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Dog in charge of wildlife control at airport

A 7-year-old border collie named Piper works in wildlife control at Cherry Capital Airport scaring birds away from the runways.

A 7-year-old border collie named Piper has a very unique job.

Piper works 40 hours a week at Cherry Capital Airport. His job is simple but very important.

Piper works in wildlife control and his mission every day is to scare birds away from the flight path of incoming and outbound planes

"He's got the energy, the drive. He'll go all day until I make him stop,â?? said Brian Edwards, Piperâ??s owner. â??He's perfectly suited for this type of work."

Piper, the 7-year-old border collie, patrols the airport scaring birds away and keeping them from making the airport their home.

He works 40 hours a week with his owner Brian Edwards.

"He's been doing it long enough now to where he kind of knows the routine,â?? said Edwards. â??He knows this vehicle and once we get in the vehicle, its worktime."

Piper is leading the way for other dogs, Edwards believes Cherry Capital Airport is the only airport in Michigan that uses a dog for wildlife control.

"He's doing a great job,â?? said Dan Sal, Assistant Director of Operations and Maintenance at Cherry Capital Airport. â??We've had great success with him over the winter with the snowy owls. Snowy owls are tough, once they get in an environment that they like, they will stick around."

Edwards doesn't let Piper go into the water where the birds tend to be, and because of this, airport staff use other techniques.

"We use pyrotechnics,â?? said Sal. â??One is called a bird screamer and one is called a bird banger and the bird banger sounds like a shotgun. The bird screamerâ??s more like a firework that you shoot off."

Piper isn't on the payroll but he does get paid in treats.

"Don't get me wrong he loves being outside and running outside and stuff but I think his favorite part is being around his people now and playing ball with them and seeing them every morning,â?? said Edwards.

Piper's been working at the airport since August 2014.

Cherry Capital Airport is one of very few airports in the United States that uses dogs for wildlife control.

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