The Saturday morning event, run by the Hawaiian Humane Society, is called Petwalk.
People bring their dogs, cats, bunny rabbits and even birds, and walk around the beach park. There are some unusual sights: Dogs in costume, bunnies on a leash, and even a pig in a stroller.
While the event is scheduled for October 7, 2012, this may be the last year for the celebration, which is considered a thank you bash for donors.
The city is refusing to renew a city permit that would allow the Petwalk to be held in 2013.
“Department of Parks and Recreation Director Gary Cabato informed the Hawaiian Humane Society last year and again this year that there is an ordinance that prohibits animals in that park,” City Spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy told Hawaii Reporter.
The Hawaiian Humane Society, which opened in 1942 in the heart of Moiliili, offers 30 programs and services that focus on “strengthening the human animal bond: rescuing the abused, engaging volunteers, fighting for better laws and caring for nearly 30,000 animals a year.”
A spokesperson is hoping the city administration will change its policy to allow the annual event – which is important to so many of Hawaii’s pet owners – to continue in 2013 and beyond.
But so far the city is not budging: “To follow the law and be fair to other animal organizations, DPR explained that it would no longer be able to issue a permit for the Pet Walk,” McCoy said.
The cancellation may become an election issue.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle is up for re-election and is being challenged by two well-known opponents, former Gov. Benjamin Cayetano and former City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell.
Benjamin Cayetano is married to businesswoman Vicky Cayetano, an active Hawaii Humane Society volunteer. Together, they adopted 10 dogs of all shapes and sizes.
Fortunately for Carlisle, none of the dogs can vote.