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Yeager Airport buys dog to chase animals off runway

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport is hiring a new employee. It’s a dog.

An 18-month-old border collie named Hercules will arrive at the Charleston airport in May.

The airport is bringing on an 18-month-old border collie named Hercules. The dog will be trained to chase birds and other animals off the runway.

Nick Keller, assistant director at Yeager, said the dog will protect the public.

“Every airport has problems with bird strikes and wildlife on the airfield. It’s a big safety hazard, so a dog can be a real predator,” Keller said. “It will keep birds, deer, coyotes, rabbits away from the airfield.”

The airport purchased the dog for $7,500.

The dog is currently being trained in North Carolina on a range of verbal and whistle commands.

Keller said buying a trained dog was recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife biologist. He said the dog could potentially reduce deadly animal collisions on its runway.

Yeager staff will be trained the handle Hercules on airport property. The dog will be equipped with a reflective vest, safety glasses to guard against flying debris and ear protection.

The dog is expected to arrive at the Charleston airport in May.

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