Dogs going over cliffs, falling into steam cracks prompt reminder of park policy

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is reminding visitors that dogs and other pets are not allowed in many areas of the park for safety reasons, and for the protection of threatened and endangered species.

“During my career in national parks, I have witnessed dogs go over the sides of cliffs chasing birds, and in the past year at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we have had incidents of dogs off leash in nene areas, and most recently, falling into steam cracks, all while seemingly under control of their owners,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.

Pets are prohibited in the following areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

All undeveloped areas of the park, including designated wilderness areas.

All trails, including backcountry trails.

All backcountry campgrounds, including Kulanaokuaiki.

Ainahou, Kipuka Nene, and all of Hilina Pali Road.

Authorized service animals are permitted, but may be prohibited from certain areas if their presence is detrimental to park management programs, like nene recovery.

“Pets are like our family, and the best way to protect them is to not expose them to the unnecessary hazards and risks prevalent in a national park,” said Orlando.

All pets and service dogs in the park must be leashed at all times. Recently, hikers have reported being bitten by dogs off leash on park trails. In 2012, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park law enforcement officers cited, warned and responded to 24 dog incidents in the park.

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