BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – Every October, some 2,000 people along with their favorite pets, meet at Ala Moana Beach Park’s Magic Island.

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.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps the City has forgotten who helped them relocate/foster all of those dogs from the puppy mill fiasco. A problem that the City might have prevented if it would stop wasting taxpayer money on things like rail and fund the much needed repair maintenance of our infrastructure and hiring of enforcement personnel.

    Why is it that our city and state are so lacking in leadership and critical thinking by our elected officials?

  2. The Petwalk has been going on at Ala Moana beach park for years. All of a sudden it can no longer be held there. Who’s complaining? It’s just another clusterf**k by our ever deteriorating city and state government. If it’s because of Cayetano running for mayor then we have a major problem with our government leaders and they need to be replaced asap. Go Ben!!!

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