For many of us, our pets are not just family members – they are our lives. They are our children, parents and friends, each with their own individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. Most of the time, we choose not to travel because our pets can join us. But what about Hawaii?
Hawaii is something special. It’s often called paradise and some visitors make this trip their once-in-a-lifetime. So wouldn’t you want your pet to join in on this magical moment, too?
Hoping this helps you out!
Avoid The Worst Situation!
Any of this information can change at anytime so make sure to do your own research regarding bringing your pet to Hawaii. The last thing you want is to be relying on outdated information when the consequences are 120 days in quarantine or even worse, confiscation!
The Three Options
- Direct airport release
- 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program
- 120 Day Quarantine
In most cases, as long as you plan ahead, you should be able to avoid the 120 day quarantine. And, if you qualify for the 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program, then you might as well qualify for direct airport release as well if you or someone you trust can pick your pet up.
Tip: Have a guide or service dog? Learn how to get your guide/service dog into Hawaii without going into quarantine here.
5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program
Here’s the State of Hawaii Checklist for 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program.
Here are the 7 basic steps that you’ll need to complete. Keep in mind that many of these are time sensitive and include several steps.
1. Rabies Vaccination
3. OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test
4. Waiting Period
6. Submission of Documents
7. Direct Airport Release/Animal Pick Up
Need more info? Check out the State of Hawaii brochure for more information on Hawaii’s rabies quarantine programs.
Or, visit the FAQs for answers to common questions.
Local Tip: Hawai’i Life Real Estate’s Bringing Pets To Hawaii Guide – Hawai’i Life has a beautiful article and guide on how to bring pets into Hawaii. You may even find it easier to understand than the State of Hawaii’s guide! But remember to cross check all information to make sure you have the most updated requirements.
Important Forms And Helpful Resources
State of Hawaii checklist for direct release at Kona (Big Island), Kahului (Maui) and Lihue (Kauai) airports.
State of Hawaii checklist for resident pets leaving and returning to Hawaii under 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program.
State of Hawaii checklist for pets coming from rabies free zones.
Map for the HNL Animal Quarantine Office – Honolulu International Airport.
Why Is Hawaii's Quarantine Program So Strict?
By now you’re probably wondering – why is there so much paperwork??
The big reason is RABIES. Hawaii is still rabies-free and we’d like to remain that way. Especially with so many native animals living here, the last thing any animal lover would want is for a rabies epidemic to arrive in Hawaii.
You also may be thinking: I understand why no alligators/wolf dogs/piranhas, but why can’t I bring my ferret/hamster/gerbil? They’re harmless!
The simple answer is that Hawaii has a long and usually painful history with animals introduced to Hawaii. Problems like predators preying on endangered animals, native plants being suffocated out of the forests and even some animals going extinct.
Why Are So Many Animals And Plants Not Allowed In Hawaii?
We’re in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and due to our isolation, Hawaii is home to many native plants and animals that often can’t be found anywhere else but here. With no natural defenses, our plants and animals are helpless when invasive species make their way through Hawaii.
In fact, each new animal and plant that have been introduced to the islands (whether intentionally or not) has had devastating consequences on our unique ecosystem here.
Here are some current invasive species crises we’ve been going through:
- Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle – You’ve seen these huge black beetles on TV before. They’ve been making their mark in Hawaii by burrowing into coconut trees. Hawaii can’t really be an island paradise without coconut trees, can it?
- Mongoose – Here’s a funny one. These guys were actually introduced intentionally in the hopes of bringing Hawaii’s rat population down. Natural enemies…makes sense, right? Unfortunately, they realized too late that the two never meet since rats are active at night…Now we have 2 predators eating our native bird eggs and sea turtle eggs.
- Brown Tree Snake – This snake has been a major problem for a long time. I remember the TV commercials about them when I was a kid asking everyone to report any Brown Tree Snake sighting. They’re responsible for the extinction of 9 out of 13 birds here!
Important Sites, Numbers and Contact Info
The State of Hawaii Animal Quarantine Information Page – The best starting point out there. Forms, checklists and FAQs are available for you to check out. They also provide their contact information so that you can get any of your questions and concerns answered.
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: (808) 483-7151
Local Tip: Hawaii is very strict on all the paperwork – get started early. But, be cautious of the timing of some of the vaccinations, medications, etc. as a few of them need to be done within a certain time frame of the pet’s departure.
Island Pet Movers – If you want to take the worry out of wondering if you’re doing everything correctly, contact this local company to get your pet safely over.
Email: [email protected]
Phone Number: (808) 783-8419
Maui Humane Society Quarantine Page – For those of you headed to Maui or other islands after arriving in Oahu, you’ll want to check this page for additional forms and information.
Hawaiian Humane Society – Located on Oahu, this is Hawaii’s biggest resource for animal lovers. They have information on almost anything you can think of and can point you in the right direction.