By Meg Jones
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
As a squadron of pests flies overhead, Susan Kinney’s three employees spring into action.
Half a dozen honking Canada geese are coming in for a landing on a pond. Border collies Rocky, Gael and Meg shiver silently as they wait for Kinney’s command.
Kinney says, “Get in,” and the dogs sprint to the water’s edge. Rocky jumps in right away, while Gael waits a few seconds.
“Now Gael has to test the water first,” Kinney says. “Meg is just sitting there looking pretty.”
Rocky and Gael begin swimming toward the geese, one dog automatically taking the right flank and the other taking the left, working together as they patiently herd the geese to one end of the pond. They do not bark or whine. Only their black and white heads can be seen above the water, like furry periscopes drawing closer to their prey.
Within minutes, the geese decide to take flight.
Mission accomplished. Until a larger gaggle of geese flies in to an adjacent pond a few minutes later. Rocky, Gael and Meg sprint toward the new geese and do the same routine with the same result.
As they run back to Kinney and dry off in the universal canine way, Kinney does not hand out treats. Instead, she compliments her pups and scratches their ears. “The work is their reward,” says Kinney, who owns the southern Wisconsin Geese Police franchise with her husband and son.
Wisconsin has a growing Canada geese problem with an estimated 119,000 taking up residence in the state, according to Brad Koele, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife damage specialist. Leaving behind copious organic deposits, honking and creating a ruckus, the geese can overtake a neighborhood.
When businesses and homeowners have had enough, they often call the Geese Police.