FAQ for Animal Quarantine

  1. Why does Hawaii have a quarantine for dogs, cats and carnivores?
  2. How much does it cost to quarantine my pet?
  3. How do I qualify my dog or cat for the 5-day-or-less program?
  4. What if my pet arrives in Hawaii before the required waiting period has elapsed?
  5. How will I know if my pet passed the OIE-FAVN test?
  6. Are there any exemptions to the quarantine?
  7. What is the procedure when my pet arrives in Honolulu?
  8. Can I visit my pet after it arrives at the airport?
  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?
  10. Is my pet allowed to fly with me in the passenger cabin of the airplane?
  11. Can I send my pet prior to my arrival in Honolulu?
  12. If I am not in Hawaii, can I designate someone else to look in on my pet?
  13. Where is the Animal Quarantine Station?
  14. When can I visit my pet while it is in quarantine?
  15. Can anyone visit my pet in quarantine?
  16. How large are the kennels?
  17. Can my pets be housed together?
  18. Can my pets be together during visitation?
  19. What do I have to do for my pet to be quarantined under the 120-day program?
  20. Can my pet be quarantined on Kauai, Maui or the Big Island?
  21. My pet has a medical condition that would be aggravated by quarantine confinement. What options are available?
  22. My pet is arriving from a foreign country, what are the requirements?
  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?

ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

Hawaii is the only state that is rabies-free. It is important that we maintain that status. The introduction of rabies would have dire circumstances, not only for public health, but would have an adverse affect on Hawaii’s unique eco-system, tourism, as well as local lifestyle.

Because Hawaii is rabies free, resident pets are not required to be vaccinated for rabies. Should rabies become established in the state, animal and human health programs and rabies disease control programs would be very costly for the citizens of the entire state.

To prevent rabies from entering the state, the current law requires that dogs, cats and carnivores complete either the 120-day or 5-day-or-less rabies quarantine. The law also requires that entire cost of the rabies quarantine program be paid by the users of the quarantine facility. General funds (taxpayer funds) may not be used to run this program.

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

The 120-day quarantine program costs $1,080 per pet.
The 5-day-or-less quarantine program costs $224 per pet.
The direct release program costs $165 per pet.

There are no discounts for multiple pets. The law requires that the program be self-sustaining and paid solely by the users of quarantine.

The U.S. Department of Defense may reimburse active duty military members with dogs or cats up to $550 per family for quarantine expenses. Military members should check with their command on whether this allotment is available to them.

Prices are subject to change.

3. How do I qualify my dog or cat for the 5-day-or-less quarantine? back to top

There are several pre-shipment requirements that must be completed to qualify for the 5-day-or-less quarantine (for more detailed information, please see the Rabies Quarantine Brochure):

  1. The pet must have been administered at least two (2) rabies vaccines in its lifetime. The second vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days after the first vaccination.

    In addition, the most recent vaccination must have been given no less than 90 days, and no more than 12 months prior to arrival in Hawaii for 12-month licensed vaccines and no less than 90 days and no more than 36 months prior to arrival in Hawaii for 3-year licensed vaccines;

  2. The pet should be microchipped for identification. The microchip is required to identify the pet with the blood sample;
  3. A blood sample must be sent to an approved laboratory for the OIE-Flourescent Antibody Serum Neutralization Test (OIE-FAVN), which tests for the adequate response to the rabies vaccine. A test result >0.5 IU/ml is required; and
  4. The pet must complete the required waiting period from the date the laboratory receives the blood sample before it may enter the state under the following programs:
    • 5-day-or-less quarantine – requires 120-day pre-arrival waiting period.

If the pre-arrival requirements are not met, then the pet will not qualify for the program and must complete a more lengthy quarantine program.

See FAQs for the 5-day-or-less program.

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

If your pet arrives before the required waiting period has elapsed, your pet will not qualify for the shorter quarantine program.  Your pet must remain in quarantine until it has completed the 120-day waiting period after passing an OIE-FAVN rabies serological test.  Your pet must also remain in quarantine until at least 90 days has passed after the most recent rabies vaccination.  You will be charged $14.30 for each day in quarantine, plus $224 in these situation.

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

The laboratories send the test results directly to the Animal Quarantine Station and to your veterinarian. In most cases, your veterinarian will have the results before the quarantine station can post it on the department’s website at:  http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-microchip-search/

The website will also indicate the earliest date your pet can enter Hawaii and qualify for the 5-day-or- less quarantine based on the 120-day waiting period.  Be aware that the two required rabies vaccinations must also be in compliance for a pet to qualify for the 5-day-or-less program.

The website is updated weekly; although during peak periods or staffing shortages, the interval between updates may be as long as three or four weeks. If you are anxious to learn of the results, you may ask you veterinarian’s office to contact you when the results are received.

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

The law allows exemption to quarantine confinement for:

  •  Guide dogs for the blind and certified service dogs for the disabled. Guide and service dogs must complete pre-shipment requirements including having a current rabies vaccination, passing an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test prior to arrival in Hawaii with > 0.5 IU/ml and certification. For more information on guide and service dogs, go to the website at: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/guide-service-dogs/.
  •  Dogs and cats from New Zealand, Australia, Guam and the British Isles. To import a dog or cat from these specific rabies-free areas to Hawaii, an import permit number is not required. However, if the exporting country requires an import permit number before they export a pet to Hawaii, call the Animal Quarantine Station at (808) 483-7151 or e-mail a message to: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov

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

Honolulu is the only port of entry for all animals. All animals must arrive in Honolulu for inspection and quarantine.

Dogs and cats arriving in Honolulu will be taken from the aircraft by airline personnel and delivered to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. Pets are taken out of their carriers and placed in indoor kennels and provided with fresh water. Food may be provided at owner’s request.

Pets arriving during the day are transferred to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley on one of two van runs each day. If your pet arrives after 3:00 p.m. it will spend the night at the airport facility and will be transferred to the main Animal Quarantine Station the next morning.

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

If you are concerned about how your pet endured the flight, brief visual inspection of your pet is allowed at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. The office is located at the Ewa Service Road that runs between the interisland terminal and the main terminal.

Owners may also call the airport facility for an update on their pet. The phone number is (808) 837-8092. The facility is staffed 24-hours a day.

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

Pets in transit must stay in quarantine for the duration of your stay. The airline will bring the pet from the airplane to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility and the pet will be transferred to the main Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa Valley. Your pet will also require a health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian within 14 days prior to arrival in Honolulu.

The cost per pet is currently $45 administrative fees, plus $14.30 per day for food and kenneling.

You may pay for the fees at the Airport office or you may go to the main Quarantine Station the day after you arrive and pay the fees by cash, VISA or MasterCard, or travelers check.

Be sure that the staff knows your departure information at least 72-hours prior to your departure so the pet can be brought back to the airport in time for your flight. Remind the airline to pick up your pet when you check in at the airport.

If your pet is laying over in Honolulu for a period less than 24 hours, you must call the Animal Port in advance of your arrival to schedule them to house your pet. The phone number for Animal Port is (808) 833-2049 or (808) 946-2187 ext. 2. Animal Port is a service provided by the Hawaiian Humane Society and is not affiliated with the State Animal Quarantine program.

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

The Department of Agriculture does not have any regulation regarding where pets fly within the aircraft. It is totally up to each airline’s policy. The airline is required by law to bring all incoming animals directly from the plane to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility.

Animals still under quarantine which are transiting from the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility to an approved outer island satellite quarantine facility or approved veterinary hospital are not permitted to fly in-cabin. If medical issues require this, special arrangements will need to be made with the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility to arrange for an inspector to accompany the animal in this instance.

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

You do not have to be present when your pet arrives. Label your pet’s airline carrier with the full names of the owner and any co-owner. Include complete addresses and phone numbers to be used in case of emergency.

A notarized Dog and Cat Import Form (AQS-278) should be sent ahead of your pet’s arrival so that the information will be on file. Only the name(s) appearing on the Shipmaster’s Declaration form will be recognized as the legal owners of your pet for the purposes of quarantine.

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

You may designate someone in Hawaii to be responsible for your pet by listing them as a co-owner on the Dog and Cat Import Form (AQS-278). This authorizes the person to visit the pet and to act on the owner’s behalf.

You may also send a notarized letter to the Animal Quarantine Station authorizing a person to visit your pet. Please include the ID number of this person in the letter.

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

The Animal Quarantine Station is located in Halawa Valley at 99-951 Halawa Valley Street. The phone number is: (808) 483-7151. The fax number is: (808) 483-7161

For information about bus transportation to the facility, call The Bus at 848-5555.

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

Visiting hours at the quarantine station are:

Tuesdays, Thursdays: 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(The station is closed for visitation on state holidays, Mondays and Fridays)

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

No. Only registered owners or designated co-owners will be allowed to visit your pet, including designated handlers. An AQS-issued visitor pass must be obtained and a valid photo identification must be presented at each visit.

All visits are strictly in the kennel. You may not remove your pet from the kennel.

16. How large are the kennels? back to top

Dogs are assigned according to their size. Kennels are about 6 feet wide and vary in length from 14 feet (small dogs) to 25 feet (large dogs) and are seven feet high. Each kennel has a run in front and a completely sheltered area in the back.

Cat kennels are about 5 feet wide and 10 feet long and include platforms, a completely sheltered area and a catwalk.

Each dog and cat kennel contains a bench for visitor seating.

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

Pets are housed separately in order for staff to monitor feeding and elimination of each pet.

Pets of the same species may be housed together if the owner accepts full responsibility for the daily feeding, cleaning, health monitoring, medicating and grooming of their pets during quarantine. Persons agreeing to provide “Complete Care” must attend to their pet’s needs seven days a week. (See brochure for more information)

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

Owners may be authorized to move their pets to the same kennel during regular afternoon visits under the Multiple Pet Visitation (MPV) program. The owner must attend MVP orientation session and submit the MPV Visitation Request Form to the veterinary staff for approval. Pets must be of the same species.

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

Your pet will need to have a health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian within 14 days prior to your pet’s arrival in Honolulu. Your pet should also have a record of a current rabies and standard vaccinations against common infectious diseases, be free of parasites, treated for ticks and external parasites. (See brochure for details on specific vaccinations).

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

There are two satellite quarantine stations on the neighbor islands. Owners must make prior arrangements with these privately run facilities.

Kauai: Kauai Humane Society
P.O. Box 3330
Lihue, HI 96766
Phone: (808) 632-0610

Big Island: Bar-King Dog Kennel
P.O. Box 1184
Keaau, HI 96749
Phone: (808) 966-8733

There are no satellite facility on Maui, Molokai or Lanai. However, there are approved animal hospitals on Maui, Big Island and Kauai where pets may be quarantined.

Honolulu is the only port of entry for ALL animals. Your pet must first come to the Animal Quarantine Station on Oahu for positive identification and examination. Pets usually stay in Honolulu at least two* days before being transferred. (* Due to limited number of inter-island flights, pets arriving on Thursday or Friday may not be transferred until the following Monday.)  In addition to the fees charged by the satellite facilities, there are also fees that are must be paid to the state prior to the pet being transferred to the satellite facility.

  • 120-day quarantine costs – approximately $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 may request that your pet be quarantined in an approved animal hospital.

Owners are responsible for making arrangements with their preferred animal hospital.  A listing of animal hospitals approved to accept pets under quarantine is available on the department’s website, click here.

Similar to procedures for pets going to satellite quarantine facilities, pets approved to complete quarantine in animal hospitals must also arrive in Honolulu first to complete entry requirements and will usually be transported to the animal hospital in about two days after applicable fees are paid.

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

Only pets arriving from the British Isles, Australia, Guam and New Zealand may qualify for exempt status.  Click here for Checklist for Pets Arriving from British Isles, Australia, Guam  and New Zealand.  All other pets must qualify under one of the other programs or complete the 120-day program.

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

Owners wishing to leave the State of Hawaii with their pets, and return without extended quarantine, must meet all the requirements listed for resident dogs and cats originating from Hawaii and returning for the 5-day-or-less quarantine program. The major difference for resident pets is in the requirements for the second, most recent rabies vaccination and successful rabies blood test. In addition, pet owners must submit the original health certificate issued by their veterinarian before departure from Hawaii that contains the pet’s Hawaii address and date of departure.

To insure that important entry requirements are not overlooked, please use the:

CHECKLIST ONLY FOR RESIDENT DOGS AND CATS ORIGINATING FROM HAWAII AND RETURNING FOR THE 5-DAY-OR-LESS PROGRAM