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Welcome Quinn, Newest Member of Governors Island’s K9 Team

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Many of you know and love Max, Governors Island’s trusty working dog. Max plays an important role in making the Island’s 90+ acres of open space enjoyable for humans by chasing flocks of Canada Geese, and serving as the official greeter for the hundreds of thousands of visitors coming off the ferry each season. Now that the Island is open to the public earlier this year and will soon be open year-round, Max’s job has gotten even bigger!

While Max has been a star employee, we thought he could use some extra help. With that, we are thrilled to welcome the newest member of the Island’s K9 working dog squad, Quinn! Quinn is a one year old rescued female Border Collie who was adopted just this week by our VP for Arts and Culture, Meredith Johnson. Quinn will live with Meredith and her family, but will work closely with six year old Max and his owner Jim Reed, our Director of Park and Public Space. Quinn has already begun the process of training with Jim and Max, and has natural herding instincts! While she will stay on a leash for the first few months of her employment, she will soon begin going on patrol like a pro.

While Canada geese can be lovely to look at, they leave a mess (they eat up to four pounds of grass a day and leave over a pound of waste per goose!), and can be aggressive toward people when they are nesting. To ensure the enjoyment and safety of visitors, as well as the safety of the geese, Max and Quinn will work to keep the geese off our lawns. Reducing the goose population helps our overall efforts to create wildlife habitats and increase ecological diversity on the Island in the form of terns, owls, kestrels, peregrine falcons, song birds etc., as well as a variety of flourishing plant life.

Border Collies are trained to herd and discourage the geese from hanging out, but they will never harm the animals. In fact, Border Collies are recommended by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Humane Society due to their highly evolved herding instincts. Like Max, Quinn was adopted from our friends at Mid Atlantic Border Collie Rescue Program in Maryland (http://www.mabcr.org).

Border Collies tend to be type “A” personalities that require challenging jobs in order to be happy dogs. They love training, rules and order, and they are well tempered, wonderful companions.

Here on Governors Island Max and Quinn will work together and in shifts, with Quinn learning commands and watching Max’s patrols, allowing you to picnic, play ball and enjoy our new park spaces without having to worry about goose waste. While the Island doesn’t allow pets with the exception of service animals, our working dogs Max and Quinn are friendly and are great with people. Max is always in his “Working Dog” uniform, and Quinn will wear her “In Training” vest as she gets up to speed. Feel free to stop and say hi when you see them on the Island this summer!

Follow Max and Quinn’s adventures on Governors Island on Instagram @GIWorkingDogs, and be sure to follow @GovernorsIsland for the latest updates on what’s happening this season.