satellite station fees)

21. My pet has a medical condition that would be aggravated by quarantine confinement. What options are available? back to top

You have the option of having your pet placed in quarantine at a veterinary clinic that meets certain requirements.

The onus of making arrangements with a preferred animal hospital rests with the owner. Quarantine facilities that have been approved to take in pets

Pets that have been approved for quarantine in animal hospitals must first arrive in Honolulu to complete entry requirements, and once the necessary fees have been paid, they will be transported to the animal hospital within about two days.

22. My pet is arriving from a foreign country, what are the requirements? back to top

In order for your pet to be exempt, it must be traveling from the United Kingdom, Australia, Guam, or New Zealand. Incoming Pets from the United Kingdom, Australia, Guam, and New Zealand Checklist. For all other pets, either the 90-day or 120-day program must be completed before they are considered.

23.   I live in Hawaii and want to take my resident pet out of Hawaii for vacation and return.  What do I do so my pet does not have to go through quarantine upon returning to Hawaii? back to top

The requirements for resident dogs and cats originating from Hawaii and returning for the 5-day-or-less quarantine program must be met in order for owners to leave the State of Hawaii with their pets and return without extended quarantine. The key distinction concerns the necessity of a second, up-to-date rabies vaccination and a positive rabies blood test for pets living in the home. Owners must also present the original health certificate issued by their veterinarian that includes the pet’s Hawaii address and date of departure.

Use the following to make sure you don’t forget any steps in the application process:

Third Checklist: Specifically for Hawaii-Born Dogs and Cats Returning to Honolulu for the 5 Day or Less Program

In Hawaii, dogs and cats can request direct airport release at Kona, Kahului, and Lihue. This is the only checklist required for pets leaving the state.

24.   My pet will transit through Hawaii to a foreign country. What needs to be done?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) is the federal agency in charge of regulating the international transport of pets. Following is a link to the USDA-APHIS Import/Export Agency website, where you can learn about specific country import requirements:

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel

Here is how to get in touch with the Hawaii Veterinary Services Endorsement Office:

Email: HI.Import.Export.Services@usda.gov Phone: 808-838-2854 Address: 3375 Koapaka Street, Suite H420 Honolulu, HI 96819

When it comes to international pet travel, the Animal Quarantine Station, which is a state agency, has no say. When shipping a pet internationally from the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Station, owners must have the animal examined by a private veterinarian in order to comply with the import regulations of the country to which the pet is being shipped.

A private veterinary clinic will work with you and your pet to ensure that all sampling, testing, and treatments are completed in time for international travel. Private veterinarians will also coordinate with USDA-APHIS to get international certificates endorsed, if that’s something the importing country needs. This is not a service provided by the Animal Quarantine Station.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment