Cardboard Dogs Ward Off Prolific Geese in Wisconsin Park

PHOTO: City leaders in Stevens Point, Wis., are using cardboard cutouts of dogs to keep flocks of geese away from their parks.
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These dogs have neither bark nor bite. Literally.

Park officials in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, have recently planted cardboard cutouts of dogs in an attempt to fend off flocks of geese that are making a mess in popular regions of the park.

The wild animals congregate "in front of the band shell where we have concerts and get in the grass,” Tom Schrader, director of Parks and Recreation at Pfiffiner Park, told ABC News.

“People want to put their blankets down on the ground but can’t.”

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There are anywhere from 25 to 120 geese in front of the band shell at once and they usually relieve themselves every 20 minutes, Schrader said.

In an attempt to move the geese into the lake, park officials placed three cardboard dog cutouts at $40 each around the band shell.

“The geese generally stay about 30 to 40 yards away from the cutouts because they resemble coyotes,” he said.

This is one of many efforts the park has used in the past two years to deflect the wild animals, including mounting handcrafted owls in trees, purchasing plastic clappers and employing volunteers to shoo them into the nearby lake.

“This year we didn’t have as many people so we tried different alternatives and Googled ways to scare geese,” he said.

Two of the three cutouts have since been stolen. The park plans to make their own to replace them.

Schrader said the geese do not present a threat to anyone’s safety.

“The biggest problem is people keep feeding them so that encourages them to stay,” he said.

It’s a common problem in the United States, he said, adding that some communities have gone as far as slaughtering them.

Schrader said he has not considered that as an option yet.

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