New Britain City Journal

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Dog Firm Hired to Limit Geese Population

If you go around parks in New Britain, you may notice a high concentration of Canadian geese. Stanley Quarter has become occupied by more than 20 geese that are leaving unsanitary droppings around the pond.

Geese Relief LLC was hired at about $55,000 to bring in dogs to scare the geese away from these areas.

“We will visit each park a minimum of twice a day Monday thru Saturday and once on Sunday,” said Chris Santopietro of Geese Relief. “We will work our highly trained border collies on land as well as water to make the geese fly away.”

The objective is to make the geese feel the property is not safe for them to inhabit.

“We are introducing what the geese think is a predator,” said Santopietro. “They do not know the dog will never touch or even harm a geese.”

During breeding season from March to June the nests will be removed according to the Federal Fish and Wildlife Guidelines.

Over two years ago, Former Mayor Timothy Stewart had a plan to remove the geese costing under $10,000. Democratic Alderman did not approve the plan as several suspected the geese would be harmed.

Santopietro said in order for this plan to work there must be a no feeding policy at all parks. The parks include A.W. Stanley, Stanley Quarter, Walnut Hill, Martha Hart, Willow Brook, Chesley and the Stanley Golf Course.

Following, is information from the Humane Commission:

Feeding Waterfowl Can Be Harmful: Please Do Not Feed the Geese/Ducks

1. Water pollution and habitat degradation

Providing food can attract concentrations of waterfowl beyond what the natural ecosystem can support. Large concentrations of waterfowl can reduce water quality and de-vegetate natural areas.

2. Bird/Human conflicts

Feeding waterfowl can quickly cause them to lose their instinctive sense of fear and can chase people including children. In addition, on an urban landscape full of dogs, cats, cars and people, the duck or goose that maintains its innate wildness ultimately has the best chance of survival.

3. Nutritional problems for the birds

The age-old practice of feeding ducks/geese stale bread, pastries, cookies etc. can cause significant health problems for these birds. These foods provide little or no nutrition and contribute to malnutrition and starvation among waterfowl. They are far better off moving to new location in search of a healthy natural diet.

4. Overcrowding and spread of disease

Food handouts often result in large numbers of birds competing for limited food supplies. Crowding and competition for food, combined with the stress of less nutritious food especially during harsh weather, increases the susceptibility of life threatening diseases like avian cholera, plague and avian botulism.

5. Unsanitary conditions for humans

Each goose produces one pound of waste per day resulting in unsanitary conditions for residents ftrying to enjoy our beautiful parks.

*In view of the above considerations, the city of New Britain has passed an ordinance increasing the fines for feeding the geese and ducks to $100.