It has been 14 years since we moved to Hawai’i from Maine with our sweet English Bulldog, Sadie. In case the photo does not fully depict her displeasure in having to fly from Maine let me assure you, in true Bulldog style, she held a grudge.
The original rabies quarantine program was established in 1912 and required a mandatory 120 day quarantine. In 1997 is was changed to a 30 day alternate program which was then again changed to the Five Day Or Less program on June 30th, 2003. That program allowed pets to be directly released at the airport, provided their owners followed strict guidelines prior to arriving here in Hawai’i. The biggest hurdle was to wait a minimum of 120 days after a successful FAVN rabies antibody test. This was actually the program we went through with Sadie.
On August 30th, 2018, it became even easier to travel to Hawai’i with your pets. There is still a waiting period after a successful FAVN rabies antibody test, but now the minimum waiting period is 30 days. Now there are a handful of veterinarians that can assist you with some of the process which, from what I have been told by many, has relieved a lot of stress. As of today Kona Veterinary Service, Ali’i Veterinary Hospital, and Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, LLC all participate in the Direct Airport Release program. If you are considering moving to Hawai’i and will be bringing your pet, you can check out this handy checklist provided by the State of Hawai’i to help you navigate the process. The state also has a very helpful section on their website dedicated to commonly asked questions as well as links to important forms.
Once we were settled into our lives here, we decided that our hearts and home had room for one more fur family member, Zoe. After all, everyone needs someone they can lean on or at least use as a pillow.
If you love your fur family as much as I do and want to talk with someone who made the leap, feel free to reach out to me anytime. I love to share our moving experience.