Dogs can pass through parks with handlers
One night recently, we walked our leashed dog through Kalama Beach Park on our way to the beach, and a park employee told us it was illegal to bring the dog to the park. The list on the Hawaiian Humane Society site says that dogs are allowed on Kalama Beach. Isn't it legal to walk a leashed dog through a "no dog" park on the way to a beach where the dog is allowed?
Answer: Yes, and the employee was "misinformed," according to both the Hawaiian Humane Society and the city Department of Parks and Recreation, which oversees Kalama Beach Park.
It us unlawful to allow a dog to enter and remain within a "no dog" park, with certain exceptions: at dog shows with permits, obedience classes with permits, service dogs and police dogs, said Dana Takahara-Dias, deputy parks director.
While it is illegal for dogs in general to play or remain in a dog-prohibited park, it "is permissible for dogs to traverse through a park" with their handlers, she said.
Meanwhile, the humane society clarified for us where dogs are allowed. This gets complicated, depending on whether the landowner is the city or the state.
Leashed dogs are only allowed below the high-tide line -- generally the wet sand area marked by seaweed -- on dog-approved beaches, such as the beaches fronting Kalama Beach Park and Kailua Beach Park.
Those beaches are owned and managed by the city, which prohibits dogs above the high-water mark.
However, in the Kailua area, for example, leashed dogs are allowed on ALL parts of Oneawa, Kailua and Lanikai beaches.
Beaches not owned or managed by the city "are not subject to the city law regulating dogs, but are subject to the state law that allows leashed dogs on all parts of the beach," the humane society said.
Leashed dogs are allowed on beaches that are "unencumbered" state land, meaning beaches that have not been set aside for any government purpose or encumbered by a lease, license, permit or easement issued by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The humane society also notes that state rules require dogs to be leashed on beaches, including while on beach land under the ocean water, but not while swimming in the open ocean.
You can find a listing of all the parks and beaches where dogs are allowed, in what areas they are allowed, and where they are prohibited, on the humane society Web site at www.hawaiianhumane.org/programs/dogparks/dogbeaches.html; or call 946-2187.
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