Is Hawaii on your wish list? Have you and your military member discussed being stationed in Hawaii? Do you have furbabies that you want to bring with you?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I am here to break down how to get your pets to Hawaii with you. It’s harder than you think since Hawaii is a rabies-free state so there are several steps to take to get your pet from the mainland to the island. We found out we were moving to Hawaii in 2 months so our timeline was very compressed. So, we had to do it the hard way. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll get to do it the easy way. Lucky.
Your pet needs a couple things just to get on the island.
– 2 rabies shots, the most recent cannot be within 90 days of entering the island. You have to provide proof of the shot with the vaccine codes. If you have the form from your vet, that information will already be there.
– A mircochip
– An OIE-FAVN blood test. If you get it done at your current base, they will take the sample and send it to the lab. All you have to do is bring your pet in for the test. The DoD lab or Kansas State lab (whichever is closest to you) will automatically send the results to Hawaii and a copy to your vet. It was about $50 per pet. This is the most important part because your baby cannot leave the airport with you unless the blood test is at least 120 days old. We did not have time to let the 120 days go by so we found a pet boarding place near my parents. It was much cheaper than having them sent to Hawaii and paying for the quarantine, which is so expensive (about $1040 per pet plus other fees).
– A health certificate. This needs to be done within 10 days flying out and you need to get a tick/flea treatment at the same time.
– A pet form from which you can access HERE. It has to be notarized too.
With the exception of the health certificate, the rest of the documents and payment (we paid $165 per cat) need to be sent to the Quarantine Station 10 days or more prior to their flight. The health certificate will be taped to the side of the carrier when they fly.
Here’s their address:
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Animal Quarantine Station
99-951 Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaii 96701-5602
Speaking of the carrier, if you have a regular all plastic carrier, that won’t do. If the carrier separates (top and bottom) the hardware must be metal bolts or screws. Airlines will not accept plastic hardware. There also has to be a food and water bowl that can be accessed without opening the cage and a pee-pee pad. You pet also has to be able to stand up and turn around without touching the top of the cage so keep that in mind when picking out what size carrier. We got ours from Amazon
. The ones we bought came with the food and water dishes, and already had LIVE ANIMAL printed all over it.
Our cats flew out pretty early in the morning and arrived at 2:30 pm. This is important because the quarantine station in the airport closes at 4:30 pm and if your pet arrives after that, they will be kept overnight and you’ll have to go back the next day to pick them up.
Since they flew unaccompanied, we flew them cargo to they were in a plane with just stuff, no passengers. It was $510 for all three cats plus insurance for the flight. I picked Delta to fly them because they had the best rates. Some airlines don’t fly pets so if you have a favorite airline, keep in mind they might not fly them.
Finally, if you’re pet is past the 120 day wait period and you’re in the Army, you may have to board them here anyway. Temporary lodging on Schofield Barracks doesn’t allow pet so if your entire family flew together, you’ll have to make other arrangements for your pet. It’s annoying and one of the many reasons I didn’t like the temporary lodging but that’s a whole other issue.
If you live on base, Island Palm Communities aka the housing office will charge a $75 pet deposit. Off base rentals also charged pet deposits, if they even allowed pets. One of the reasons we chose to live on base is that a lot of houses didn’t allow pets or they didn’t allow cats.
My biggest tip is to have a family member fly your pet to you after you’ve gotten settled. With 2 kids and no car, adding our cats into the mix would have just been nuts. Especially since the hotel doesn’t allow pets. It would be just 1 more thing to have to deal with after being on a plane all day. Yuck.
Here is the website for the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. I found some of the information helpful but what helped the most was being on the island and talking to the people at the quarantine station. Hopefully with this entry and the website, you won’t be so frustrated. Because I sure was.