One Man’s Bureaucratic Hell: A

Saturday, February 8, 2003
Posted in category Uncategorized

One Man’s Bureaucratic Hell: A friend of mine had a friend who recently moved to his region of the country – Seattle – from Hawaii. This friend brought her two pets, a dog and cat, and after living in Seattle for a while, she decided to go back to Hawaii. Of course, the pets had to go back with her. The bureaucracy involved in getting pets from the continental U.S. to Hawaii is a hell of a story. From my Seattle friend:

“It is a bureaucratic nightmare. Since the pets were sent stateside, they may be exposed to rabies on the mainland (what a bunch of garbage). Since Hawaii is allegedly a rabies-free state, all dogs and cats being sent to Hawaii (from the mainland) must go through the quarantine process. To qualify for the 30-day quarantine (versus the 120-day quarantine), the pet must have at least two rabies shots more than 90 days apart but not more than a year apart. After receiving the two aforementioned rabies shots, an accredited veterinarian must take a blood sample from the pet and have it tested (for rabies immunity) at Kansas State University. In turn, KSU sends the results to the Hawaii Animal Quarantine Station (in Aiea, HI). Once the quarantine station receives the results, a date is posted as to when the pet can be flown to Hawaii (if the pet passes the rabies test). However, before the pets can be sent to Hawaii, other shots (covering various diseases) must be administered not more than 3 weeks prior to shipping them nor less than 10 days prior to shipment. Moreover, a flea and tick bath must be administered within 14 days of shipping them. Also, within 14 days of flying them, a veterinarian must complete and sign an animal health certificate certifying the animal is healthy.

In the case of these two pets, I received a waiver allowing them to be quarantined at a private facility on Maui, near where their owner lives. Otherwise, they would have been quarantined on Oahu (at the quarantine station) completely alone and not knowing what in the heck is going on. We were able to get the chief veterinarian at the quarantine station (Dr. Maeda) to provide a waiver allowing the Makawao Veterinary Clinic to keep the pets for the balance of the 30-day quarantine. This will allow her to visit her pets and provide them with the peace of mind that someone cares for them and that all will be well (it is still going to be stressful for the pets). In spite of this waiver, the pets still have to be flown to Oahu first and tested again for rabies (this is ridiculous). After two days at the quarantine station, they will be flown to Maui and picked up by the Makawao Veterinary Clinic.

In essence, the state of Hawaii is saying:

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