Pets come with responsibility. 

"Pick up a bag, carry a bag in your pocket, tie it up, throw it in the trash," said Cherie Northron of the Anchorage Waterways Council at University Lake dog park Thursday.

Her message for spring: Scoop the poop.

As the winter yields to spring in Alaska, it's revealing what's been in and under the snow and while many folks do clean up after their dogs at parks and around town, a good number do not. Sometimes it's unintentional. 

"We find they're looking at their phones and not watching their dogs. And they're walking the trails but the dogs are off [leash]," Northron said. 

When dogs venture into the woods, owners don't know if they've gone or not. 

Besides the aesthetics, mismanaged feces is a matter of health. While University Lake isn't a primary source of drinking water for Anchorage residents, it's still a good idea to keep dog waste out of it.

"It impairs the water with fecal coliform which when people go and recreate in canoes, little kids playing in it, they can pick up giardia and other really nasty things," she said.

Saturday, April 13 is the annual Scoop the Poop clean up at University Lake Park and Connors Bog from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. All are encouraged to come by and help. More information is available at

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