Moving to Hawaii with Pets? Animal Quarantine Information

Qualifying Your Pet For The “5 Day or Less Program”


If you’re half the animal-lover we are, you know it’s worth it!

Moving Pets to Hawaii

Are you moving to Hawaii with pets or just visiting but can’t leave your furry family members behind? In order to save time, heart-ache, and money…here is a summarized version of Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Law and qualifying your pet for the “5 Day or Less Program.”

Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Law

  1. Your pet must have been vaccinated at least twice for rabies in its lifetime, and they must have been administered more than 30 days apart from one another. The most recent one must be done at least 90 days before the pet’s arrival to Hawaii but no later than the expiration date of the vaccine.
  2. Your pet must be “micro-chipped” prior to arrival…if the chip cannot be read, your pet will have to undergo the 120-day quarantine.
  3. Your veterinarian must draw blood samples and forward them to an approved lab for an OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test. After these results are received, (results are valid for three years) 120 days must pass before your animal arrives in Hawaii. Arriving before the full 120 days has elapsed will result in disqualification from the 5 day or less program!
  4. A veterinarian must treat your pet for ticks and pests with an approved product such as Fipronil and record it on your pet’s health certificate. (Within 14 days prior to arrival.) If there is any evidence of infestation upon inspection at the station, your pet can be quarantined despite meeting all the other criteria.
  5. All documents need to be mailed to the Animal Quarantine Station at least ten days in advance of your pet’s arrival and they must be originals. No fax or photocopies will be accepted. (Do keep copies for your records.)

The animal inspection office is only open from 8:00AM – 5:00PM. Make sure that you are on a flight that arrives in Honolulu by 3:30PM if you plan on taking your pet home that day. (It could take as long as an hour for your pet to be transferred from the plane.)


Direct release at the airport is $165 per pet, $224 for the 5 day or less program, and $1,080 for the full 120-day quarantine. They can process this payment on-site but recommend you mail it in together with the other documentation to avoid long waits.

Sound Like a Huge Hassle?

Yep, but if you’re half the animal-lover we are, you know it’s worth it! If you have any questions about moving your pet to Hawaii, please contact us, or read our detailed article: Moving Your Pet to Hawaii – The Complete Guide.

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109 Responses to “Moving to Hawaii with Pets? Animal Quarantine Information”

  1. David Buck
    April 23, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Great post Ron! Thank goodness it’s so much easier than it used to be :)

    • Helen
      September 18, 2014 at 12:50 am #

      Amen to that David. While it seems that some commenters are complaining of how complex things are, I think in many ways the above article shows just how simple and streamlined the process is now in comparison to the past.

  2. Ken Molina
    April 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Good advice. I moved from LA to Maui last year and followed all of this down to carrying 3 copies of everything. All went well when we arrived on Oahu. However, finding the quarantine office was the most difficult part of the adventure.

    • Michelle
      May 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

      Maybe you can help me with this question since i’m new to all this and just got word of relocation july 1st 2012 to Hawaii. This is my question……………………………………..

      Above statement was made on the 5 day plan ” After these results are received, (results are valid for three years) 120 days must pass before your animal arrives in Hawaii. Arriving before the full 120 days has elapsed will result in disqualification from the 5 day or less program!”………………..

      I have all of that, however, if i just got word of the move, even if i take both dogs to the vet tomorrow, that only gives me 62 days, now what?

      • Kelly M. Heiman
        October 17, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

        First, let me say stop worrying and don’t stress. My name is Kelly Heiman and I am the Direct Airport Release Coordinator and owner of West Maui Animal Clinic and Lana’i Animal Clinic.
        I have been assisting pet-owners for over 9+ years on the island of Maui, this is my passion, as I have been through the process when it was still mandatory quarantine for Hawaii, talk about “stress”. I am happy to answer all your questions, assist you with your paperwork or hold your hand through the entire process. I even have a designated phone number, just for questions like this, (808) 446-1521, I am available 7-days a week, from 8:00am to 10pm, please know there is no charge, EVER, to call and receive information.
        My goal is to help pet-owners relax, stop stressing and insure they bring their 4-legged children with them to Maui, NO PET LEFT BEHIND :)….
        I am here to help, please give me a call – Warmest Aloha, Kelly

        • Ron Hamic
          October 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm #


          Thank you so much for making yourself available to the readers.


        • leanne lukela
          November 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

          aloha, i am also born and raised in hawaii, we brought our dog with us to texas to help a family member, we will be moving back to hawaii, and my dogs favn test was taken and i paid for the stat results. she did have 1 rabies vaccination , will she need another one before i leave texas. and will i have a problem having her directly released to me at the airport. she is also a service dog for my ptsd. what are the guidelines of a service dog that has had a rabies vaccination and favn test recentally done . leanne

        • Christy McGill
          February 4, 2013 at 7:21 am #

          I have a 10-year-old blind German Shepperd. I am concerned about her flight and pick-up. She is pretty adaptable but has never flown. Is there something specific I should be concerned about during the flight? I am having trouble finding info about blind dogs on flights. Thanks.

        • angie avila
          March 6, 2013 at 11:04 am #

          Aloha Kelly,

          I just read your posting and was soo excited to have someone knowledgeable to ask questions to about this process. I am being told several different processes. The number you listed is not working. My question is what the time lapse has to be between the first and second rabies shot? 30 days or 90 days?

          • Kelly M. Heiman
            March 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

            Hi Angie,
            That is strange about the phone number, please try again 808-446-1521, if you have other questions. Anyway, I always follow the State protocol, which states two rabies in the pets lifetime, “more than 30 days apart”.
            Hope this helps,
            Aloha, Kelly
            West Maui Animal Clinic

        • Caitlin Amato
          March 12, 2013 at 10:17 am #


          Thank you for making yourself available to reach out to. We are trying to relocate from the east coast with two dogs so assistance with the paper work and answers would be very helpful. Are you still available at (808) 446-1521, 7-days a week, from 8:00am to 10pm? Do you have an email address I am able to send documents to to see if they will be approved?

          Thank you again!

          • Kelly Heiman
            March 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

            Hi Caitlin,
            Yes, our direct release phone number is (808) 446-1521 or you can email me, anytime at Please give me a call or email, and I am happy to review all paperwork and/or answer all questions you may have.
            I have many tips for a smooth travel day for your “kids”, and some tips for their owners as well.
            Hope to talk soon, aloha, Kelly

        • claudia
          March 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

          What are the rules and reg. for bringing a parrot (amazon) to Hawaii???

          thank you

          • Kelly M. Heiman
            March 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

            Hi Claudia,
            I am having trouble posting currently, hoping this reply gets to you.
            Please call me directly and I will give you further information.
            West Maui Animal Clinic

            Aloha, Kelly Heiman

        • Lynne Ramey
          May 24, 2013 at 4:47 pm #


          We are trying to buy a house in Kaanapali but my rescue dog is becoming a real concern. I went to the Vet today and had the blood drawn. Now the issue is Rabies.

          This fragile little lady has a valid vacination dated August 15, 2012.

          My vet won’t give her another rabies vaccine because the manufacturer indicates they cannot give another shot prior to the one year? Then it’s another 90 days? So, if I am getting this it would be Nov before she would be eligible to come to Hawaii? HELP, Please?

          • Kelly M. Heiman
            May 27, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

            Hi Lynne,
            First, let me understand before I comment, Is this her first rabies vaccination? The State of Hawaii requires two in her lifetime and current, when the blood is sent to Kansas State University for FAVN testing, this second one has not expired yet, so she would be good for her blood draw now.
            Let me know,
            Aloha, Kelly

        • Angela M. Brotherton
          February 5, 2014 at 6:55 am #


          My name is Angela M. Brotherton. My husband, Richard & I are in the process of moving to the Big Island. We have a house,& three acres above Hilo, located in the Hiolani Acres. I have just about completed everything to do with health regulations, for my little one. Pulalahoa, my little Chawwa.(sorry about spelling)! All we have left to do for him are his health certificate. We can take with us on the plane from Spokane Washington, via Seattle Washington. Alas he has to go in a kennel in the cargo hole from Seattle Airport via Honalulu Airport. Then to the Quarantine Office.We are traveling with Pulalahoa early a.m., May 12, 2014…Weare

        • Diane
          November 29, 2014 at 6:51 am #

          Hi Kelly,

          My name is Diane and we have 3 cats! We want to move to Hawaii but we are from Toronto, Ontario. We just have to find a way to live there permanently! I will keep your phone number for any future help! I sure don’t want our animals quarantined.

          Thanks Diane

          • Kelly M. Heiman
            December 1, 2014 at 8:31 am #

            Hi Diane,
            How exciting for you and your 4-legged kids. Yes, please keep my contact information and when you are ready, give me a call. I have quite a few clients coming from your area, so when the time is right, we will assist in your move.
            Aloha, Kelly

        • Rae
          July 26, 2016 at 9:45 am #

          Mahalo Bryan,for speaking to me today and giving me all that information about moving our dog to Hawaii…I like the 120 days here in mainland instead quarantine…

          • Kelly Heiman
            July 26, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

            Aloha Rae~
            Of course, we are here to help any time – just keep our number 808-446-1521..
            Thanks again!
            Brian and Kelly

    • Donnie Rogers
      August 10, 2013 at 6:51 am #

      It was finding the quarantine office at the airport that was difficult. Also, it is helpful to know that it is against federal law to take your dogs out of their carrier on airport property. We didn’t know this and we moved with four dogs but rented a large sedan. The fine, we were told, is $10,000 per violation if caught with your dog out of the carrier.

  3. Katie Minkus, R(BIC)
    April 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Dave and I were some of the first people through the program with our cats back in the fall of 2003… Same experience as Ken, our cats were “released” through quarantine before we could even locate the office at the airport!!! (It’s located on the ground level down the road between the international and inter-island terminals).

  4. Carmen Brodeur
    April 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Thanks for the good information. Many people think of their pets like children and would be devastated by a quarantine ordeal.

  5. Ken Molina, RS
    April 28, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Oh, I forgot to mention that when you move from the mainland to Hawaii with your pet, there are no airlines that will allow you to take your pet in the cabin with you. It’s cargo all the way. Also, there are pet travel restrictions for certain types of dogs (usually short nosed ones) when temperatures are too hot or too cold.

    • Juliette Brossard
      May 7, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Hi Ken,

      Alaska Airlines will allow dogs and cats to fly in the cabin….as long as they fit properly under the seat at your feet. ;)
      They allow a max of 6 dogs per flight.

      • Ken Molina
        May 7, 2013 at 11:44 am #

        Thanks for letting me know. I’ll let clients know about this.

        • Juliette Brossard
          May 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

          I just double checked with Alaska Airlines as we know policy’s change and this is what they told me; Between Nov 1st – Jan 31st and Mar 1st – April 1st they only allow one small dog per flight. However between May 1st to Nov 1st it is unlimited.

    • Rita Lopergolo
      June 23, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      is that for cats too? is it safe?? i always hear horrible stories. have you ever heard of cats/dogs dying in cargo? do you think this rule will ever change? If the pets have the rabies vaccine what is the problem with them going in the cabin with you?
      -Rita + Kevin

  6. james bickham
    June 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Im sure that this is a little bit nice posting…..

  7. Helle
    July 18, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    Hi my name is Helle

    Thank you everybody for helping me with my move to Hawaii.I am really thankful to you Ron for all the information.I am moving with my daughter,2dogs,2cats by christmas,and I am a little bit overwelmed with all the rules and money it will take.I am interested in talking or writing with someone who has done this move before me.If anybody is interested please let me know

  8. Sarah
    August 31, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    Good post, but please note that the 120 day quarantine begins once KSU RECEIVES the blood work, not after the pet passes it.

    (Thanks Sarah! Will edit to reflect…)

  9. Mele
    September 5, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Aloha Hawaii…coming back home to Kailua with my 3 babies…make sure you have 3 copies of each paperwork(back up)tag your LARGE size kennel; Pet’s name,your name,local address, contact phone #, and make sure you have food/water trays attached to your animal kennel(airline regulations),and helps to put your T shirt in with your baby just to say you are still with them..finally, avoiding quarantine altogether, GOOD JOB…Yip-Pee DOGS RULE ;0)

  10. sherry
    September 11, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    It seems so easy after reading this post. Im glad I came across it. I had emailed them and I still havent recieved an email back its been a month now. I am sending my dog to oahu with me in january so this was very helpful. but i would still like if someone who did it before to email me on the exact steps they did and the process please. Thank you

  11. Lori Lamb
    September 21, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    Hello all! Thanks for posting this Ken! I am severely stressed out right now – so this site is great… I want to bring my cat and KITTEN that is 3 months old and they say that kittens must be 10 months before being eligible to (this is where it’s confusing) be in the 5 day or less program? or eligible to come at all? The language is so vague! Do you, Ken, or anyone know about kittens? And when you say there are no airlines that bring pets into Hawaii – I thought it was just Hawaiian Airlines that will not bring pets from the mainland… I have seen other Airlines say that you can bring your pets in the cabin…?? Clarity needed! Thanks to all of you!

    • Aloha Lori,

      The short answer is that you are unlikely to be able to complete all the requirements on the checklist before your pet is 8-10 months old. This is because you should wait until the vet recommended age before it is safe to start the vaccines, administer the blood test, or even tag them with a microchip. (In general, vaccines are started later on puppies than kittens, hence the 10 month age estimate on the website.) Even if you received clearance from your veterinarian to begin the vaccines and take the blood test right away, you are looking at a minimum of four and a half months more before your kitten has cleared all the conditions since 120 days must pass after the blood test is received at the lab before your pet is eligible for the 5 day quarantine. Hope this reply helps to clear some of your confusion… here is the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Station information in case you wanted to check with them as well.
      phone: (808) 483-7151

  12. Lori Lamb
    September 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Thank you Ron!! Yes – that does help bring clarity. Waiting for the age to start vaccines was the key – now I understand better… Thanks for the link – actually I did email them and they sent back the actual language and no explanation – frustrating! so…again, Mahalo!

    Warmest alohas~ :)


  13. Lori Lamb
    September 23, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    p.s. Here is a wonderful blog entry I found with everything spelled out CLEARLY! She is talking about her dog but it’s all on there… :)

  14. katie
    October 31, 2010 at 5:25 am #

    I think its time hawaii let go of all this, after all hawaii is the United States, and we don’t have to do this if we travel to Any other U.S states. Its a money making deal and that is it!! Its been a very hard experiance for the animals..very hard. The inner island airlines just put your dog in the baggage area and the noise kills their ears. When will the airlines start making a space safe for our pets?
    You all better think about it, and demand to see how they are airlifted, but good luck if they will show you…
    We all need to push to get rid of this process, it will take a lot of forceing, but we can do it!!!!
    Good luck and blessings to you all

    • mele
      June 5, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

      OMG I so agree with everything you’ve said and pray that it happens.

    • cindy
      June 26, 2014 at 1:05 am #

      If Hawaii is part of the United States, and you folks don’t like the rules about bringing your pets to Hawaii, then try and get all those companies on the mainland who will not include Hawaii for free or reduced shipping when we place an order to buy something from them. We pay very high shipping rates because we’re not part of the Continental U.S. and that I think is unfair. I even have a FedEx account that most of these companies won’t let me use because they want to over-charge me for shipping. They always say they have to use their own FedEx account, that sucks.
      So, with that said, if you don’t like our rules, then don’t move here because it’s too crowded anyways with everyone moving here.

  15. Sage
    November 1, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    This is a bit ridiculous. It is one thing to want to stay rabies free, but they still make you jump through unnecessary hoops. On top of that you charge you to “release” them?? Sounds like kidnapping & blackmail at that point. Since the paperwork is already sent in & approved what are they doing? And why can’t they fly in the cabin to Hawaii. My babies will never be cargo. Is this true even if you charter a plane? This is the same as moving to Europe under PETS. Worse. I was looking at Hawaii real estate but will cross it off. Since it starts at a few million anyway, there is no reason to put up with this. I do not like your attitude Hawaii. You are greedy. Aloha.

    • Kealoha
      February 20, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      not true… bought my 3 acres with cabin for the same as a new SUV ($50K), and Im sure new SUV’s dont cost $1 million lol
      these strict laws are to keep rabies out of Hawaii, Im 100% for these laws… It also sounds like you may have more social problems with this un-aloha kine attitude… so Im glad you crossed our paradise off your list Miss Bellyacher ;)

      • Donnie Rogers
        August 10, 2013 at 7:05 am #

        Kealoha, I 100% agree with you!!!!! These laws are in place to protect our aina, our land. There have been many species of plants and animals brought to the islands that have wiped out indigenous species.

        If one thinks through the whole real estate issue that Sage references it could simply be explained with the theory of supply and demand. However, if you look good enough there is property out there like Kealoha states.

  16. Brittany
    December 26, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Has anyone here had to endure the 120 day quarantine? I will be making a sudden move to Oahu and have to take my dog with me. He will not qualify for direct release or 5-day. How stressful for the dog and owner is the 120 day program?

  17. Summer
    March 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m moving to hawaii for 1-2 years this summer and really want to take my alaskan malamute with me. I am worried now after reading this because ive realized my dogs vet never gave me “original hand signed” copies of her rabies vaccine. It was all put into a computer and then printed off and just handed to me. Now I am really worried!

    • suzette
      January 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Did you ever find a way around the computer generated reports and getting your pet there. I just found out we are moving and also in the same situation.

      • Donnie Rogers
        August 10, 2013 at 7:07 am #

        My vet hand signed the computerized copy and that was accepted

  18. Audrey
    May 26, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    This link is to Hawaii’s Dept of Agriculture 5-day or less Quarantine Checklist.

  19. Kittenpants
    June 25, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    One bit of advice I will give newcomers is that if you are renting in Hawaii it’s HARD to find a place that takes even small pets. Most landlords refuse animals.

  20. sara
    September 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    Hi My name is Sara, i’m moving to hilo, Hawaii from Ca, and was shocked by all the restriction on animals relocation, i have one cat and she doesn’t get along with other animals or people.Im stressed out over that. Does any one have any idea about Akona Pet?

    • Carl and June Hampton
      January 19, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Hi, We contracted Akonapet to handle our pets (4) move from Miami to Honolulu. They were great. and saved us time and Money!. I would use there services again and I have recommended them to many others. Akonapet is a Great choice.

  21. Mo Ross
    September 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    My mother-in-law plan on visiting us and possibly staying 4-5 months and wants to bring her pet dachsund 4 year old. I believe she may have to go do the five steps you have above..
    my question is…she plans on going back and forth…like
    4-5 months with us..then to Arizona with her daugher and then
    back with us again. What documents will be required on her
    subsequent trips. Would appreciate your input so much.

  22. A T
    November 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    A lot of the info is directed towards dogs but I have 2 little white persians. I have a bit of time to plan this out but I am concerned about transporting them via cargo versus in the plane. How does that affect their ears and hearts along with oxygen? I am really concerned about any type of quarantine with them as they are so timid. I heard there was a way to have a HOME QUARANTINE and animal control would visit your house. They are indoor babies. Anyone have any advice?

  23. Teresa
    January 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    We have a possibility of being stationed there in less than a year…… I have 4 dogs 5 pounds and under….. and it sounds like they will be thrown around and miss treated and the possible 120 days away from me…….. they are too small for a cargo hull….. there ears will not take the noise and they get cold at nothing…… and have never been locked in cages……it would kill them and me….. looks like if he gets orders to Hawaii I will be staying in the mainland….. It is just not right to do this to animals or the people.

    • Kristine Hanson
      February 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Kelly,
      I’m traveling there from Sacramento with 3 small poodles 3-4 pounds. I do not them to go to cargo. One is 11. Which airlines allow carry on board into Hawaii with all the paperwork in place?
      Thank you,

      • Kelly M. Heiman
        February 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        Hi Kristine,
        Happy to help! You have two routes to go, first is to carry your pet in-cabin as your “pet”, Alaska Airlines allows your pets to travel in cabin, if they fit under your seat, please note, one pet per paying customer. Please review their requirements posted on their website, as rules and protocols change often.
        Next, if you have a “service animal” they may fly on any airline in cabin. Please recognize each airline has different requirements for “service animals”, and these would be posted on each airlines website.
        I have to say, we have done probably 40% in-cabin direct releases, in the last year. So, many pet owners are thinking along the same lines as you, as would I :)..
        You may also give us a call, 808-446-1521, for direct release questions, 7 days a week.
        Aloha and good luck!

        • Ayla
          May 8, 2015 at 11:38 am #

          I have the same question as Misha… I have a bearded dragon and I would like to move back home to Hawaii and I wanted to know if I could bring him with me?

  24. Misha
    June 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    It is possible that I am moving to Oahu. I do not have cats or dogs. I have 3 lizards, bearded dragons to be exact. My husband is in the military and they would be paying for our move. We have had them for a while and love them very much. Is it possible to take them with us? If so, what do we have to go through to do so?

  25. Yvonne
    November 28, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Hi all, this is a very helpful site.
    I am still not sure what direct release means.
    Is this for release on Oahu, without going through quarantine, I thought there had to be a quarantine time. Does it mean that you just need to have the pet examined , and than you can bring it home?
    sorry I’m still not clear on it.
    I want to bring my cat from Vegas to Kauai. I was going to do the direct release at Lihue airport, but the Kauai Humane Society will charge $450.00 for that.
    Can a vet also do direct release at the Airport? Maybe they won’t charge that much.
    Any suggestions?
    all I know is that I don’t want to put my cat in Q for 120 days. He will start his 120-day waiting period real soon.
    My idea now is to do the 5-day-or-less Q program, and use the Akona Pet relocation Service.
    also I would like to consider the help of Kellie Heiman, mentioned on this site, but it seems that she only works on Maui. I would love to hear from those who Are familliar with the quarantine process, and maybe someone can talk about there experience with Akona Pet.
    Thanks much!

    • Kelly Heiman
      November 28, 2012 at 11:32 am #

      Hi Yvonne,
      I offer my services on Maui, at the Kahului airport, but am happy to offer all the free advice and “hand-holding” you need :). The direct release program is set up to release your pet, to you, upon arrival at the airport. This service has to be done with an approved veterinary hospital, registered with the State of Hawaii – Agriculture Department.
      If you prepare in advance on the mainland, there is no quarantine upon your pets arrival into Hawaii. I often release pets at the Kahului airport, and the owners then, fly to one of the other islands. So I am happy to offer that service too, if you would like to speak directly with me, I have a designated phone line just for this purpose, available 7 days a week, 8:00am to 10:00pm, call as much as needed – (808) 446-1521.
      This is a fantastic program and I have been on board since it started, my own cat was in quarantine when I moved here, as it was still mandatory.
      Anyway, call if I can help ease any stress and answer any questions.
      Aloha, Kelly

      • Yvonne
        November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

        Thank you Kelly,
        I spoke to Brian a few times too.
        I will have to do a direct release on Oahu and go there on a morning flight from Lihue to Honolulu . this seems to be the cheapest way to go. Also. On my AQS-278 form , would I than mark 5 day or less 224 and also the direct airport release@165, or do I just mark the 224?
        do I have to go to the airport animal quarantine holding facility to pick up my cat? Is this holding facility at the airport, or do I have to take a taxi there?
        As long as I get there in the morning, a little before my cat arrives, I should be okay right, and get a flight back to Lihue on that same day?
        Should I buy an open ended retour ticket for that?
        Thanks much, Yvonne

    • kris
      January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Hi Yvonne- I moved to Kauai a couple years ago and, while the quarantine process was daunting, ended up doing the research and taking care of it all myself to get my dog on island.

      Let me first start with Akona Pet Relocation. I called them right off the bat to get help, as it sounded easiest. After a brief conversation over the phone where-in they reassured me it would be extremely easy, I gave them my credit card. I called back a week later to cancel their assistance, and they refused to give me a refund. Please be aware of this company! They did absolutely NO work for me and charged me for 1/2 the total cost as a non-refundable deposit. I was completely hoodwinked. I have been unable to get in touch with anyone at the company for my refund. I passionately urge you to consider ANY OTHER assistance! This is an utterly unethical company.

      My suggestion is to fly your pet to Honolulu, get the free discharge provided by the DOA at the Honolulu International Airport, then recheck them on a flight from Oahu to Kauai and avoid the additional fees demanded by the Kauai Humane Society, as they are the only certified agents on island capable of releasing your pet into your custody.

      Your 120 day quarantine begins once the blood work has been approved. After that, you must wait 120 days before shipping your cat to Hawaii. Once the 120 days has lapsed, you are free to send your cat without having to quarantine on island for any additional time.

      Hopefully this helps. I’m happy to assist in any way i can to clarify the rules regarding the quarantine process. Best of luck!

      • Michelle
        January 8, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

        I am trying to get my dog to Hilo and was wondering what you were referencing about the Free Discharge by DOA to avoid additional fees?

  26. C.Rosa
    January 4, 2013 at 10:27 am #

    Hello to all. My family and I just received orders to Hawaii. Our dog had two months of home quarantine under his belt, so when we got here he only needed two months in at the Animal Quarantine Center. During his time there, he was severly mistreated. It would have been more humane to put him down than to leave him at that god forsaken facility. They take a ridiculous amount of money from you and then mistreat your animals. And no one is there to help or listen, unless you take them to court. I called the cops and the humane society on them but since they are state, the humane society can’t do anything, since they are only county and city. And the cops, well he told me it’s not a police matter. So who deals with animal abuse? Are they just untouchable because it’s the state quarantine? My dog is finally home but he definitely is not the same animal that left us. I just want y’all to know that if you can not home quarantine the entire 4 months before you get here, DO NOT bring your animal. It WILL BE ABUSED.

    • Yvonne
      February 22, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

      Thank you for your reply, sorry you had Akona pets take advantage of you.
      I’m glad I’m not doing business with them. All the info is helpful.

    • Yvonne
      March 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Hello Kris,

      I see that you mention to do a free release by the DOA on Oahu.
      That’s very nice. Only problem is, who can I trust to recheck my cat on a flight to Kauai?
      Any suggestions?

      • kris
        March 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #

        Hi Yvonne,

        That’s a great question. When your cat is discharged and goes through the FDA checkpoint in Oahu, they are taken to the quarantine center at the airport from where you are required to claim them.

        Once you have your cat, you will need to recheck him/her onto your flight from Oahu to Kauai. At check-in, they will require you to remove your cat from his/her crate so they can check it for bombs/drugs/etc. You will then leave your cat with them, board your plane and the cat will be put in safe cargo for the flight to Kauai. Once you land, you will be able to retrieve your cat at the Lihue airport and you are free to go.

        The hardest part of this process is finding the FDA quarantine facility in Oahu at the Honolulu Airport and giving yourself enough time to claim your cat from them within their hours of operation and boarding your flight to Kauai. I had flown over to Oahu and back to Kauai on the same day, so the timing was very important. Be sure to check the hours of operation of the FDA office and also print out a map of the Honolulu Airport on which you can highlight where the office is, as there is very limited signage at the airport once you arrive.

        I hope this helps. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.

      • Yvonne
        April 17, 2013 at 8:40 am #

        Hi all,

        Just wanted to share that my cat has arrived on Hawaii without any problems.
        Thanks to Kelly, Brian, this website and some great people in Las Vegas, I got all the help I needed. I picked my cat up at Honolulu last week. It’s cheaper than to have him released on Kauai. The humane society will charge $400.00 for that.
        Good luck everyone!!

        • Kelly M. Heiman
          August 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

          Thank you for the kind words, much appreciated. I am so happy to help pet parents, bring their 4-legged children to Hawaii – No Pet Left Behind :)..

          Aloha, Kelly & Brian
          West Maui Animal Clinic

  27. ashley
    January 18, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    hi. i was looking into all of this because we may be pcs-ing soon and i have 3 kids. all three are up to date on shots and 2 are cats and 1 is a blind dog. without these babies, i cannot make it through the day. we are working on getting them certified as service animals but is there a quarantine rule for service animals? also, is there a home quarantine program? because like i said, my dog (who is the size of a cat) is blind and we have hardly ever been apart. oh and during a possible quarantine, do we are the parents get to visit them at all? i’m starting to stress over this and when i stress about my babies, it is hard to get me to relax again. to put it mildly, it is like a panic attack of sorts and there is a lot of crying that i am holding back. i don’t want to be apart from my kids (i am physically unable to have human ones) and i don’t want to be apart from my military husband either like that. deployment is one thing, but this rule is stupid because it is a state. please help someone :)
    thank you in advance

    • Kelly M. Heiman
      January 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Ashley,
      I am happy to help and offer my advice, as I too, have been in your situation. I do have a couple questions, before I can answer your questions, we can communicate on this forum or I have a direct phone line, 7 days a week available until 10:00pm each night @ 808-446-1521.
      You stated your pets are up on all their shots, have you done the blood titer test yet? What island will you be arriving into with your pets? If you qualify for the direct release program, then your pets will be released to you upon arrival. If they will be requiring a quarantine stay, then you have some options pertaining to location, again this would depend on the island and your budget.
      Please give me a call and we can discuss in further detail.

      Warmest Aloha,
      Kelly Heiman
      Director Airport Release Program – Maui
      Owner – West Maui Animal Clinic

      • Caitlin Reeder
        April 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

        Ms. Heiman,

        My fiancé and I have been told that our Marine squadron will be relocating to Oahu next year. Can you put me in touch with the Director of Airport Release Program for Oahu? I’m trying to get everything in order, so that this next year goes as smoothly as possible.


        • Kelly M. Heiman
          April 16, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

          Hi Caitlin,
          Happy to help! If Oahu is your first port of entry into Hawaii, you will be dealing directly with the State of Hawaii, Agriculture Department, phone # 808-483-715.
          You won’t need a third party service or a Direct Release Agent, as State personnel will release your pets, directly to you, upon arrival.
          Let me know if I can assist further.

          Aloha, Kelly Heiman
          Director Direct Airport Release-Maui
          West Maui Animal Clinic, Owner

          • Kelly M. Heiman
            April 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

            Sorry, I left off a digit in the telephone number, 808-483-7151.

    • Yvonne
      March 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Thank you Kris,

      Looks like I will do the same, one day trip to Oahu and back.
      I was told by a friend that I could actually keep my cat in Cabin with me on the short flight to Kauai. I was thinking to have my cat arrive on Oahu at about 9-10 am, and I can than pick him up from the Quarantine holding facility within an hour from that or so.
      People at told me that they reccommend to pick up the cat anywhere from 30-60 minutes after his flight lands. Do you remember your flight plans? Thanks again

  28. Pat and Gary
    February 20, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    We used the services of AKONAPET in Kona Hi., and what i great choice that was. They gave us so much assitance and help, we were totally clueless as to what all was involved. The staff at Akonapet service goes above and beyond, not to mention the money that we saved from the vet expenses. akonapet is awsome.!

  29. Katrina
    April 11, 2013 at 8:55 am #

    Hello! My husband is Army and is reenlisting for Hawaii. We have 1 dog and I have been trying to find out if she will be restricted. I would hate to have to leave her behind on the mainland, but if I know we have to I can make arrangements. On her vet papers it says she is an Alaskan Malamute, but she isn’t pure bred. She has several different breeds, but she looks like a wolf. Are these dogs restricted? I haven’t been able to find definitive information on this, and would like to know for sure.

  30. Jean
    August 5, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi, my husband is applying for a job in Oahu so I am doing my research in case he gets it. I’ve looked through our cat’s records and we have the original carbon copies of their first rabies vaccine after we adopted them, as well as the paperwork from the adoption, however nothing beyond that meets the criteria for the original signed/carbon copy requirement. Does the rabies documentation need to be consecutive? What are the options if it isn’t? I can make sure to ask for a carbon copy in the future but we didn’t think we’d need these three years ago. Thanks!

    • Donnie Rogers
      August 10, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      Hi Jean

      We just moved to Hawaii with 4 dogs and utilized the Direct Airport Release Program. This site will help with MOST of your questions:

      Under documents it states you have to have the most recent two rabies documents. So, I believe they do need to be consecutive, but I’m not sure. My vet gave us computerized certificates then hand signed them. These were acceptable.

      Also if you have more questions email Or you can email me at

  31. Kelly M. Heiman
    August 9, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Hi Jean,
    How exciting and fingers crossed for your possible upcoming move. My name is Kelly Heiman, I am the Director of the airport direct release program on Maui and owner of West Maui Animal Clinic, and I am happy to help with questions, advice or to relieve the stress this process sometimes brings pet parents.

    The State of Hawaii would like the last two rabies certificates, original or carbon copy is fine. If you would like to receive our checklist, which is a step by step process, let me know, or I have a direct phone line, always on, 808-446-1521.

    I am happy to walk you through the process and assist you in preparing your 4-legged child for his/her move.

    Aloha, Kelly
    West Maui Animal Clinic

    • Amanda
      September 19, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      Hi Kelly!

      My husband and I are considering very seriously, moving to Hawaii. We have started with the checklist and our vet is wondering if there is time restriction between having their 2nd rabies and their OIE-FAVN rabies blood test? Also, two of our three dogs were chipped the other day and our vet was also wondering if there is a time restriction between being chipped and having the blood test?
      My brother and sister-in-law just moved with there 3 dachshunds and had no problems but they didn’t have these situations as we do with our pups.

      Thank you so much!

      • Kelly M. Heiman
        September 20, 2013 at 10:06 am #

        Hi Amanda,
        I have all the information your mainland veterinarian will need, I can send him/her a checklist directly or email it to you, whichever works best.
        Basically, the State does not have a protocol for the timeline, they do however; state:

        “If blood is collected for the OIE-FAVN test at the same time as rabies vaccination, your animal may fail the test, repeat testing in 10 to 14 days usually results in an adequate test result”,

        At our hospitals we usually draw the blood 2 – 4 weeks, after the last rabies vaccination has been given, this is dependent on the clients timeline as well. As far as the microchip goes, the microchip has to be implanted prior to drawing the blood for Kansas State University, so it sounds like you are good on that.

        Again, feel free to email me directly at OR we have a 24/7 phone line at 808-446-1521, I am always here to assist and happy to do so. However, if you call me prior to 5:00am, you may need to give me a few moments to wake up :).

        Aloha, Kelly M. Heiman
        Director-Direct Airport Release Maui
        West Maui Animal Clinic – Owner

  32. Karen Bishop
    September 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Please think twice before bringing your cat to Oahu. Cats are not worshiped here by most and there are 1000s of cats needing a loving home. You will always be able to find a free kitten or loved cat that someone is giving away on Craigslist. They NEED loving and kindness. There is also an issue with finding an apartment that allows pet (if you are renting). From my experience 90+% of them do NOT allow pets. Best of luck to you on whatever you decide! Thank you for listening!

    • AA
      October 3, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      Karen, I see and appreciate where you are coming from, but I hardly think the bad karma of getting rid of a cat that already has a good home cancels out the good karma of adopting an island stray. I know Hawaii has HUGE problems with feral and stray cats, and they’ve wreaked havoc on the native bird population, but I can’t see that the solution is giving away a loved member of your family. When you adopt a pet, you make a commitment to take care of that animal. I cannot imagine moving without my cat, even though it may be difficult to find a rental. Besides, she’s 13 and blind, she’s not going anywhere :) Where we go, she goes!

      • Karen Bishop
        November 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

        I wish you and your kitty the best here. It is great to see you have a strong commitment to your cat. He/she is very lucky. May your move be peaceful and all things fall in place. I am glad you responded!

  33. Linda Perico
    October 24, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Thank you so much Brian and Kelly for all of your knowledge and willingness to assist with your Aloha spirit. I was planning to use AkonaPet Services, however found no Aloha in Akona and tried to cancel a contract that I never signed. They had insisted that I pay a deposit of $464 first before they provided the paperwork.Yes, I was a sucker and fell for this because time was of the essence. Ruth Wyland is refusing to refund my money and I am trying to work this out through my credit card. I am extremely angry and am hoping this post will help others to avoid some of the stress of moving to Hawaii with pets. I was fooled by the high rating that the BBB gave AkonaPet, yet had I read the complaints, I would have seen that they were all closed out, but none were closed to the satisfaction of client.
    When I spoke with Brian, he was professional and did not say anything negative about AkonaPet, but assured me that I could fairly easily get my 3 cats to the Big Island and that he would help me through the process. So far, so good. I do dread the airports and flights and would hire Brian and Kelly in a heartbeat if I could, but unfortunately I am heading to the Big Island not Maui.
    Last week I was on the phone with a client and she said “Too bad you are not moving to Maui, I have a fabulous vet”. I said, “Let me guess, Brian Smith”. She was shocked that I knew you being that I am in Florida.
    Great work you guys…and thanks so much!
    Linda Perico

    • kris
      October 26, 2013 at 8:10 am #

      Linda, it was so frustrating to read your post. I posted the exact same thing on this message board almost two years ago regarding Akona. I never received my deposit back from her and Ruth woudn’t pick up my phone calls, nor respond to my emails. To this day I continue to email her regarding her shameful and deceiptful business practices.
      I am so sorry to hear you have gone through the exact same frustrations with this company. They should be avoided at all costs and pet owners should not be fooled by the faux Aloha tHey pretend to endorse.
      Best of luck as you make your move. I am happy to be of any assistance I can if you f8nd yourself with questions! Best of luck…

      • Linda Perico
        February 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

        Hi Kris,
        I have been busy with my move and work so I just saw your post. I am sorry for your distress as well and wish that I had seen your first post before calling Akona. Ruth is an evil woman. Any company that has to make their money by ripping off people is lacking financially, spiritually and in common business sense. I’m a Realtor here in Hawaii and if she had done the right thing, she would have had a good amount of business. Based on what I found out about them a few months ago, they had very low revenue (but they could be ripping off Uncle Sam too). I will try to find the website. Karma or “you reap what you sow”. Take care Kris!

        • Joanie
          May 23, 2015 at 6:28 am #


          I found your post to be very interesting about Akona Pet. We have two dogs and two cats that we will be moving to Kailua-Kona. We started the process and everyone has their shots and have passed the FAVN test a year and a half ago. My concern after reading these posts, is to move ahead with their services. My husband is on the Big Island now working on our home and during his flight had a long chat with some folks that went through a vet in Kailua that assisted in moving their pets and they couldn’t say enough good things about their assistance. I believe they are the vets that are on the Mamalahoa Hwy, not sure. Thoughts?

    • Kelly M. Heiman
      October 27, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Hi Linda,

      How nice are you! This just warmed my heart when I read your message, I strive for ALOHA!

      I have such empathy with all pet owners moving to Hawaii, as it is my passion and mission to assist ALL pet owners in bringing their 4-legged children to Hawaii. Not too long ago, that was me, when there was still mandatory quarantine, I can still remember the day I put my pets on the plane to Oahu from the mainland, I was up all night with worry. I just wished I had someone to help, hold my hand, calm me down and tell me, all would be alright.
      I am more than happy to help and answer questions to anyone needing assistance, even if you are moving to an island other than Maui, I will help you! I have set up a direct release phone line, just for this purpose at 808-446-1521, my phone is on 24/7, but I have to warn you, if you call before 5:00am, give me time to wake up – LOL.
      Please call with any concerns and please know, there is no cost, call as many times as necessary.

      With much Aloha, Kelly

      Kelly M. Heiman
      Director – Maui Direct Release Program
      Owner – West Maui Animal Clinic

    • Carl and June Hampton
      February 6, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      We used AkonaPet services and they were completly Professional all the way. We have since used them again for another pet and have recommended Akonapet to some friends that are moving. I wouldnt bad mouth them. Perhaps you aren’t in understanding what all they do. I Also might add Ruth was available to us at just about everytime we called, even from the Airport at 11:30 p.m. Akonapet has been Great.

      • Linda Perico
        February 23, 2014 at 11:01 pm #

        “What all they do” for me was squat. Very sneaky business tactics. I can’t help but believe that Ruth and her associates are writing most of these positive testimonials.

  34. Amy
    February 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Ok here goes. My little dog is no longer able to receive rabies vaccinations due to an allergy. He has had the shot three times in his life but I have been told by the vet he does not recommend he receive it again due to a high risk of death, he gets vasciculitis. Are titters not acceptable? Do they have to receive the actual shot? I have long dreamed of moving to Hawaii and my personal life took a dramatic and unexpected turn last year so I will soon be able to move. I just can’t bear to leave my best friend to move so I guess I will have to put off my dream for a few more years until he passes?


  35. Amber H
    June 17, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Hi and tthank you so much for all this information- BEST info I’ve found so far and I’ve been looking for months!
    So… my delima… I had an issue where the base here wouldn’t clear my pup without a rabies test before his FAVN (even though he had already had more than 2 and was up to date). Anyhow, that put him behind the pack almost a month and I’m looking at when the lab finally cleared him. By the 120 day timeline he won’t be cleared until around 5 days AFTER we arrive on Oahu (I’m trying to adjust my dates of flights but don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room).
    My question is this: What exactly is the 5 day or less quarenteen? I understand the direct release, which will work for my other two pups but I’m concerned about how long he might actually have to stay in quarenteen :(
    Any suggestions froom those who have been through it? Any info is greatly appreciated, thank you!!

    • Mitch
      June 17, 2014 at 2:10 pm #

      Contact Akonapet. but i can tell you that there is no such thing as a 5 day or less quarantine. the mandatory quaratine is 120 days, NO Exceptions. although the quaranine waiting period can be spent on the mainland prior to sending pets to Hawaii.. and if you choose that method then when they arrive in Hawaii they will then go home with you in 5 days or less. As i stated. Contact Akonapet. they Know what they are doing and can explain it all to you as well as save you time, energy and Money

    • Kelly M. Heiman
      June 17, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

      Hi Amber,
      I am Kelly Heiman, owner of West Maui Animal Clinic/Central Maui Animal Clinic and the director of our airport release program, we offer direct releases on Maui, but I am happy to assist with information, advice, etc. for the process of direct airport release for the other islands. Please email me directly at and I can help you through the entire process, it may seem difficult, but really is not, I will help you.
      I have been through this process personally, when mandatory quarantine was the only option, but now with direct airport release, it is very easy to accomplish.
      With Aloha,

  36. Kenzie
    September 14, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    Hi- thanks for all the GREAT information! I have a question…if anyone knows the answer please email me if you don’t mind :) My question is as follows: Is it possible for my cats to be quarantined together? Two of them are rag doll cats and very anxious and they are brother and sister litter mates and have never been apart from one another. They walk around meowing and chirping if one of them can’t find the other. My other cat is really laid bald and a rescue so I don’t think he would mind being alone. I am more concerned about the anxious ragdolls and stressing them out. If anyone knows if this is possible with the 5 day quarantine, I would really appreciate an answer! :) Thank you so much! :) -Kenzie

    • Moana Britt
      September 17, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      Aloha Kenzie,

      I wrote “Moving Your Pet to Hawaii – The Complete Guide” ( for Hawaii Life and wanted to help answer your question.

      First of all, is there a specific reason your cats need to be quarantined for 5 days in the 5 Day-or-Less program? Have you considered or are you able to do a Direct Airport Release?

      There are privately owned & operated quarantine facilities that may have different rules (I’m not sure), but if you need to use the 5 Day-or-Less program and your pet will be on Oahu at the Animal Quarantine Station, I received the following response from them:

      “We must keep the pets separated, but in kennels next to each other, so that we can monitor how much each animal is eating and drinking and if it is going to the bathroom. We can’t determine those things when 2 animals are housed together.

      Any animal prepared completely under the 5 day program is eligible for direct airport release for the $165.00 fee. We set it up as the 5 day “or less” program because too many people arrive with the assumption you can simply take your pet to any hotel. Once we release a pet we cannot accept it back even if the owner has no place to take the animal.

      That is what the 5 day program is for and the fee is a $224.00 flat rate for up to 5 days stay in quarantine while an owner finds a place to house their pets. The pet can be released before the 5 days are up if the owner finds housing right away.”

      For additional information, you can call the quarantine station at (808) 483-7151, or email them: (email is actually the best way to contact them).

  37. Carla Lorens
    May 19, 2015 at 4:10 am #

    Lovely article! I am moving to Hawaii with my two cats and I already pack everything in the apartment. I hope that they will like their new home because I definitely will.Thank you for the interesting and attractive article!

  38. Kyley
    March 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    I am planning to move to Maui and I have 2 dogs. Both dogs love people. 1 of my dogs does not like other pets besides my other dog. Is it possible to make sure she has a fenced in back yard at a house rental that actually allows pets? I am nervous because she is the best dog but I want to make sure she is safe and still has a good quality of life.


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