TOMS RIVER – Township officials are taking an all-natural approach to geese prevention.
After the passing of a new ordinance, they will be establishing a program to control the population of Canada geese by having local dog owners visit Huddy Park. People’s pet dogs will be allowed to explore the park, but there will be rules:
- The dog must be licensed and vaccinated according to the town and state laws. It also can’t be an animal that has been declared “potentially dangerous” by a court or similar body.
- The dog must be registered with the town for this program. Registration costs $20. They will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations are effective for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.
- “Only one registration per dog, per household is permitted. The registration is non-transferrable to another dog and non-assignable to another dog owner.”
- A maximum of 30 dogs will be registered in the program.
- A list of the registered dogs will be shared with certain township employees. The registration must be displayed on the dog or brought with its owner to the park. The owner has to show the registration to officials monitoring the park.
- “Participating dogs must be behaved, controlled, and curbed at all times.”
- This program is only during regular park hours, and not when the park is reserved for an event.
This is based on a program that has been successful in Lavallette, business administrator Donald Guardian said. Just the presence of the dogs, and the scent they leave behind, is enough for the geese to feel unsafe and move on.
Every goose can produce one and a half pounds of waste per day, according to studies. Scientists determined that they defecate about every 20 minutes, according to online environmental papers. This makes parks unsightly and gross to walk around, particularly for families with children.
The new program will start out at Huddy Park in the downtown area. If successful, it will be spread to other areas in town.