The next time Hunters wants to hold a charity dog wash or other event in its parking lot, it will have to pay a fee to the landlord. 

The $200 fee has been instituted by Rivercrest Realty Investors, which owns The Shoppes of Wilton Manors, where Hunters is located.

“It just defeats the purpose [of fundraising],” said Bruce Howe-Herrera, Hunters’ general manager. “It’s very frustrating. We’re not even open for business [to benefit from the dog washes].” Rivercrest is based in North Carolina and purchased the shopping plaza in 2007.

The dog washes, which benefitted The Pride Center’s Florida AIDS walk team, were held in front of Hunters earlier this month and in January. “The first one wasn’t an issue,” said Howe-Herrera.

Hunters provided the hose and towels and paid for the water. Pride Center provided the manpower. “They were kind enough to let us use their hose,” said Robert Boo, CEO of Pride Center.

But Howe-Herrera, general manager of Hunters, said the fee is new.

He said a fee is required by Rivercrest for the dog wash but no fee is required when Art Walk artists set up for that monthly art event. Howe-Herrera said he was told the difference is that the dog washes don’t benefit the entire community.

He sees both as benefitting the community. “I don’t know why they look at it as separate.”

One shopping center business owner, who declined to have his name published, said he thinks it might have something to do with the dogs possibly biting someone and Rivercrest having to take out extra insurance in case they are sued for the incident.

Brooke Conn, Property Manager for Rivercrest, declined to be interviewed.