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My Pôpoki

Posted by on October 13, 2011
So in my previous post I discuss all of the steps needed to get my cat (pôpoki) to Hawaii. I thought I was on top of the process. I had her microchip implanted:

She had her 2 rabies shots that were given more than 30 days apart. I obtained an original certificate and made sure they signed it in ink as required. (Her previous rabies certificate from Virginia was stamped so I emailed the Animal Quarantine at to confirm this would be okay. I was told as long as the most recent one was in ink we were fine.)

We had a successful OIE-FAVN Rabies test result. The original was sent to Hawaii and her 120 of quarantine began. I thought the only thing left to do was to submit all of the paperwork to them before 10 days of arrival. I needed to send the original rabies certificates and a “Dog & Cat Import Form AQS-278”. I knew this form needed to be notarized so I figured it was a one day project, right? Um, no!

I hadn’t looked at the form until this Tuesday. On it, it tells me I have to list a hospital or clinic they can call should Cinder need medical treatment while in quarantine. This makes total sense, but it was a lot of work that I hadn’t planned on. I went to the Animal Quarantine website and found a list of approved clinics. Well, you have to actually register your pet at one before you list the place on the form. So, I did some research and found some reviews (I told you I was a review girl, right?) on the website Yelp. I then had to wait until 2pm EST for the places to open up in Hawaii. The first place I called said they were full. The second place I called was full. The third place I called said they no longer participate. I finally called The Cat Clinic and was successful. However, it’s not just a matter of answering a few questions and your registered. You have to fill out their forms. These forms could be mailed or faxed. Well, I don’t own a fax and mailing was going to take too long. So I called my local Fed-Ex and got their fax number. I then called The Cat Clinic back and gave it to them. I went to Fed-Ex fully expected to fill the forms out there and fax them back and be done with it. Nope. I needed a local address on the form. Sigh. So back home I went.

I then looked into my options of getting a P.O. Box. I decided to go with the UPS Store because I would then have a street address, not just a P.O. number. This should be an easy process, right? You know I’m going to say no, right? They emailed me a bunch of forms. I had to fill them out for me and my husband, have them notarized, provide two forms of ID for both of us, and then sign a form saying they could charge my credit card. Yikes! So I filled out the forms and then yesterday we had them notarized on base. I made copies of drivers licenses and Military IDs and was ready to go. Yesterday was hectic with trying to track down information about our moving company since we haven’t heard from them and they are due to be here in less than 2 weeks. My youngest son also had his physical therapy appointment. So finally, when the boys were in bed, I went to Fed-Ex and faxed all 12 pages of my mailbox application. I called to confirm they received them at the UPS Store in Hawaii. Yes, they will call me back in ten minutes with my address. Wonderful! No, not so much. They call me back and tell me that the notary was suppose to verify my two IDs and write them on the form. REALLY?? Ugh!

So yes, I have to redo my application and get it notarized AGAIN. But, luckily he was a nice person and told me he would go ahead and assign me an address. He said he had 30 days to submit the form. So that buys me a few days and gets me an address to put on the form to register my cat at a clinic in Hawaii. Which means I can now submit my forms to quarantine. The moral of the story? Don’t wait, thinking it will be smooth sailing. Just send the forms in as soon as you can.

I want to hear about any issues you all had when traveling with pets. Was it all smooth sailing or did you have some snafus?

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6 Responses to My Pôpoki

  1. Emily

    Oh. My. Word. This is exactly why my husband and I will not be getting any pets before I get to Guam. WAY too much hassle. We previously decided not to get any pets since we were living in Las Vegas apartments for the first 2 years of our marriage and said we’d get a dog in Guam. Is getting pets back into the U.S. difficult?

  2. Carmen

    I feel your pain although we had a great vet before we moved here (Hawaii) who knew exactly what to do to prepare for the move to Hawaii with our 85lb dog. We were able to quarintine him in our home in Alaska before we moved here. We just could not let him be around other animals for 127 days. Our move was smooth sailing. A little more expensive than a cat but we were able to pick up our dog at the airport and take her with us when we arrived. A lot of people do not know you can do this unless you have a vet the knows about this.

  3. Jennifer Hayden

    Wow! I never had any problems bringing my cat with me to Guam from the states about 4 years ago. I do like the moral of your story, start early! I think I started getting everything ready as early as I could to make sure my furry baby made it with me! Good Luck!

    • Mark Anderson


      Can you explain to me the steps on bringing the cat to Guam? I got her two rabbies shots and her micro chip implant, but have no idea what to do next. If you can help, I would appreciate it soo much!

      Thank you!

  4. Jennifer Hayden

    O and in response to Emily, I am getting ready to go back to the US with previously stated cat and its WAY less complicated. You just gotta have a health certificate and money to pay for the ticket and import fees depending on where you are going in the states.

  5. Tracie73

    Yes, starting early is the key. When we moved to Hawaii in 05 I started plenty early, researching what had to be done when and how long it would all take. The bloodwork for the rabies test takes time and it is a bit pricey. We had 2 dogs to do this with, everything had to be done 4 months ahead of arrival for us to take them home with us from the airport otherwise they would have been quarantined there at our expense. We got it done without any problems. Also a lot of people don’t realize the temperature regulations when flying animals, especially depending on the season you will be flying. If it’s above a certain temp or below a certain temp they cannot board the animals. We have flown a dog to Europe and it wasn’t as much work as it was to Hawaii but they are a rabies free state so the rules are different. Flying our 2 dogs back to the mainland was much easier.

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