Parkwill open for
dogs this fall
A foundation is providingBy Treena Shapiro
$50,000 to provide more space
for canine capers
BILL Carpenter and his dog Hoku can't wait for a new Moiliili park for dogs. Nor can Wally Swanson and his Labrador retriever Beaches.
The regulars at what's called the "Bark Park" at Diamond Head Road and 18th Avenue applaud the idea of a second off-leash dog park, to be built at the Hawaiian Humane Society.
Swanson said: "There should have one every few miles."
"Or at least one in every area," said Carpenter, who drives his dog Hoku to the park from Palolo Valley, noting some people bring their dogs from Kailua, Waialua and Kahaluu.
The Hawaiian Humane Society is creating the park with a $50,000 grant from the McInerny Foundation: A park landscaped with a small waterfall, large shade trees, benches and a large open space will open this fall.
The McInerny Dog Park will be named for William H. McInerny, a dog owner and lover who served as president and director for the humane society, and left money to the organization to look after his dogs after his death in 1947.
Humane Society President Pamela Burns said that because leash laws aren't likely to be phased out, dog parks are the only safe environment to let dogs off the leash in public.
The leash laws are a public safety issue, Burns said. "Dogs that are uncontrolled can be a public safety hazard."
Even well-trained dogs can give into instinct when distracted by a moving target, Burns said. "They can't be trusted to stay by your side." For example, dogs straying into the street have caused accidents when drivers swerve to avoid them.
"There are too few places where people can go with their animals and have fun with their animals and socialize with other dogs off leash," said Eve Holt, director of community relations at the Humane Society. "Dogs are very social animals and they need to play with their buddies."
But the Humane Society hopes for more than just creating a social setting for dogs and their owners. It also hopes to increase adoptions.
"The more attractive the Humane Society is to come, the more likely they are to look at the animals we have for adoption," Holt said.
The fenced Bark Park at Diamond Head offers dogs over an acre of play space and their own water fountain, and owners get picnic tables and complimentary poop bags.
Marcus Rice, from Kunia, takes his dog Roquette to Bark Park when he comes into town. Roquette is off the leash 75 percent of the time out in the country, Rice said, but Bark Park still draws them in.
Part of the park's appeal is the opportunity to socialize, not just for Roquette, but for Rice as well. "Everybody is just on the same dog wavelength," Rice said. "It makes us feel good to think (the dogs) are having a good time."