Bring My Pets to Maui?

Hawaiian Animal Rescue Puppies

Maui Puppies for Adoption, click image for info

This is the second post on Moving to Maui HQ where I try to enlighten you as to the challenges and solutions surrounding your move to paradise.

Please take note that this post is the first one after my welcome note, and is so for a reason: you must start planning early if you plan to bring your pets with you. How early? At least five months ahead of your move date! The complexities may seem daunting, but my friend Michele Meyer luckily wrote the best summation of the issues in her ebook, Moving To Hawaii, which you can get by clicking on the title. Michele includes much details that are relevant for moving to any of the Hawaiian Islands.

Let me walk you through some of the Hawaiian animal import laws and the basic reasoning.  By its very nature of being isolated in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii has a unique selection of both plants and animals. Hawaii has no rabies, and the residents of Hawaii are intent on keeping it that way. There also are unique animals found here and nowhere else on the earth! The Nene for example is a flightless goose.

The smallness and isolation of the island, as opposed to continents, mean that the balance of animal populations is potentially quite fragile and easy to disrupt.  Too many feral cats or too few can change the mouse population dramatically. An avian virus could wipe out the myna birds or the Nene. Rabies could be a disaster in the wild animal population. The government takes seriously its role in protecting the balance of nature.

The mongoose and european pig were artificially introduced and are two examples of what happens to a species with no natural predator to keep the population in balance.  The mongoose was brought from India to control the rat population and is now so common as to be referred to as the “Hawaiian Squirrel”. The pigs have caused tremendous damage digging out the roots of the tropical landscape.

Because of all of these issues the government takes pets very seriously. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s website  features all of the information you will need to bring your pet to Maui. You should note that you will need your veterinarian at home communicating with a receiving veterinarian in Hawaii.

Also, depending on the time of year the heat may be an issue. If you are bringing them in small cages in the cabin, only Hawaiian Airlines will allow that. The operating hours on the receiving end makes it required that you arrive by 3:30 pm or you will have to wait until the next day to pick up your pet.  This is especially problematic if you arrive in Honolulu and expect to continue on to Maui. Carefully read the information on the state’s website above.

The good news is that with proper planning and provided that you have enough time, you can avoid leaving your pet in quarantine.  The bad news is that if your move is within 120 days, then you will have to either leave your pet on the mainland with someone, or bring your pet over and go the quarantine route.

If this whole concept seems confusing, well, it is. It may be a very good idea to check out Akona Pet Services as they can provide a complete hassle-free solution.

 I also want to mention that there are many deserving pets who need to be rescued. The Maui Humane Society and the Hawaiian Animal Rescue are both great causes and resources to adopt your next pet.