Concerns over rash of dog attacks in Kakaako

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A rash of dog attacks in Kakaako has at least one victim making a plea for help. She says there has to be a way to make the sidewalks safer.

Melinda Chernesky has been a regular jogger in the area for 16 years and she says it has never been this bad before. She’s not the only one who feels that way.

Chernesky met with KHON2 on Ilalo Street where she was attacked by dogs while jogging last month.

“They literally came across the street and I was like this, and I started screaming and a black dog came at me first and a brown thing like that and at least three others,” she said.

She was bitten on the leg and got help from security officers at the UH medical school, who then called police. She learned of two other attacks at the same area, and even more from the police officer.

“He told me he had at least 10 filed reports. All three of us filed police reports of dog bites,” said Chernesky.

Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi has been getting complaints about them not just in Kakaako, but also at the homeless camps in Moiliili.

“We have to help the homeless but we have to have them control their animals,” she said.

HPD and the Hawaiian Humane Society respond to reports of dog attacks and stray animals. But a dog can only be impounded if there’s no owner to claim it or if it’s considered a vicious dog. Kobayashi plans to meet with the humane society to see what can be done to make things better.

“Maybe they can help the dogs that are on the sidewalk now and talk to their owners and see if maybe we can do something. Because it’s not fair to the public who just want to walk or jog in the neighborhood,” said Kobayashi.

“All I want is my run back. That’s all I want, that’s all I want. Cause we all come back here versus going on Nimitz,” said Chernesky.

Chernesky has not jogged in that area since the attack. She’s also asked House Speaker Scott Saiki, who represents the area, for help.

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