One of three suspected cat-killer dogs in custody

Published 12:02am Tuesday, August 2, 2011

NATCHEZ — Sarah McLaughlin’s animal advocacy songs will have to get a lot sadder if one particular pooch hopes to be released from jail any time soon.

Humane Society Board Member Nan Garrison said one of the three dogs responsible for killing downtown cats has been “arrested,” and unfortunately for him, more people have called in to report their pets as deceased.

“I received several phone calls over the weekend,” she said. “We’ve gone from seven cats killed (on Friday) to at least 13 killed (on Monday).”

Garrison said the killings have taken place over the last six weeks, but the majority — approximately 11 killings — has occurred over the last two weeks.

Monday, after receiving the news of another cat killing, she got a call that the biggest dog, a black dog with a wiry hair and a bobbed tail, was standing in front of the Red Cross office on North Union Street.

Garrison said she jumped in her car and began to follow him. She recruited help, and eventually, they caught the dog.

So far, she said, the dog has been identified by at least two of the four people who had seen him previously.

However, Garrison said, the dog has an owner who lives on North Rankin Street.

“The owner says you just can’t get near him,” she said.

There’s no clear way to proceed from here, Garrison said.

“I’m trying to decide what to do now,” she said. “Technically, he is a stray dog in violation of a leash law. Because we picked him up in violation of a leash law, the owner has to pay a $35 reclaim fee, and that goes to the Humane Society for us holding your dog.”

Additionally, Garrison said, the owner will be cited and charged for violation of a leash law, and the animal may also fall under the classification of violating Adams County’s ordinance to protect citizens from vicious animals.

If that happens, Garrison said, there are a few things that could happen: the dog could be euthanized, it could be sent home with its owner with the understanding that it would have to be kept locked up at all times or the owner could face lawsuits from pet owners who have faced veterinarian bills due to the dog’s attacks on their cats.

“But there were three dogs, this is just one of them,” Garrison pointed out.

She said the Humane Society and Animal Control are still setting humane traps in hopes of catching the remaining two dogs.

One of the dogs is short, about twice the size of a dachshund, with long, black hair. The second dog is reddish brown, and it could possibly be a Golden Retriever mix.

If the dogs are spotted between the hours of 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, people should call Animal Control at 601-442-6452.

All other sightings should be reported to the Natchez Police Department at 601-445-5565 or to Garrison at her home number, 601-442-2156.