By TTF Intern Kieran Avis

All dog owners can easily protect our waterways by simply picking up their animal’s waste. When it isn’t picked up, the dog waste eventually breaks down and washes into our storm drains, streams, and rivers. How gross is that? Not only does this waste contain harmful bacteria but it also acts as a fertilizer leading to excessive plant growth which deprives fish and other aquatic life of the oxygen necessary for survival…in other words, these creatures die from lack of air!

The solution to the problem is to simply pick up after your dog. Ideally, you should flush the waste down the toilet, as it will be treated at a sewage treatment plant along with human waste. If this isn’t an option, simply bag the waste and place it into the nearest trash can. Please encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to do the same.

According to Tacony Creek Park neighbor Bill McPhillips, owning a pet is a luxury and owners need to be responsible about the the reality of animal waste…and clean up! Not cleaning up pet waste is ignorant, selfish, inconsiderate and unlawful! We are proud that all of the communities in our watershed have adopted pet waste ordinances.

Please pick up after your dog: it is one simple step to improve the health and vitality of our waterways.


Meet Gracie, the Juniata Park spokesdog!

Did you know that Philadelphia works with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary on a Spokesdog program to teach you about picking up waste? You can meet Gracie, our Juniata spokesdog at our Block Parties next week!

A recent letter from Mr. William McPhillips concerning Dog Waste

Dear Neighbors:

Having a pet is not a necessity, it is a luxury. The definition of a luxury according to Webster’s dictionary is “something not essential but conducive to comfort or pleasure.” We all know that comfort and pleasure have consequences. Owning a pet has consequences. You as the owner of your pet must provide food, shelter and medical care for your animal. You being the owner and caregiver must address the reality of your pets’ waste. It is ignorant, selfish, inconsiderate and against the law not to pick up your pet’s waste.

Pet Owners walk their pets in our parks, ballfields, golf courses, cemeteries, neighbors’ lawns and open grounds without any effort to pick up their pet’s waste. They come to these places because of weak enforcement of the laws that are on the books that make pet owners responsible for the removal of their pet’s waste.

Pet Waste is poison! Unless your pet is a vegetarian their waste is useless. To walk your pet in these places and not pick-up the waste makes it possible that a child may come home after a day playing in the park, on the ball field or flying a kite, with pet waste on their clothes and shoes.


Bill McPhillips plants trees on Love Your Park Day.






















As a parent, what do you say to your child when they step in pet waste? Pet owners know what the right thing to do is, they come to these places because they know that nothing is enforced. Pet owners come here with one, two, three, four, even five pets without any concerns for other people. They come here because nothing is enforced.

You cannot walk your pet downtown (Center City) without picking up your dog’s waste, you will be fined. Why is our neighborhood any different? The answer to this problem is enforcement of existing laws.

If a pet owner walks their pet, and does not pick up its waste and then gets a fine, do you think they will continue to walk their pet without picking up the waste? Why do pet owners think that they have the right to let their pets defecate on public and private property without picking up the waste?

Thank you,

A pet owner, Bill McPhillips

About Julie

Julie Slavet is TTF's Executive Director. She has over 20 years of experience in community affairs, program development, and personnel management. Julie earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Smith College and an M.S. in Public Affairs from the University of Massachusetts. Julie has served as an Advisor to the Jenkintown Community Alliance and a Director of the Montgomery County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative. Contact Julie at 215.844.8100 or


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