Q. I’m a wheelchair user and have a service dog. I’m planning a two-week vacation in Hawaii. I understand Hawaii has mandatory quarantine period for dogs and cats flying in from the mainland. I’ve heard that this is waived for service dogs, but they must enter through Honolulu. I have a direct flight to Kona. Do I need to re-book my flight through Honolulu? And what kind of paperwork do I need to bring?
A. There has never been a case of rabies on the Hawaiian Islands. To keep it this way, all dogs (and cats) entering Hawaii must be quarantined for a period ranging from five days to 120 days (depending on paperwork and vaccination status) to make sure they don’t have rabies.
However, with the proper vaccinations, paperwork and advance planning, Hawaii waives the quarantine period for service dogs and guide dogs. Emotional support dogs do not qualify. It is important to be sure to meet all the requirements in advance, or your service dog will be spending the vacation in a Hawaiian K9 quarantine kennel.
The friendly, helpful people I spoke with people at Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Station explained the steps you and your service dog need to take to enter the Hawaiian Islands without quarantine. The people I spoke with said that it is good to give yourself and your dog plenty of time to do this process — several months out is a good time to start.
• The dog must have an electronic microchip implanted for identification.
• The dog must have a current rabies vaccination. (Documentation of the vaccination must include the product name, the lot or serial number, and the expiration date of the lot.)
• Prior to arrival, the dog must have passed one OIE-FAVN test (a blood test for rabies antibodies) after 12 months of age, with a level of 0.5 I.U. rabies antibody or greater. The laboratory will not perform the tests unless the microchip number accompanies the test request form. A passing test result is valid for three years.
• The dog must have a standard health certificate issued not more than 30 days prior to arrival in Hawaii. However, the state also requires a veterinarian’s certificate stating that the dog was treated within 14 days of arrival with a product containing Fipronil or an equivalent long-acting product labeled to kill ticks. The most efficient way to do this is make a vet appointment within 14 days for both the health exam certificate and the tick treatment, rather than have to make two trips. The certificate must also confirm that the Microchip has been scanned and is in good working order.
• For a service dog, you must provide a phy