- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

OREGON, Ohio (AP) - Fed up with perpetually cleaning up after birds, Maumee Bay State Park officials have hired an unusual security team to help scare away the problem.

Joker and Jill, both border collies, began working in tandem last month to shoo away the Canada geese and gulls that foul Inland Lake’s beach and water quality with their droppings, The Toledo Blade reports (http://bit.ly/1AKOGO1)..

The dogs don’t just randomly run around and chase birds. They are trained to identify geese and gulls.

Both are part of Ohio Geese Control, a 10-year-old company based in Rocky River that is being used for the first time at the northwest Ohio park.

Company founder Jeff Hower said Joker and Jill don’t harm the birds, instead their work humanely encourages the waterfowl to move along.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will pay Ohio Geese Control $5,250 to have the dogs patrol at least once a day, seven days a week for the summer.

The costs are being covered by a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and money from the Ohio EPA’s Survey Water Improvement Fund.

“This is a pilot project to control the geese on our beaches as well as improve the water quality and overall appearance of the beaches,” said Stephanie Leis, ODNR spokesman. “We can hopefully expand the program next season to include more park beaches.”

The ODNR has tried other measures at Maumee Bay State Park, from broadcasting high pitches that are inaudible to humans to having rangers fire off noise guns.

Hower said border collies are natural herders and their bossy, energetic demeanor is well-suited for the task.

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Information from: The Blade, http://www.toledoblade.com/

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