HONOLULU (KHON2) — The state’s Animal Quarantine Station is overdue for renovations. But inflation and other factors are leading to more delays. Officials said the cost has already doubled and has put the project in limbo.

The kennels at the facility in Halawa are showing signs of wear and tear with metal chain link fencing and roofs rusting. The state has been soliciting bids to fix the problem with a budget of $200,000. But officials said bids have come in at double that price.

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“And so we have to either find a way to meet that amount or see if there’s another way to come up with additional funding. Either way it’s kind of up in the air at this point,” said Dr. Isaac Maeda, Animal Industry Division Administrator for the state.

The facility is not as heavily used as in years past when quarantine was mandatory for all cats and dogs entering the state in order to keep Hawaii rabies-free. Maeda said back then the facility was averaging more than a thousand pets each day. It is now down to about a hundred, so there isn’t as much urgency to fix the problem.

Another reason why renovations have been put on hold was because the Oahu Community Correctional Center was supposed to move to this location. Now that can still happen, but officials said they don’t want to put off the repairs any longer.

Pet owners entering the state can bypass quarantine if they can show proof that their pet has received two rabies shots as well as a negative rabies test result at least 30 days before arrival. While many owners are able to bypass quarantine, there are still those who are forced to leave their pets in these kennels.

Maeda said the most common reason is that the test results didn’t come back in time. He adds that there are only three facilities in the country that perform the rabies test, and it used to only take two weeks to get the results.

“But now, since COVID and a lot of changes that happened, it’s sometimes taken up to 30 days or sometimes even longer. So pet owners should really prepare ahead of time,” said Maeda.

He recommends getting the test done 60 days before arrival. He also suggests you schedule your arrival at a time when the holding facility at the airport is open.

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“If you arrive at 10 o’clock at night, the facility isn’t doing inspections at that point. So you’re not gonna be able to get released even if the animal is qualified until the following morning,” said Maeda.