Moving to Hawaii with Pets
If you’re moving to Hawaii with your pet – specifically your dogs, cats (and other carnivores) – you’ll need to take note of Hawaii’s strict Animal Quarantine laws. And they are strict. You see, Hawaii is the only “Rabies-free” state in the U.S., and they work hard to keep it that way. No exceptions.
As long as you’ve met all requirements spelled out by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, your pet should be allowed release upon arrival at the airport, or within five days of arrival. This is called the 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine Program. If you fail to meet the requirements, your pet will be subject to quarantine for up to 120 days. My recommendation: plan ahead and make sure all requirements are met plenty of time in advance.
Here’s where to start:
The first thing you should do if you’re moving to Hawaii with pets is get a copy of the Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Information Brochure. You can print one here. If you have questions about any of the requirements, email RabiesFree@hawaii.gov or visit www.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/info for more detailed information.
Here are a few things you’ll want to be aware of:
Rabies Vaccinations are Required: Your pet must have had at least two rabies vaccines in its lifetime. The second must have been administered no less than 30 days after the first, and the most recent 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 for 3-year licensed vaccines.
A Microchip is Required: All dogs and cats must have a working, implanted electronic microchip. This is required to identify the pet with the blood sample. Contact your vet for more information on micro-chips.
A OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test is Required: Your vet must send a blood sample from your pet to an approved lab (either Kansas State University or the DOD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas) for the OIE-Flourescent Antibody Serum Neutralization Test, which tests for the adequate response to the rabies vaccine. A test result of > 0.5 IU/ml is required.
A Waiting Period is Mandatory: The waiting period begins following a successful OIE-FAVN test result. The 5:-Day-Or-Less Quarantine requires that your pet wait 120 days before entering the state. Arriving before the 120-day waiting period is complete will disqualify your pet(s) from 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine or Airport Release.
To determine whether your pet passed the OIE-FAVN test, check the Animal Quarantine Station’s website at /hdoa/organization/animal-ind/ai_aqs/microchip/. The website will indicate the earliest date your pet can enter Hawaii and qualify for the 5-Day-Or-Less Quarantine (you’ll need the pet’s microchip number to do this). You can also check with your vet’s office; often they’ll receive the results before the Animal Quarantine Station adds it to the site.
Keep in mind that Honolulu is the only port of entry for animals – they must arrive here for inspection and quarantine. Once they arrive at the airport, they’re taken from the aircraft by airline personnel and delivered to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. They’ll be taken out of their carriers and placed in indoor kennels. They are given fresh water, and food may be provided at your request. If they arrive during the day, they’re transferred to the main station in Halawa Valley. If they arrive after 3:00 p.m., they will spend the night at the airport facility and will be transferred to the main Animal Quarantine Station the next morning.
While moving to Hawaii with pets is unlike moving to any other state, if you take the time to make sure all of the requirements are met, you should get to meet up with your pal in no time.For information on how U-Pack can help you move your household belongings to Hawaii, call 800-413-4799. Our moving consultants will gladly help!