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Bringing Pets to Kauai

Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Laws

Hawaii is a rabies free state. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the presence and spread of rabies. Success of the quarantine program is dependent on maintaining isolation of your pet from other animals for the required quarantine period.

Importation of dogs, cats and other carnivores into Kauai is governed by Chapter 4-29 of the State of Hawaii, Department of Agriculture Administrative Rules. This law says that these animals are required to complete a 120-day confinement in the State Animal Quarantine Station. If specific pre-arrival and post-arrival requirements are met, animals may qualify for a 30-day quarantine or a new 5-day-or-less quarantine that became effective on June 30, 2003. Qualifications for Hawaii residents with pets and reduced “re-entry” fees became effective on February 12, 2004.

This pet quarantine system makes it easier for out-of-state pet owners to bring their pets into the islands and for kama’aina pet owners to travel outside the state.

The rule change shortened the quarantine confinement for pets that meet requirements before they get here, reducing the stay to 5 days or less rather than the present 30 to 120 day quarantine.

State officials have enforced a quarantine since 1912 to ensure that rabies is not introduced into Hawaii, the only state free of the disease. Untill now, the confinement period was reduced only once, in 1997, when a 30-day option began.

The main fear has been that a rabid pet could come in contact with a mongoose or other feral animal, spreading the disease in the wild.

Veterinarian Isaac Maeda, program manager at the state’s rabies quarantine branch, has said a department analysis last year showed that reducing quarantine to 5 days does not substantially increase the risk of introducing rabies into the state, as long as the program includes proper rabies vaccination, blood tests and a 120-day waiting period before animals arrive.

The 5-day quarantine is a third option for bringing pets to the state. Under the new program, pets that meet state criteria may be released from the airport directly to their owners or stay a maximum of 5 days at the quarantine station.

To have a pet released at the airport, an owner would also have to provide documentation 10 days before arrival that the other requirements had been met.

Pet owners hoping for shorter confinement of their animals upon arrival must present proof that their animal has had two rabies vaccinations, microchip implantation for identification and clean results of blood serum tests.

Quarantine costs for the reduced confinement program will be $165 if the pet qualifies for direct release from the airport and $224 if the pet must be held for up to 5 days.

To qualify for a 5-day pet quarantine, owners must prepare at least four months in advance:

-Pets will need a microchip implanted for identification.
-The pet will need a rabies shot and a booster, which can be no less than three months apart and not more than one year apart.
-Animals should have passed a blood serum test, with results e-mailed to Hawaii officials by the testing lab. -Pets cannot enter the state till 120 days after the blood sample is received by the state.
-Hawaii officials must receive a health certificate from the pet’s veterinarian at least 10 days before the animal’s arrival, with all test results and health certificates sent by e-mail to prevent fraud.
-At the airport, animal quarantine officials will inspect every incoming pet, check its chip to confirm its identity and release the animal to its owner if everything is in order.

Contact Info:
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Animal Quarantine Station
99-951 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaii 96701-5602
Phone: (808) 483-7151
Web site:

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