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Dog Shit Crusade: #PoopIsntWorthPrison, so call 9-1-1? That’s what they said.

An interesting Twitter exchange last week was picked up by the crime blog Philly Confidential, and it eventually led us to confirm that yes, the police want you to call 9-1-1 if you catch a dog owner not picking up after his dog.

But let’s back up first. Here’s how it started:

Which elicited this response from the Philadelphia Police:

Say wha…? So we followed up.

And officer Eric Gripp assured us that yes, leaving dog doo is illegal and warrants a call to 9-1-1 because:


So there you go. If you catch a negligent dog owner in action, cops want you to call 9-1-1.

What do you think? Is it worth bothering 9-1-1 dispatchers over something like dog poop?



13 Responses to Dog Shit Crusade: #PoopIsntWorthPrison, so call 9-1-1? That’s what they said.

  1. Zack Wagner September 9, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    No offense to Sergeant Gripp, but there is no way in hell a Philly 911 operator will do anything other than respond sarcastically or yell at you for calling in someone who didn’t pick up poop.

    I tried calling someone in for not leashing their dog and was yelled at that, “911 is only for people and I shouldn’t be wasting their time.”

  2. Philly Ray September 9, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    Calling 911 is all well and good, but am I supposed to follow the offender until the police car shows up? It’s not like they are just going to hang around and wait for the cops to show up. I can’t imagine that’s a priority call.

  3. Matt September 9, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    The problem here is that there are not the amount of trash cans available to throw the poop out. As a dog owner, I have to walk to either 12th and reed or 11th and washington to throw anything out. In center city, the trash cans are every block or less sometimes. If you want a clean city…the city must provide trash cans

    • James from Bordentown, NJ September 12, 2013 at 10:18 am #

      Just because of a sanitation law doesn’t mean the city(all tax payers) should provide you with a receptacle to get rid of it. Take it home with you, put it in your trash, after all people don’t want it on their frontages let alone a bunch of ‘em in buckets along their streets.

    • Andrew September 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      So you’re saying it’s Philadelphia’s responsibility to clean up after your dog, Matt?

      Shall my tax dollars pay your vet and food bills, too?

      If you can’t take care of a dog like a responsible adult, then don’t get a dog. It’s very simple.

  4. Rick September 10, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    This is actually reflective of the fact that Philly PD relies solely on 911 for a way to contact them. You can’t really reach the police for any meaningful purpose without calling 911, and they will tell you that if you try to call the local precinct. I guess it must streamline things somehow, but it sort of takes away from the idea that “911″ is what you call in case of an emergency. Calling 911 for dog poop seems and is ridiculous.

    Also, leaving poop on the street, while reprehensible, is absolutely no different that people throwing regular trash all over the place or stuffing it into sewer grates. Focusing on poop because it is particularly icky and calling the cops about it misses the point. There needs to be a cultural shift when it comes to trash and littering in general. And there need to be a lot more trash cans, as Matt said.

    • James from Bordentown, NJ September 12, 2013 at 10:26 am #

      At $300 a poop, ‘er pop, it’s not so ridiculous. I’m sure it’s much worse and more lucrative in a city than in the suburbs where I live and I thought we had it bad here. And be aware that the dog owners will get wise and find other ways to let their dogs do the nasty. Like here in Bordentown, NJ, they train their dogs to do it at night and just let their dog out at night. If we had enough revenue to hire a dog catcher full time, because we have leash laws, the dog catcher would be able to stop it by occasionally going out at night and making $300 a pick up.

  5. James G. September 11, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    I sympathize with those who are reluctant to tie up the emergency 911 system with such a call. For those who prefer, you can also call 215-686-3030 to reach the 3rd District, which covers EPA. Alternatively, you can always call 311, which I have found very helpful in dealing with other issues.

  6. Megan September 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm #

    Passyunk would be a great place to follow the lead of Queen Village and Bella Vista by installing some doggie doo cleanup stations (baggies and receptacles), sponsored by local businesses.

    • Albert Stumm September 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

      Yes! QV is having a little trouble though with people putting household trash in the bins. That was one reason why PARC removed a lot of the old wire trash cans that used to be around East Passyunk.

  7. James from Bordentown, NJ September 12, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I used to have a dog. We got him right after buying a house. He was 18 years old when he died. So I think I’m qualified to comment on the current situation in at least the suburb environment when it comes to the little presents other dog owners leave on my frontage. I trained my dog to behave around everyone in our lives. He was rambunctious when he was little but my wife and I trained him, it’s not as difficult as it seems, and he became a well adjusted part of the family. Whenever we walked him we first walked the perimeter of the yard then on out into the neighborhood, not letting him do anything other than pee, and only allowing him to do #2 in our yard either before the trek into the neighborhood or after. The pet industry makes billions, I’m sure the largest chunk of that is dogs, why not make them pay for the bags and the receptacles throughout the country for the ignorant and egotistical people who refuse to clean up after their animal. Local businesses shouldn’t have to pay for that.

    • Matt September 12, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      James that is a very ignorant way of thinking and you are way too paranoid…This would just help the city be a cleaner, better place to live. People are not getting rid of their dogs because you dont like them, so you are going to have to deal with it one way or another.

  8. Alisha September 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    I think it absolutely ridiculous to call 911 because someone didn’t clean up dog poop. In a city, ours especially, there are much more important things happening to necessitate a call to 911. If you see someone leaving the doo, ask them to pick it up. A little guilt goes a long way. If they don’t have/forgot a bag, there is usually plenty of trash on the ground, they should be able to find something to use.

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