Dogs

2017 Update: The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Parks and Recreation has posted the Dog Regulations and Best Practices on their website.

Many dog owners bring their dogs to Clark Park. If you own a dog, please follow the following rules:

  1. Help to keep your park clean and safe for all to enjoy by picking up after your dog and using the trash receptacles.
  2. Always obey park or playground signage.
  3. Always keep your dog on a leash. This is the law of the City of Philadelphia. (See Philadelphia Ordinance Chapter 10, Sections 104 and 105 for complete rules.) And it’s important to recognize that not everyone is as comfortable with dogs as you are.
  4. Never allow dogs in playgrounds. Children may not know your dog all that well, and your dog may not be used to children.
  5. Always maintain control of your dog. It is the owner/handler’s responsibility.
  6. Do not allow your dog to run and jump on other people or dogs uninvited.
  7. Do not leave your dog unattended.
  8. Do not tie your dog to fences, benches or any park furnishings.
  9. Keep off wet grass. Remember: Urine damages grass and trees, and people use the lawns for picnicking.
  10. Obey City of Philadelphia licensing laws (get a dog license) and follow Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vaccination requirements (find low-cost pet care and vaccinations).
  11. Always pick up after your pet. Not everyone is as comfortable with dog poop either.
  12. Don’t let dogs dig holes. Not only do these create problems for people walking in the park, but the holes are never large enough for trees.

For just $20, your dog can sponsor refills for the “Mutt Mitts” container in Clark Park. Contact us for details.

Further Information

Want to get involved in your park or recreation center? Contact the PPR Stewardship Office at parksandrecreation@phila.gov.

The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which is charged with enforcing the City of Philadelphia animal control code.

Local Dog Parks

Chester Avenue Dog Club operates a fenced dog park at 48th & Chester. All dog owners are welcome to join. Fees are $50 a year, covering maintenance and insurance. Call 215-748-3440 to join.

Dog Runs on Parks and Recreation Properties

There are currently seven authorized dog runs on PPR properties. All dog runs are managed and maintained by a local volunteer organization with oversight from PPR. Please adhere to Dog Run rules posted at each facility.

Dog Run Locations

  • Black, Coyle and McBride (Pops) Playground: Trenton Avenue & E. Hazzard Streets, 19125
  • Columbus Square Park: 12th & Reed Streets, 19147
  • Manayunk (Pretzel) Park: 4300 Silverwood Street, 19127
  • Mario Lanza Park: 214 Catharine Street, 19147
  • Monkiewicz Playground: 3201 Richmond Street, 19134
  • Schuylkill River Park: 25th & Spruce Streets, 19103
  • Seger Playground: 11th & Lombard Streets, 19147

If you are interested in applying for a dog run in a PPR park, please review the PPR guidelines.

Why Clark Park Does Not Have a Dog Park

In 2003, in response to concerns raised by parents and dog owners, FoCP President Tony West convened a special Dog Committee to examine issues regarding dogs and children in Clark Park. The Dog Committee evaluated several actions proposed to reduce any dangers or discomforts, including fences, stricter leash-law enforcement, organization of dog owners, and the construction of a dedicated Dog Park. These are summarized in a Status Report of April 2004. The Committee endorsed two recommendations: the construction of a dedicated Dog Park, and stricter leash-law enforcement.

The FoCP and its members needed to have a more detailed understanding of a Dog Park project before making and decisions. Committee members Stephen Fisher and Linda Amsterdam assembled a more detailed proposal for a dog park. This proposal outlined such issues as location, costs, maintenance issues, and the impact a Dog Park might have on the use of Clark Park. Their proposal had an estimated cost of $30,000 and $70,000. The Planning Committee also spoke with representatives from other city Dog Parks, to better understand their successes, failures, and what Clark Park might expect.

On September 22nd, 2004, the FoCP Planning Committee voted 4-2 to not support the construction of a Dog Park. The Planning Committee also voted unanimously to move that Friends of Clark Park advocate the enforcement of leash laws. On December 13th, 2004, the FoCP Board voted 6-4 (with 1 abstention) to support construction of a dog park along the lines of the proposal submitted. In addition, the Board voted 8-0 (with 3 abstentions) to advocate enforcement of leash laws in the park.

On January 18, 2005, the FoCP Membership was presented with materials regarding the proposal. Our newsletter ran Pro and Con articles, and included many of the details assembled by Stephen and Linda. The FoCP Membership voted to advocate leash enforcement, but voted 87-22 to not recommend that a Dog Park be built.