Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine Law – Qualify Your Pet for the 5 Day or Less Program

Real Estate Agent with East Oahu Realty RS-25848

Animal Quarantine Information Moving to Hawaii with Pets?

Effective December 1, 2009 inspection hours for dog and cats at Honolulu International Airport (HNL) will be between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, including weekends and holidays.  This information is particularly important for those who are qualifying their pets for direct release at Honolulu International Airport.  Pet owners should be sure to arrange for their flights to arrive by 3:30 p.m. because it may take up to one hour for the airlines to transport a pet to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility and animals not arriving at the facility by 4:30 p.m. will not be released at the airport that day.   Pets arriving in the late afternoon and evening will be held overnight until inspections are completed the following morning.  Pet owners who are arriving in Honolulu and connecting to neighboring islands should pay particular attention to the inspection hours.


Your dog or cat will need to go through quarantine; if you plan ahead, you can minimize the time your pet needs to be quarantined, which also minimizes expenses. E-mail us: rabiesfree@hawaii.gov Animal Quarantine Station phone: (808) 483-7151

Hawaii is rabies-free. Hawaii’s quarantine law is designed to protect residents and pets from potentially serious health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs and cats, regardless of age (puppies and kittens included) or purpose, must comply with Hawaii’s dog and cat import (link to form) requirements.

Chapter 4-29 Hawaii Administrative Rules, governs the importation of dogs, cats and other carnivores into Hawaii. This law states that dogs and cats meeting specific pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify for 5-day–or-less quarantine program, which has a provision for direct release atHonolulu International Airport after inspection. (See “Checklist For 5-Day-Or-Less Program” for details.)

Furthermore, the law requires dogs and cats not meeting all of the specific 5-Day-Or-Less program requirements to be quarantined for up to 120 days upon arrival In Hawaii. (See “Hawaii Rabies Quarantine Information Brochure” for details on 120-day quarantine.)


  1. What do I need to do to qualify my pet for the 5-day-or-less quarantine program? Return to top
    A Checklist is available to assist pet owners in qualifying the pets for the 5-day-or-less program, including the provisions for direct release at the airport. To link to the Checklist, please click here.
  2. What if my pet is not able to complete the 120-day pre-arrival waiting period prior to arriving in Hawaii?Return to topPets arriving in Hawaii prior to completing the 120-day waiting period will not qualify for direct airport release.  All pets arriving before the eligible date of entry will be quarantined and assessed $14.30 each day in addition to applicable program fees (usually $224). Providing all other requirements for the 5-day-or-less program are met, the pet will be able to qualify for release under the 5-day-or-less program on the date the pet completes the 120-day waiting period.
  3. If my pet arrives before the 120-day waiting period is completed on the mainland, can my pet be released when the waiting period is completed in Hawaii? Return to top

Providing all other requirements for the 5-Day-or-less program are in compliance, the pet will then qualify to enter the 5-Day-Or-Less program on the eligible entry date. (See FAQ 2)

  1. Do I have to submit original documents prior to my pet’s arrival or can I just bring the documents with me to the airport? Return to top
    If you seek direct release of the pet at the airport, you must submit the required original documents so that the office receives the paperwork at least 10 days prior to your pet’s arrival.Only the health certificate may arrive with the pet, due to the time constraints. If you do not submit original documents ahead of time, it can prevent your pet from being released at the airport.  In addition, if there is a discrepancy in the paperwork, missing documents, or external parasites are found on your pet, your pet will not be released at the airport and your pet will be transferred to the main Animal Quarantine Station until all requirements have been met.
  2. Do I need to register with an approved veterinary hospital, as indicated on Form AQS-278 Dog & Cat Import Form, if I am qualifying my pet for direct release? Return to top
    If you are qualifying your pet for direct release, you do not need to register with an approved veterinary hospital. However, if your pet must be held for any significant time, you must register with an approved animal hospital.
  3. What do we do once our plane lands? Return to top
    The airline is responsible for bringing all arriving animals to our Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility (AAQHF). Pets allowed to fly in the passenger cabin will be taken by airline personnel upon landing and will be transported to the AAQHF. Pets qualifying for direct release will be processed at the facility, which is located on the Ewa Service Road that runs between the Interisland Terminal and the Main Terminal.

Comments (1)

Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I can remember in the 1980s where 120 days was manditory and it was a hardship on pets and owners with children to arrange to visit their pets...No rabies and No snakes!

Mar 18, 2012 08:13 PM