PERRYVILLE — Maybe you wouldn’t say “boo” to a goose, but Canada geese take note when Boo, the border collie, is on the job.
Boo is the weapon of choice for Rich LaPorta’s Geese Police. LaPorta owns the central Maryland franchise of the national company.
“He’ll see the geese and give such an intent stare,” LaPorta said Tuesday.
At a recent town meeting, Perryville Town Commissioner Barbara Brown told her fellow board members she was considering hiring Geese Police to rid the town parks of the nuisance wildlife.
“There’s an abundance of geese creating a health hazard,” Brown said. She wants the birds to move on before Little League season begins in the spring.
LaPorta is well aware of the mess Canada geese leave behind.
“From what we could see, there were a couple hundred geese at one time,” he said of a recent visit to Perryville Community Park. “At 1½ to 2 pounds of droppings per goose ... you do the math.”
LaPorta said once the snow starts to melt, the mess would be even more obvious.
“They have issues with the multi-purpose fields and the Little League fields. There’s so many droppings that it’s becoming close to unusable,” he said.
Nearby, a cluster of geese rested on a snow covered infield as more circled overhead, preparing to land.
If the town were to hire Geese Police, LaPorta would bring Boo to the parks several times per day.
“He thinks he’s herding. They see him as a predator,” he explained. “He’ll lock in and there’s no snapping him out of it.”
Boo never touches a feather, however, as LaPorta said Boo’s stare is all the geese need.
“It’s not long before they feel it’s unsafe for them to be there,” he said. “With our service, odds are they’ll go somewhere else.”
The service also unfortunately only works for the Canada geese because of the way the birds take flight.
“Geese are like airplanes. They need a lot of land to take off and land,” he said. Other fowl have an immediate take off pattern and are not intimidated by the dogs.
LaPorta has been hired to clear out municipal courtyards, business parks, golf courses and cemeteries along with public parklands.
As he understands it, the town wants the geese to vacate the public areas of the parks, such as the playing fields, playgrounds and walking trails. Since the Community Park is so large — 44 acres total — he figures Boo could simply encourage the geese to relocate.
“We won’t chase them out of the cove or off the banks,” he said.
LaPorta said he does most of his work from February to June, which is nesting season for Canada geese. He has contracts in Cecil, Harford, Baltimore, Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties as well as New Castle County, Del.
Brown supposed the geese in Perryville were chased there when Geese Police was hired by Havre de Grace, and LaPorta wondered the same.
“They definitely could be the same geese,” he said. “Over here, there’s just so much room. They are going to go where they won’t be bothered.”
Brown said it was fine with her if the flock moved back to Havre de Grace.