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Dog-powered business convinces geese (and droppings) to move on

 Dog-powered business convinces geese (and droppings) to move on

Farmington Hills residents Karinya and Ray Champoux started their Geese Chasers business in May.

Unique new company rids properties of stubborn fowl in safe fashion

When flocks of stubborn Canadian geese (and the troublesome droppings they, um, produce at prolific rates) stake claim to your property adjacent to golf course, condominium and business complex ponds (to name a few), who ya gonna call?

One option is Geese Chasers – a relatively new business to southeast Michigan that uses humane methods (fueled by specially-trained border collies) to convince the large-winged, frequently-pooping neighbors from the north to skedaddle.

The brainchild of Laurel, New Jersey native Bob Young, Geese Chasers provides a safe form of removing geese from property that can become contaminated by the birds’ waste.

According to Crowleys.com, geese can damage the ecology of a pond as they are known to produce up to two pounds of droppings per day, with the excrement emitting harmful phosphorous and nitrogen into the water.

Enter new Geese Chasers franchisees and Farmington Hills residents Ray and Karinya Champoux, who signed on with the company after searching for a fun and unique business opportunity to supplement their full-time jobs as a software engineer (Ray) and freelance book editor (Karinya).

Ray Champoux holds two puppies their new border collie gave birth to

Ray Champoux agreed to an interview with SocialHouseNews.com Editor-in-Chief Ed Wright to help shed light on his family’s innovative new venture.

How and why did you commit to Geese Chasers?

We were looking at a list of franchises. We both have jobs but we wanted to find something we could transition to full-time. We happened to see Geese Chasers and I thought, ‘I had no idea! That sounds really cool, fun and something people need.’

What kinds of reactions do you get from people who see your eye-catching van (adorned by a painting of flying geese and a life-sized portrait of a border collie)?

It’s fun to see people’s reactions, for sure. We also get some great reactions when people see us out with the dog, working the geese. Residents of one of our clients – an apartment complex – like to come out and watch.

How safe is the process for the geese?

It’s very safe. In fact, using border collies is one of the methods PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) recommends as part of their goose management program. Before we let the dog off the leash, we make sure there are no flightless geese in the area. All geese are flightless at least once a year when they’re moulting. Goslings also can’t fly, so we make sure they’re in the water before the dog is off the leash. The dog will go in the water, but it will never catch the geese as they have ways of staying one step ahead.

Do the geese stay away once your process is completed?

That is the idea, for sure. Geese are extremely adaptable and smart, but they’re lazy, so it takes some time and effort to get them to move. We usually go to a site twice a day, every day for up to two weeks. Eventually, they get the idea that this isn’t a place they want to hang out anymore.

What types of venues demand your services?

A lot of townhouse communities, condominiums, apartment complexes … places that have ponds. We’ve already secured a few clients but we’ve talked to a lot of property owners who have told us they’re going to use our services beginning in the spring.

Did you already own a border collie before signing on with Geese Chasers?

No, we have a dog and some other pets, but the franchise provides you with a trained goose dog once you sign on.

Are there methods property owners can use to prevent geese from making their homes on their land to begin with?

They can let the grass around the ponds get really, really long because geese generally like mowed grass so they have a direct sight line to the pond. But the problem is most complexes want their property well-groomed and mowed.

If you’re interested in learning more about Geese Chasers, Ray Champoux can be reached at 313-799-3586. The company’s website is https://geesechasers.com/#.

If you have a story idea for SocialHouseNews.com, contact Editor-In-Chief Ed Wright at edwright@socialhousenews.com or 734-664-4657.

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Ed Wright

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