Bark in the Park, Blessing of the Animals this weekend

Posted on 05 October 2018 by

petsTwo popular events, Bark in the Park and the Blessing of the Animals, will be held this weekend for dogs and their human friends.

Bark in the Park will get underway at Clark Park at 43rd and Chester on Saturday, Oct. 6, beginning at 2 p.m. (meet near the Bowl). There will be more than 25 contests, from the tallest dog to curliest tail to fastest runner, with chances to win doggie goodies. You can also meet the vet, Dr. David Littlejohn. The event is sponsored by Friends of Clark Park.

On Sunday, Oct. 7, dogs and other animals are welcome at St. Francis de Sales Prayer Garden at Farragut St. and Springfield Ave. (enter from the school yard). You can bring your little best friend to be blessed in honor of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the friend of all of God’s creatures. The event begins at Noon. Please keep your dogs on the leash.

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Friends of Clark Park to talk dogs, leashes at annual meeting on Monday

Posted on 17 April 2017 by Mike Lyons

Dogs on and off leashes in the Clark Park Bowl will be the main focus of Monday’s annual members meeting of the Friends of Clark Park.

The Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation has promised to step up enforcement of rules about off-leash dogs in city parks following dog attacks in Pastorius Park in Chestnut Hill. City park rules require dogs outside of a dog run to be on a leash that is 6-feet long or shorter.

But what about the Bowl, where dogs have been running free with their owners nearby for years and years? Monday’s meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the University of the Sciences’ Griffith Hall (43rd and Woodland), will take up this discussion – againContinue Reading

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Bring your dog to Clark Park tomorrow for annual “Bark in the Park”

Posted on 09 October 2015 by

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File photo.

Dog owners are invited to Clark Park this Saturday for the annual Bark in the Park event. There will be more than 25 contests, from the tallest dog to curliest tail to fastest runner, with chances to win doggie goodies. You can also meet the vet.

The event, which starts at 2 p.m. near the Bowl at 43rd and Chester, is fun for dogs and their human friends.

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“Don’t I look like a nice lady? Well I’m not.”: Jessica is sick of your off-the-leash dog at The Woodlands

Posted on 30 September 2015 by


Jessica at ease at The Woodlands. She doesn’t like your dog as much as you do. Photo by Lori Waselchuk.

The tension between those who walk their dogs off-leash at The Woodlands and those who wish they wouldn’t is kind of the west-of-the-Schuylkill version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, Liam and Noel Gallagher, Biggie and Tupac. That may be overstating it slightly, but it’s kind of a big deal to many who frequent the cemetery/park.

Jessica, a West Philly yoga instructor and blogger, has had it. In “An Open Letter to People Who Let Their Dogs Off-Leash at Woodlands Cemetery,” she draws a line in the dirt. “I was once a vicious 13-year old girl,” she writes. “And given the right situation, she can return.”

Jessica originally posted this on her site, but has graciously allowed us to repost it here:  Continue Reading

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More abandoned dogs in Cedar Park?

Posted on 12 November 2014 by


A reader and Cedar Park resident, Gwen, sent us a letter wondering why there are more abandoned dogs in her area. She’s particularly referring to the 4900 block of Cedar Avenue where a few dogs have been found lately wandering about. Gwen and her neighbor found two large dogs (pictured) there on Monday. Here’s what she writes:

“I spent [Monday] afternoon trying to locate the owners of two enormous pitbulls with another West Philly resident. When I posted about the incident on Facebook, two different friends responded with stories of their own regarding discovering abandoned dogs at the same corner. Very disheartening, dangerous and cruel to the poor dogs, and dangerous for residents, their children, and their dogs. Who is abandoning these dogs? They were friendly, but seemed truly lost/abandoned, with no leashes or tags, and they were walking in the road. I can’t stop thinking about them.”

Unfortunately, these dogs’ owner was not found, but hopefully they will find a new, better home soon. Gwen says that after a couple of hours of knocking on doors, checking in with the Baltimore Pet Shoppe, and borrowing rope from the block captain, the person who first found them took them to the ACCT Philly shelter. “They will be ready for fostering and adoption as of this evening,” Gwen writes.

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The Woodlands introduces Dog Walker program to raise leash policy awareness

Posted on 22 May 2014 by Annamarya Scaccia

Last month, when West Philly Local shared details about The Woodlands’ community survey, many of our readers took to the comments section to air grievances about off-leash dogs running around the site. The general consensus is that off-leash dogs are dangerous to visitors, as well as other animals on the site.

In response, Erica Maust, The Woodlands’ program & communications coordinator, reached out both in the comment section and directly to West Philly Local to remind the community of The Woodlands’ strict no off-leash dogs policy, as well as promote its Dog Walker membership. Maust confirmed that off-leash dogs as a major concern for the grounds, and that concern was reflected in “an overwhelming number of [survey] responses from neighbors and community members.”

According to Maust, off-leash dogs are “never permitted, or welcome, at The Woodlands,” both by city law and management policy, no exceptions. All dogs passing through its gates must be leashed, and if they are not, Maust said, Woodlands staff will ask the owner to leash their dog. If they’re a repeat offender, they’re asked to leave the grounds.

“No one should feel unsafe or uncomfortable when visiting the grave of a loved one, enjoying an afternoon walk, or teaching their children to ride a bike,” she told West Philly Local. “Not everyone likes or feels comfortable around dogs, and we want all of our visitors to feel as though The Woodlands is a safe place to visit.”

But, she noted, The Woodlands employs a small staff on the 54-acre site, which makes fully enforcing its policy difficult. So The Woodlands also rely on members visiting the grounds to help implement or make other visitors aware of its leash policy when a staff member may not be present, Maust said.

In an effort to raise awareness about the policy and ways members could help, Maust said The Woodlands’ created a Dog Walker membership, good for one person and their dog(s). The benefits of this membership level, which costs $75, include invites to members-only events and Doggy “Yappy Hours”, discounted ticket pricing, occasional exclusive after-dark access to the grounds, and one “I LOVE THE WOOFLANDS” dog leash.

“The dog-walking community is an especially important membership group to us, because so many people who live nearby rely on access to The Woodlands to walk their dogs daily. We recognize this, and we love that we can allow neighbors to walk their dogs at The Woodlands,” she said. “We also hope that these neighbors and their pets recognize that The Woodlands is an incredible resource that’s right in their backyard, and will use the space respectfully.”

The Dog Walker membership also includes access to the Dog of the Month program, in which visitors can submit a photo of their dog on the grounds via social media using the hashtag #wooflands. The social media campaign “has helped us raise awareness for our leash policy for all of our visitors and our followers on social media, and we hope it will lead to fewer problems and incidents with off-leash dogs at The Woodlands,” Maust said.

Annamarya Scaccia


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