Hawaii Kai Dog Park

(KHNL) - Everything is in place for a new dog park to be built in Hawaii Kai -- except funding.

"I would be very happy if the city put the money in the capital budget, so that they would build the park for us," said Elaine Dobashi. "But the reality is it's just not gonna happen."

Dobashi is president of the group "Hui Ilio Hawaii," which is raising money for the park.

"Dogs have an inherit need for exercise and socialization," said Dobashi. "It's part of their nature -- it's just as important to them as eating. And people need a place to take their dogs."

Right now, there are more than 150,000 dogs on Oahu, but only four dog parks, where owners can legally let their dogs run around without a leash. The nearest one for those in Hawaii Kai is the McInerny Dog Park at Diamond Head Road and 18th Avenue.

"I think they're all willing to work something out and raise the money," said dog owner Robin O'Sullivan. "We really need the money, and we really need the support to raise this dog park facility in Hawaii Kai so we just have someplace to go."

The spot has already been picked out, next to the Hawaii Kai Park and Ride. Dog owners say the area is ideal -- flat, lots of free parking, and a safe distance away from Kalanianaole Highway and from homes.

Hui Ilio Hawaii has already got an engineering firm, landscaper and surveyor to do preliminary work for free.

"The support is great -- getting the money is another problem," said Dobashi.

The group is hoping to get corporate sponsorship to build the park. It estimates it'll cost about $70,000 just for fencing and irrigation. Dobashi hopes to have plans finalized soon, so construction can start by the end of the year.