Decoy dogs combat fowl problem

January 15, 2008 3:56:29 PM PST
To deal with a problem most fowl, a South Jersey high school has turned to scarecrows... Scare-GEESE, actually. Canada geese are a natural resource and pretty to watch as they take flight. What they leave behind however is a filthy problem especially in recreational public places like parks and athletic fields. One flock is just about a quarter mile from Bishop Eustace Prep in Pennsauken, which has been plagued by droppings on its fields. So the school turned the dogs loose on the geese.

The dogs are cardboard cut outs made by the New Jersey based dog gone geese company and they help scare off the birds.

"So far the dogs have been extremely successful for us," says Nick Italiano of Bishop Eustace Prep. Italiano says the key is to move them a few times a week or the geese get wise to the trick. Over the Christmas holidays no one was here to move the dogs and the geese left behind plenty of gifts.

Italiano says, "I guess the geese got used to the pattern and were able to find some spots on the field."

Some people may use real dogs like border collies to keep the Canada geese away but these are low maintenance. You don't have to feed them or clean up after them... although they're a little short in the warm and fuzzy department.

Maple Shade High School also has a set of wooden dog decoys to guard its athletic fields. For the most part they seem to be working.

The cardboard dogs cost about $70 each. Proponents say they are a nature friendly way to curb the geese and keep them from fowling the fields.