Here are some helpful steps in bringing your beloved cat or dog into Hawaii. Your goal is to avoid the 120 day quarantine and I wanted to share my experience with you and tell you some of the things I went through. I am no expert on the rules of the Department of Agriculture Animal Quarantine so please refer to them to validate what you need. I just wanted to share my experience importing my large dog going through the whole experience.
Here is a quick checklist of things required for import:
Pearl-Hickam Joint Base
And MWR has kennels at much lower rates than on the economy. You just sign up the local MWR. https://hawaii.armymwr.com/programs/family-and-mwr-pet-kennels
Except for pit bulls, pit bull mixes, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers, wolf breed combination?, chows, etc. I guess they exclude these breeds without even testing behaviors? There are perfectly good breeds out there that are loving dogs.
See Pet addendum for more info on leasing at Island Palm communities. https://winnmilitary.entrata.com/media_library/12710/56e6e646732f3523.pdf
Your pet’s most recent rabies vaccination must not be expired when your pet arrives in Hawaii. 90 days have had to elapsed from the second rabies vaccination so don’t wait to get your pet vaccinated. If you arrive before that your pet goes into quarantine until you make the 90 days from second vaccination.
Rabies vaccination usually occurs before 3 mo old and within 12 months from the first vaccination. If you have a gap that may be a problem so call the Animal Quarantine before you do anything. Now you know it’s likely you cannot avoid quarantine if you bring a puppy under 10 months old after all this process is said and done.
Rabies vaccination paperwork must have a “wet signature” on them with the original metal tag. Make sure you tell your Vet you are moving to Hawaii and they will help you navigate the process up to the OIE-FAVN blood test.
Microchip # is the number the Vet will use to track the OIE-FAVN test.
The OIE-FAVN blood test is conducted at any Vet’s office but the base Vet was about half the cost. Do the test before all else because of the 120 day wait period. Although making appointments is a process because they are always booked (the Vet is also the food inspector at the commissary) go ahead and do it right away to get all your shots up to date and get this test submitted so you can start the wait period.
The test goes by Fedex to DoD Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Sam Houston. It’s important to remember that the 120 days begins when Fort Sam officially receives the blood test. You can call your Vet in about 3 weeks to see if the results are in or they may call you. My experience is that the results were known in about 2 weeks. Have the Vet give you a copy of the results which should have a stamp with a date of when they received it on the top right. The original is sent directly to the Animal Quarantine office in Hawaii. You can call them in a month to see if they’ve received it. And you can also double check your fly dates with them to make sure it meets the 120 minimum wait period.
Mail your $165 cashiers check or money order, 5 day or less form, and AQS-278 form to the Department of Agriculture Animal Quarantine after you’ve confirmed they’ve received the OIE-FAVN favorable results. Send to: Animal Quarantine Station, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, HI 96701.
Options for flying. You can use a commercial Airline to fly your pet. Some spouses I met used a Pet moving company which will pick up your pet and keep it overnight if necessary. They may even deliver the pet to your address in Hawaii.
Some sites for Pet moving companies:
I used United Cargo so my experience was really good. Their number at United Petsafe is (800)-575-3335. They can also give you information on crate restrictions and the process to drop off the pet and where to drop it off. You can also find info on their site https://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/animals/petsafe.aspx. To drop my dog off I needed 2 hours drop off which means I did not schedule my own flight the same day! So my husband flew first, then I shipped the dog after 120 days and then I flew last. Also the crate is hard to move around. My dog was 53lbs plus a 25lb crate is kind of hard to do on your own. United had carts for you to use but check with your airline. They also told me there can be no food or water, no blanket, no collar or leash, in the crate. I believe they fed my dog through the crate door both water and food.
United Cargo states “The crate must meet the IATA standards required by the Live animals regulations.”
And you’ll need your health certificate at drop off the pet at the airlines. Also the Animal Quarantine told me that since one of my Rabies vaccinations did not have a wet signature that I would need it listed on the Health certificate. So I made sure the vet who issued it knew what to put.
Picking up your pet at Honolulu airport. Make sure you give the animal quarantine at least 1 hour to pick up the pet from the airline when it lands so they can bring it to the facility for processing.
Hawaii Airport Animal Quarantine number (808) 837-8092. Here is the airport map when you go to pick up your pet http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/files/2013/01/Map-to-AAHQF-2009.pdf
Directions to Airport pickup. When you arrive at the airport follow the signs to interisland, baggage claim A area, then take the Ewa Service road. The quarantine office is located on the left side of the street. There was no parking when I went so I ended up double parking in front of a fire hydrant. The office itself, is just a double door that has a secured entry and you must ring the bell and wait for a person to buzz you in. Because there are limited handlers sometimes you will wait outside in the hot sun until someone comes in and lets you in. They tell you on the website you need all this paperwork for pick up but they didn’t need anything except my ID card. If you are coming in a rental car make sure the car can fit the crate. For my large crate I needed an SUV. They did not assist me to lift the crate into the car but they pushed the cart out with the crate up to the car. Their rule is that you cannot let your pet out on airport property so as much as you want to take your furry friend out after a long flight you must wait until you get home!
Thanks for reading and please share your experiences with me on my FB group, HAWAII MILITARY LIFE, so we can help others. And if you are retiring or transitioning, please join our HAWAII MILITARY RETIRED VETERANS LIFE Facebook group.
HAWAII MILITARY LIFE is a NEW 2017 group about helping Military families move to Hawaii and enjoy local events. We post info on base housing, school information, school events, school calendar, health form, homeschooling, book fairs, travels, restaurants, local, and MWR events. We try to look for a lot of FREE events or discounts for Military. We also post PCS instructions, shipping a car dealing with pets, BAH, and anything related to Military commands in Hawaii. This group is NOT FOR PROFIT so we are REAL DoD families helping each other. You can search through our Facebook site using key words on the left column. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1483172141727626/