Direct Release and Quarantine

Located just 15 minutes from the airport, the Kaua’i Humane Society has helped thousands of animals through the direct release process at the Lihue Airport, a process all animals entering the state of Hawaii must go through in order to keep Hawaii rabies free. Hawaii State law sets forth specific pre/post arrival requirements to qualify for Direct Release, and we are here to help you meet them!

Bringing your companion animal to Kaua’i is a multi-step process that requires diligence, a thorough approach and organizational skills. If you follow the required steps it can be accomplished successfully. All of the steps must be completed for your animal(s) to qualify for this program. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is strict and one oversight will require the process to start all over again.

Below you will find written instructions and a helpful video to watch which explains the process. Email us at if you need help or want to schedule your direct release!

Step by Step: Completing the Direct Release Process

  • STEP 1: Ensure your pet has a microchip & has had 2 rabies vaccines prior to the OIE-FAVN test (must be more than 30 days apart and second vaccine must be more than 30 days before entry into Hawaii)
  • STEP 2: Schedule a OIE-FAVN test with your vet
  • STEP 3: Complete the Dog and Cat Import Form (AQS-279). Note: this is a “one size fits all form”. Complete only the sections that pertain to you.

HELPFUL HINTS: Completing the Dog and Cat Import Form (AQS-279)

Note: this is a “one size fits all form”. Complete only the sections that pertain to you.

  • Complete #1. Planned Arrival and Number of Animals
  • Complete #2. Pet Information
  • Complete #3. Primary Owner
  • Complete #4. Program. [Check the Neighbor Island Inspection Permit $165].
  • Complete #5. Documents. [Check the first two boxes about Recent and Previous Rabies Vaccine Cert. and write $165 in the amount enclosed box].
  • Read #6.
  • Complete #7 & 7B [if it pertains to you].
  • Skip #8.
  • Sign & Print #9
  • Send your packet containing the checklist items to the address on the very top of the Dog and Cat import Form. (AQS, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, Hawaii 96701)
  • STEP 4: Complete the State’s Checklist for requesting a direct release at the Lihue Airport and submit the required information to AQS to request your Neighbor Island Inspection Permit. You will need this permit to board your flight!  NOTE: This permit is only good for 5 days after the date of issue. So, if your flight plans change, you may need a new one.
  • STEP 5: Contact us to begin the Direct Release process on Kauai. Email or call 808-632-0610 ext. 114 at least 30 days prior to your flight arrival in Lihue. 
  • STEP 6: Your animal must also get a health certificate within 14 days of travel into the state.

FAQ: What Will I Need to Schedule a Direct Release Reservation?

When you make your reservation, we will need:

  • Your contact information
  • The name of the person bringing the animal
  • The pet’s description including the pet’s microchip number
  • Airline carrier, flight number, arrival date and time — your flight MUST be booked before a reservation can be made
  • Credit Card payment at the time of reservation.( prices below)

When your reservation is made with the Kauai Humane Society, we will fax to the Animal Quarantine Station the Lihue Airport Inspection Confirmation Form. AQS will merge the information from your packet with our fax and issue the permit.

Please Note: The Animal Quarantine Station is responsible for mailing to you the Neighbor Island Inspection Permit. Kauai Humane Society does not mail the permit.

FAQ: What Will Happen on the Day of My Flight?

Upon arrival at the Lihue Airport, a Kaua’i Humane Society representative will meet your pet(s) at the terminal to complete an inspection. You must provide to the representative from KHS the original Health Certificate and the Neighbor Island Inspection Permit upon arrival for inspection. Failure to bring the originals will prevent your animal from being released. This process takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Once complete, you and your pet(s) may leave directly from the airport. YOU MAY NOT LEAVE THE AIRPORT WITHOUT MEETING OUR REPRESENTATIVE.

FAQ: What Fees Will I Need to Pay for Direct Release?

Direct Release costs are as follows:

  • First time entry of spayed or neutered pet: $450
  • First time entry of an unaltered pet: $500
  • First time entry of any additional spayed or neutered pets: $250 each
  • First time entry of any additional unaltered pets: $300 each
  • Subsequent entry of pet: $300
  • Subsequent entry of additional pets: $250 each

An additional “after hours” fee of $100 will be added for any flights arriving on weekends, holidays or after 5pm on weekdays.  Holidays include:  New Year’s Eve after 2 pm, New Year’s Day, Christmas Eve after 2pm, Christmas, Thanksgiving, King Kamehameha Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fourth of July.

You Might Ask...

Who Must Go Through Direct Release?

ANY companion animal, including service and emotional support animals, must go through the direct release process. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is extremely strict in enforcing the rabies-free rules.  Failure to follow the direct release process will result in your animal being denied entry onto the island.  Animals denied entry are either sent back to their origin on the next available flight or sent to Honolulu for a rabies quarantine.

Why Does Hawaii Require Direct Release?

Hawaii is a rabies-free state. All animals entering the state must pass the OIE-FAVN Rabies Test to ensure they do not bring rabies to Hawaii.

What is the OIE-FAVN Rabies Test?

This test ensures your animal does not carry rabies. Your veterinarian will blood draw and send it to Kansas State University or Auburn University for the testing.  Only approved laboratories can perform this test.  The test takes 30 days (1 month), and the clock starts when the blood is received at KSU. When the pet has passed the test, the results will be sent to The Animal Quarantine Station (AQS) on Oahu. The passing test is valid for 3 years.

What Happens After the Test is Completed?

When AQS has your animals OIE-FAVN test results in their data base and you want a Direct Release at the Lihue Airport, you will need to complete the steps outlined in the State’s Check List and send it to AQS on Oahu at least 30 days in advance of your arrival date at the Lihue Airport.

What if My Pet Has NOT Completed the 30-Day OIE-FAVN?

If your pet has not completed the 30 day OIE-FAVN and the pet has to complete the quarantine time, the animal needs to arrive in Honolulu first for processing before it can be transferred to Kaua`i to fulfill the quarantine requirements. To complete your quarantine on Kaua’i, limited spots are available for an additional $100 a night.

What if I Need to Change or Cancel My Flight?

There is a flight change fee of $100. Reservations that are cancelled more than two weeks prior to arrival will be refunded less a $100 processing fee.  Cancellations less than 2 weeks before arrival will receive a 50% refund.

Rabies Quarantine Boarding

Rabies Quarantine boarding may be provided on a limited basis. Please email us for pricing and availability.

Contact Information



  • Phone: 808-483-7151
  • Email:
  • State Website:
  • Mailing Address:
    Hawaii Department of Agriculture
    Animal Quarantine Station
    99-951 Halawa Valley Street
    Aiea, Hawaii 96701-5602

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