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Walk To Support Welfare Of Animals

West Oahu pets (and their owners) can now look forward to a pet walk that takes place close to home.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, Kapolei-based animal welfare nonprofit Poi Dogs & Popoki invites those in the community to head down to Ewa Mahiko District Park, located in between Kapolei and Ewa Beach, for a day of fun.

“The West Oahu Pet Walk is our first one,” said PDP president Alicia Maluafiti. “The Humane Society does their pet walk at Magic Island … but we want to stay in our community.

“It’s challenging, and we’re worried about participation, but West Oahu is the fastest-growing pet-friendly community in the state.”

Maluafiti, who founded Oahu SPCA and previously directed community relations for Hawaiian Humane Society, also noted that more pet walks are being planned for Central Oahu and Windward Oahu this year.

For the June event, participants can choose between a oneand two-mile walk. Pet adoptions, from places such as Joey’s Feline Friends, also will be available on site, along with doggie day care booths and informational stations for businesses that address important pet issues like fleas and ticks.

“We’ll also have some of the big kiddie pools for water play for the dogs,” Maluafiti added. “It’s going to be fun.”

Those interested in attending can register in advance at poidogsandpopoki.org or call 551-7915 for more information. Registration also will take place on the day of the event.

The fee to participate is $50 (tax deductible) per family, no matter how many pets you have. It includes one pet goodie bag filled with pet supplies and a T-shirt. (Additional shirts are available for $15.)

Each dollar from the pet walk goes to help PDP subsidize spay and neuter services offered through The Big Fix, a mobile clinic that offers “affordable sterilization to families in at-risk communities.”

In fact, The Big Fix recently held a spay and neuter clinic at Patsy T. Mink Regional Park for cats and dogs.

According to Maluafiti, PDP, which started in 2009, aims to keep spay and neuter procedures affordable for families.

“We’ve also helped people with (other) veterinary care expenses, and we disseminate food when we get donations,” she added. “We try to be a resource.”

PDP also lends out animal traps for feral animals that are in need of spaying and neutering.

“We want you to trap them and sterilize them and then put them back,” Maluafiti said. “It’s called ‘trap, neuter, return’ and that way they won’t keep reproducing.

“That’s the best thing for the community. There are never going to be enough homes for all these animals.”

These are just a few ways PDP aims to improve life for pets and their people, as well as strays, and the upcoming pet walk is one way the community can help on that effort.