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N.Y. May Have Westminster, But Phila. Has Philly Water’s Best Friend

Wed Feb 23, 2011 / Education and Outreach



Contact: Shaun Bailey, (800) 445-4935, ext. 113


N.Y. May Have Westminster, But Phila. Has Philly Water’s Best Friend


PHILADELPHIA — Voters have until Feb. 28—less than two weeks—to decide which dogs will be finalists in the Philadelphia Water Department’s new spokesdog competition.


Photos of more than 80 dogs, together with short biographies, are available at  Those who log on can vote daily for their two favorites; one from East Falls and one from the Manayunk-Roxborough area.  The 10 dogs with the most votes in each neighborhood will meet during two pageants next spring.  In the end, two will be crowned Philly Water’s Best Friend.


Unlike this week’s Annual Dog Show hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club, winners of the PWD’s contest will not reap fame, fortune, or a silver-plated trophy; although, they will receive a $200 item from a local pet store.  Rather than preserving a breed, organizers are more concerned with preserving a river.


“We are relying on Philly Water’s Best Friend to be an ambassador to the community, or ‘ambassadog,’ if you will,” explained Joanne Dahme, general manager of public affairs at the PWD.  “Each winner will be accompanied to three community gatherings where they will hand out biodegradable bag dispensers to those who aren’t aware of just how hazardous pet waste can be.”


Contrary to popular opinion, dog waste is not environmentally friendly, nor is it a fertilizer.  Dog poop is actually a pollutant, and it often spreads whenever rain falls or snow melts.  Waste that stays on the ground can leech into the earth or run off into storm drains and waterways like the Schuylkill River.  Not only does this spread harmful bacteria, but also it breeds algae that can kill local fish.


It is this link between dog poop and water pollution that led organizers to launch the Philly Water’s Best Friend Competition in East Falls, Manayunk and Roxborough.  They may even replicate the contest elsewhere, especially if it results in less dog waste on the ground and more down the toilet or in the trash, where it belongs.


Sponsors for this program include the East Falls Development Corporation, Manayunk Development Corporation, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, and the Philadelphia Water Department.  Prizes have been made possible thanks to TOP TAILS Pet Sitting and Dog Walking of Manayunk and Wag n’ Style of East Falls.


For more information, please call Cheryl Jackson at (800) 445-4935, extension 113.




Shaun Bailey, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
One Riverwalk Plaza, 110 South Poplar Street, Suite 202 Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: (302) 655-4990, ext. 113
Fax: (302) 655-4991; Free e-Newsletter
The Delaware Estuary: Join in its Rediscovery