PCS’ing to Hawaii with a Pet?

Did you just receive your military PCS orders to Hawaii?

For most families, this is an exciting time and a great location to receive orders to. Wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, warm water and a chance to live in Paradise. However, for your furry family members, this can be a very stressful transition.

Hawaii is a rabies free state and in order to keep it that way, they have a very strict quarantine program in place for animals that are coming into the state. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies.

As of June 2003 there was a pet quarantine enacted that states that your pet will be put into quarantine for as long as 120 days if there is a problem. However, there are now ways to avoid the long quarantine timeframe for your pets if you prepare prior to your move.

According to the State of Hawaii Animal Industry Division:
Chapter 4-29 Hawaii Administrative Rules, governs the importation of dogs, cats and other carnivores into Hawaii. This law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5-day–or-less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release at Honolulu International Airport after inspection.
Furthermore, the law requires dogs and cats that do not meet all of the specific 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival in Hawaii. Please read thoroughly the following documents containing details on the rabies quarantine programs for importing dogs and cats.
The inspections are done initially at the Honolulu airport and there are some cases where they will qualify for immediate release. For more information click here.

In order to qualify for direct release from the airport, there is a five step process (click here for the 5 day or less checklist):

Step 1: Rabies Vaccination

Step 2: Microchip

Step 3: OIE-FAVN RABIES BLOOD TEST (Note: This step takes 120 days to complete, recommended to plan ahead to ensure you complete this prior to moving)

Step 4: Waiting Period

Step 5: Documents

Hawaii has very strict laws regarding the import of items into their state because of the effects that they could have on the environment of the island. This is the same with their laws regarding pets. There are certain animals that may be allowed as pets on the mainland that are restricted on the island. Two examples of prohibited animals on the island are any breed of snakes, iguanas, as well as gerbils and hamsters. Whereas animals such as guinea pigs, chinchillas, and domesticated mice and rats are approved. For a list of animal species prohibited on the island click here.

Base Registration for Pets:
In order for your pets to reside on base, they are supposed to be registered through the game warden on base. This is for many reasons, but mostly so that if some sort of problem arises with your animals they will be able to contact the correct owners. The registration processes must occur within two days of arrival on the installation.
There are two types of registration; permanent and temporary. The temporary is only available for animals that are too young to fulfill the requirements yet of a permanent registration.
For dogs you must provide proof of vaccinations before the dog is 16 weeks old for rabies, DA2PP, and Leptospirosis. For cats it is also prior to 16 weeks but the vaccinations are for rabies, FVRCP, and Leukemia. The animal must also have a microchip identification that meets the International Standards Organizations requirements.
It is required that you get a City and County of Honolulu Dog License from the Satellite City Hall as well. This is required in order to register your pet on base. More information on this process can be found here!

Be sure to contact your base ahead of time and check if there are any other requirements that need to be met to accommodate your pet upon arrival. Remember, this can be a very stressful transition for your furry loved one and it’s best to plan ahead to make your arrival as smooth as possible.