Rescue dog helps pilots avoid bird strikes

TAMPA, Fla. - It’s an unlikely sight at MacDill Air Force Base. When pilots need the runway cleared of birds, they call for a dog.

Sonic is a border collie rescue the military uses to chase birds from active runways so the massive KC-135 aircraft can take off and land.

Lindsey Garven is her civilian teammate.

"She is one of the methods I use to harass birds. She loves to work and she loves chasing birds," Garven said.

Each day, Garven and Sonic chase and scare birds on the flight line.

They’re not trying to hurt them, just simply get them to move.

For all the might of the American military, she seems an unlikely resource, but Sonic is more effective than some of the more high tech alternatives.

“The birds see the dog as a predator,” Garven said.

Bird strikes can cause serious damage to an engine and cost millions of taxpayer dollars to repair.

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