TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Toms River is hoping “Fido” is the solution to a major problem the town has with Canadian geese invading a local park.
The mayor says there are usually dozens of feathered fiends in Huddy Park on most days.
“This is a lovely place and it’s got great historical significance,” Mayor Thomas Kelaher said.
“Just spent over $3 million fixing it up and we’re overrun with geese.”
The town is hoping by letting certain dogs run free in the park it will chase the birds away. They’re hoping even the pups’ scent will make geese feel unsafe about coming back.
The pilot program will start with 30 residents who can sign up to have their dogs off leash.
Dogs are allowed in the park now, but must be on their leash. Parks director Craig Ambrosio said CBS2 each goose leaves two to five pounds of droppings each day – making the cleanup process endless.
“We have tried sound effects, we’ve tried a geese inhibitor on the grass, clean up, activity… activity seems to be most effective means,” Ambrosio explained.
The sounds of a goose in distress, a coyote, and even a shot gun are not enough to keep the flocks away. Locals said they would like to use the park more but they can’t go on the grass with so much waste left behind.
“I’ve heard the speakers that they’ve had with the coyote calls and the strobe lights and that does’t work,” local resident James Welsh said.
Details on which dogs will qualify to be let off their leash have yet to be worked out.
The township hopes to start the new program this summer. It’s modeled on other towns who have also let their dogs out to go on a wild goose chase.