A 4-legged Piper helps control Cherry Capital Airport’s wildlife problem humanely

dog piper tvc airport
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Wildlife and airports are usually not compatible. The FAA, individual airports and ACRP have developed plans which protect the “species” and the airplanes operating in the same environment. The value of various animals inside the terminals and out on the periphery has been chronicled. Now, there’s a viral story about a dog being used by an airport to encourage local fauna to not interact with the aircraft.

{Be sure to watch the video below to see the dogged pursuit of the fowl. A rare combination of an airport “employee” who loves his job, is highly effective and is adorable.}

K-9 Piper is an 8 year old Border Collie that was brought daily to Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, MI by operations supervisor Brian Edwards, who is his best friend. Piper was trained to compete as an obstacle course competitor, but Brian made two key observations:

  1. TVC had some problems with geese, ducks and owls, on its runways.
  2. Canadian geese and large waterfowl look at border collies and see predator and Piper, like all border collies, has a natural tendency to herd the fowl.

One plus two = an effective, non-lethal wildlife management at Cherry Capital Airport.

Isn’t it convenient that the airport has a dog-leg right layout?

Isn’t it convenient that the airport has a dog-leg right layout?

As an Ops manager, he realized that dogs need training to be an affective AOA participant. So Piper learned where he should and should not go. As shown by some of the picture the Border Collie frequently has human supervision.

dog piper tvc airport

Further, the K-9 uniform includes both goggles and a head set. The reflective ski goggles avoid getting dirt and debris off the runway into his eyes; they also shield his eyes from sunlight. The pup also wears ear muffs to protect his hearing. [Obviously TVC has a graduate of some OSHA and/or animal welfare league class.] Two of the photographs show Piper with a temporary cast; he broke his leg and the orthopedic allowed him to continue in his safety mission.

piper dog tvc airport

Piper’s story captured the attention of the internet, so much so that TVC’s website crashed due to the viral interest. Sounds like the Border Collie should be adopted as the Airport equivalent of Smokey the Bear (US Forest Service). Piper’s bark would remind airports to try to protect wildlife.



ARTICLE: Meet Piper, the Airport K-9 Wildlife Control Dog Who Keeps Runways Safe
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