Count Dracula no longer has to feel left behind when his family, Kedric and Suzie Hasha, hits the road.

Traveling with
and without
your pet

If you wish to take your pet
on a vacation trip, plan 120 days
ahead to meet requirements

Hawaii has new pet quarantine rules that now make it possible for Hawaii residents to take pets on vacation without having to place the animals in quarantine upon their return. This doesn't mean that quarantine has been abolished, just updated.

While a 120-day confinement in the State Animal Quarantine Station was once mandatory, new pre- and post-arrival requirements may qualify a pet for a 30-day quarantine or a five-day-or-less quarantine that became effective on June 30.

But you must plan ahead to meet the requirements. If you want to take your pet on a trip to the mainland, start your preparations at least 120 days in advance. This reflects the amount of time for a successful rabies test to be completed before the animal leaves the state. A Hawaii animal can be eligible to re-enter the islands without quarantine if it meets the Department of Agriculture's criteria, including having an implanted microchip for identification, rabies shots, a blood serum test and a veterinarian's health certificate.

See the department's Web site (see box information) for specific details from a 24-page document as well as forms, and note that the department is in the process of simplifying these rules even further. Keep reading the newspaper for public hearings regarding this issue.

Airlines have varying rules about transporting animals, so check around before scheduling flights. With the exception of service animals, only pets small enough to fit in a carrier under the seat will be allowed in plane cabins.

Depending on where you're flying, airlines will not place animals in the cargo hold during very cold or very hot months. Acquaint your pet in advance with the carrier or crate so he will think of it as a safe retreat.

DESPITE THE requirements, many lucky animals who call Hawaii home will soon be able to travel with their families. Mainland and foreign pets will also be able to visit Hawaii on vacation.

But Hawaii families traveling without their pets need to plan, too, for their absence.

A boarding kennel can offer quality care and medical supervision for your animals. It's important to visit the kennel first and make sure you are comfortable with the accommodations and level of care. Find out if proof of vaccinations is required, ask about exercise and cuddle time, and let your nose guide you regarding the level of cleanliness at the kennel. Many veterinarians board pets for their clients.

If you'd rather keep your pets at home with a pet sitter, choose one who has experience with your type of animal, who will recognize situations when your pet requires veterinary attention.

Be sure to ask for references, and follow up by checking them out. Once you've chosen a pet sitter, book the time in advance. Then leave clear written instructions and your phone numbers, and remember to tell your veterinarian who will be caring for your pet.

Whether you're staying home or traveling, it's important to place current ID tags on all your pets. Tags or a microchip ID with current information make it easy for a lost pet to be returned home to you.

The humane society will be providing $5 microchip IDs for dogs and cats from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 7 in the Hawaiian Humane Society Library. No appointment is necessary. A list of veterinarians providing the $5 microchips is also available on the humane society's Web site.

KT Haase is publication coordinator for the Hawaiian Humane Society. "Pet Ohana" runs the first and third Fridays of the month. The Hawaiian Humane Society is a nonprofit agency dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals.


More information

Quarantine Information from the Department of Agriculture:

Honolulu Star-Bulletin article explaining quarantine changes:

Boarding and pet sitter listings in the Yellow Pages under Dog & Cat Kennels

Update your pet's microchip information: Call the Hawaiian Humane Society during business hours: 946-2187, ext. 0.

To receive a brochure on crate training your pet, and other travel tips from the humane society, call 946-2187, ext. 223, and leave your address on the voice mail.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --