Hawaii is the only state in the United States that is rabies free and they do this by enforcing a very strict quarantine law. The standard period in which incoming dogs are kept quarantined is around 120 days, however, if you complete the pre-arrival and post-arrival instruction you can qualify your dog for the five day program that will allow you dog to only stay in quarantine for five days. For those dogs that are guide dogs or service dogs, they are exempted from this process if they meet certain criteria.
The process of qualifying your dog for the five day program is extensive and the requirements and directions are very detailed. The key to success is taking the time to prepare. The pet is required to have two rabies vaccinations that must be more than 30 days apart. In addition, the recent vaccination cannot be less then 90 days before you arrive in Hawaii. The dog is required to have a microchip for identification implanted, then receive an OIE-FAVN rabies blood test that is offered by the DOD lab or the Kansas State University. This can be completed no more than 120 days to your arrival in Hawaii.
There must also be a completed, signed and notarized Dog and Cat Import Form AQS-278 that you must have paid the fee for at least ten days before your pet and you arrive in Hawaii. In October 2010, the fee for five days of quarantine was around $225, for those pets that were released at the airport the fee was $165. All of the certificated must be completed no more than 14 days before arrival in Hawaii.
The standard quarantine time of 120 day points out that during this time owners are still responsibility for animal car during the time. The pets are kept at the quarantine station and given routine tests for parasites. Fees for the standard quarantine time is around $1,080 and if the staff has to take care of the dog, then the owner is also billed for that.
Service Dog Exemptions
Those service or guide dogs much be current on rabies vaccination with proof, as well as having the microchip for identification and been screened by the OIE-FAVN test. Those service dogs must have a statement from a physician that certifies that the owner is disabled, as well as the training of the dog. You must send in all of this information before arriving in Hawaii and tell officials where the dog will be staying after arriving. These dogs can request that they be inspected at the Honolulu International Airport and the fee will be around $165.