I found to be the most difficult to deal with in this scenario
was the fact that I would not know if T.C. would qualify
for direct release at the airport until we actually got
there. I jumped through all of the hoops that the Dept.
of Agriculture asked for, but it was no guarantee that he
would actually be released instead of having to be quarantined.
They made the decision once he arrived at the Animal Quarantine
Station at the Honolulu Airport.
our plane landed in Honolulu, our first mission was to find
the Animal Quarantine Station, which none of the airport
personnel seemed to know how to find. We finally came across
a security guard that pointed us in the right direction.
It didn't even show on any of the airport maps! We were
so relieved to find that the staff at the station had T.C.
out of his cage and were playing with him. He was approved
for direct release in less than ten minutes.
our flight from Honolulu to the Big Island, T.C. got to
stay in the cabin with us, in a soft sided carrier which
fit under the
seat in front of us. In other words, he got to be carry-on
luggage! They didn't allow this from San Francisco to Honolulu.
For that flight, because he had not gone through Animal
Quarantine, T.C. had to fly in the baggage compartment in
a special section for pets. It broke my heart!
make a very long day short---T.C. made it to Hawaii and
adjusted very well to his new home. He seemed to really
enjoy strolling around on the lava....he would just go,
and go. I'm sad to report that T.C. passed away in June
of 2006 at the ripe old age of 14.
still very glad that we brought him with us and that T.C.
was able to live out his golden years in Hawaii with us.