Quarantining your pet is like locking up your favorite thing in the world and throwing away the key for four months. Yes, I said four months. That’s roughly 120 days.
Before we moved to Hawaii, I took one look at the Animal Quarantine Facility and said, “No way, José.”
OK, so maybe it isn’t as terrible as I make it out to be. But it only took me reading around three horror stories about people’s dogs eating toads and dying, getting fleas, etc. to finalize my decision to not put my furbaby through that.
Thus, I found this nifty Checklist for 5-Day-or-Less Program (for direct airport release). I read through it like 300 times before actually getting started because one misstep, and you’re done – 120 days of quarantine for your pet.
Looking back at it now, I like to think that I took this whole process in stride. But I was literally pulling my hair out at every turn.
It started with taking Chipper to his vet in Indy. He had to update all of his rabies vaccinations, which was easy. Then, came the OIE-FAVN rabies blood test which needed to be sent to the University of Kansas. Then, what do you know? A 120-day waiting period. So you’re waiting around no matter what, but at least this way, you have the option to wait with your pup/cat instead of having him/her live at the facility for that long.
Next, was getting all of the documents in order … original copies of every test, including its name/serial number/booster interval/date/expiration date; original health certificate (done within 14 days of arrival); completing and notarizing the Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-278, acquiring a cashier’s check or money order for the right amount ($165 per pet for direct airport release or $224 for 5-day-or-less program), and mailing everything in (in the same envelope) making sure that everything arrives more than 10 days before your pet arrives in Hawaii.
Remember to breathe.
What made quarantine the most difficult for us was that I needed to be in Hawaii in June and Chipper wasn’t allowed to come to Hawaii until September. So we had to be away from him, make arrangements for him, take care of all of his tests/documents, all before I moved and while we were apart.
In order to get Chipper’s health certificate done within the allotted time frame, I needed to research and find a vet for him to see in order to get the needed forms and to treat him for fleas and ticks (none of that is allowed in Hawaii, clearly).
Luckily, Chipper was able to stay with his Aunt Sarah (one of my friends from college) in Portland, OR from August-September. She was able to take Chipper to the vet for me and provide him with a home where he had a blast with four other dogs (more on that later from Chipper himself).
Do you have any Quarantine stories? What was your experience like? I can really just describe it as stressful and lots of waiting around … This post doesn’t even begin to cover everything else I needed to do in order to prepare Chipper for his flight across the Pacific (I’ll cover that in a bit).