Special Hawaii Rules

Unless you're crossing national borders, you don't usually need to worry about special restrictions on taking your dog with you. But if you want to take your pet for a tropical vacation, you need to know that Hawaii quarantines all dogs - except guide and service dogs that meet certain require-ments - when they enter the state.

The current quarantine period is 120 days, 30 days, or up to five days, depending on what rabies testing is done before the dog arrives in Hawaii.

To qualify for the five-days-or-less quarantine,

  • the dog must have received at least two rabies vaccinations, not less than three months apart, the most recent one between 90 days and a year before arriving in Hawaii
  • the dog must have had a microchip identification implanted by a veterinarian, and
  • a blood sample, identified by the microchip ID number, must have been tested for rabies antibodies 120 days to 18 months before the dog arrives in the state.

There are many detailed rules about what paperwork is required and when fees must be paid. Make sure you get all the information you need well in advance - keep in mind that there's a 120-day waiting period after the blood test - so that the process goes smoothly.

Not only do you have to give up your pet, you have to pay for it: the current cost is $1,080 for 120 days, $655 for 30 days, or $224 for five days or less, payable when the dog arrives in Honolulu. Airlines deliver pets directly to a state holding facility, and the state takes them to the quarantine station on the island of Oahu. Dogs are kept in individual outdoor runs. Owners can visit their dogs during afternoon visiting hours but cannot take the animals out of the kennel.

State officials stress that it's important for owners to arrange, in advance, for a private animal hospital to provide emergency veterinary care. The quarantine center handles minor ailments, but it does not have facilities for major medical problems. Unless a veterinary hospital has agreed in advance to accept an ill pet, the state will not take the animal to a private hospital.

Special Rules for Assistance Dogs

Different rules apply to assistance dogs, as a result of a lawsuit by guide dog users.7 If you meet certain requirements, you can keep your dog with you after only a brief examination in the Honolulu airport. Before you go, you must:

  • Get a letter from a physician setting out your disability, unless your dog is a guide dog.
  • Get an ID card or certificate that shows that the dog was trained at a specialized school.
  • Have an identifying microchip implanted in the dog.
  • Make sure your dog's rabies vaccination is current, and have documentation.
  • Have the dog undergo a blood test for rabies.
  • Get a health certificate issued within two weeks before arrival.
  • Notify the animal quarantine station at least 24 hours before you arrive, so they'll be ready to take an immediate blood sample from the dog when you get there.

When the dog arrives in Honolulu, airline personnel will take it to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. There, the quarantine officials will examine the paperwork and the dog. If everything is in order, you should be able to leave, with your dog, in about 15 to 20 minutes.


Animal Quarantine Station 99-951 Halawa Valley Street Aiea, Hawaii 96701 808-483-7151 www.hawaiiag.org email: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov

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