Archived Story

Help needed catching killer dogs

Published 12:04am Thursday, August 11, 2011

NATCHEZ — Local officials and volunteers are calling for backup when it comes to solving a downtown animal problem.

After a pack of dogs began killing downtown cats in the late night and early morning hours in the last couple of weeks in July, Humane Society Vice President Nan Garrison said the problem is only getting worse.

To date, she said, the known number of killed cats is 21, and three cats have been seriously injured.

“We’re at our wits’ end,” Garrison said. “I’ve been getting up at 4 every morning, driving around trying to see something, then going at night to reset my traps.”

Humane traps that work with levee systems, and that are baited with dog food, have been set up around the downtown area in hopes of catching the two dogs that remain free and are believed to be responsible for the killings.

Two dogs have already been “arrested” and are in custody at the Humane Society, Garrison said.

Originally, she said, three, not four, dogs were believed to have been responsible for the incidents, but after several eyewitness reports, the number rose.

“I know there are some people in this town who don’t care about cats … but this is blood sport,” Garrison said. “These dogs are not hungry. It’s gotten pretty similar to if you had a coyote running downtown.

“It’s almost carnivorous.”

The problem at the heart of the issue, though, is that pet owners are violating Natchez’s leash law, she said, because not all of the dogs are strays.

Under the leash law, dogs must be kept in a fenced-in yard or on a leash when they’re outside, she said.

“There are so many reasons for a leash law,” Garrison said. “It’s to protect property owners and to protect pets. (For example), how many times have you known somebody who has had a wreck or has almost had a wreck trying to dodge a dog?

“If you let your dog run free, that is so inconsiderate of your neighbors.”

While Natchez does have an animal control officer who works diligently to enforce the law, Garrison said, it’s impossible to do so single handedly.

“You would just be amazed at how many dogs are just laying in somebody’s yard, and there are just so many people who think they are not subject to the leash law,” she said. “If you could get every animal that is violating the leash law in custody, (the cat killings) would stop.

“It all just comes back to responsible pet ownership.”

Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins said while the police department enforces leash laws, they don’t have the capability to control animals.

“When anyone identifies a dog that’s not in a fenced-in yard or that’s not leashed, we take a report for a violation of the leash law, and we encourage anyone who sees a dog like that to come to the station and file a criminal charge against the owner for violation of the leash law,” he said. “The problem is determining who the owner is.”

Mayor Jake Middleton said like Garrison, he’s ridden through the downtown area at night hoping to spot something, and he’s thought through ways of possibly putting a stop to the killings, like organizing a neighborhood watch.

“(We could) maybe have some neighbors sit up an hour a night and take turns to see if they can spot these dogs,” he said. “I’ve also sat down and talked with the sheriff, and we’re possibly looking into getting a tranquilizer gun, then training a couple of key people to use it.”

The gun would come in handy for a number of reasons, he said, because other animals, like bears and deer, have also been known to cause problems when they get into residential areas.

“We may even call upon the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and see what they can maybe offer,” Middleton said.

Will Devening, who lives on South Union Street, witnessed the dogs attacking a cat one morning at 3 a.m., and described the two dogs that remain at large.

One is similar to a yellow Labrador retriever in color but not size. It’s shorter and fatter — probably weighing 60 pounds — with a long tail that curls toward its back.

The second dog is brindle colored and much smaller than the first, he said.

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. Other sightings should be reporting to Garrison at 601-445-5698 or her home number, 601-442-2156.

Until the dogs are caught, she said, cat and small dog owners are encouraged to keep their pets indoors.

  • Anonymous

    levee  system?

  • Anonymous

    Town going to dogs or dogs going to town?
    Dogcatcher Jake is as usual undecided and will consult Joyce.

  • Anonymous

    NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH NIGHT.

    BUCKLE UP NATCHEZ… Evidently these dogs are from a neighborhood not far from where you live.

  • Ham Bone

    “If you let your dog run free, that is so inconsiderate of your neighbors.”

    It works both ways.  If people would keep their cats inside the dogs couldn’t kill them.

    “These dogs are not hungry. It’s gotten pretty similar to if you had a coyote running downtown.“It’s almost carnivorous.”

    Well DUH, dogs are carnivores.  Coyotes don’t kill for sport, they kill to eat.

    I like how they are calling on the public for help, yet if you have a dog problem, they don’t help you.  The NPD won’t do anything, the humane society doesn’t answer, and the animal control officer doesn’t work “after hours”. 

    I will offer this to help, put a cat in the trap.

  • Anonymous

    Town folks can be so helpless. The country folks know how to deal with situations like this.
    :)

  • Anonymous

    Are cats not subject to the lease law? Do the cat owners not bare some responsibility here?

  • Anonymous

    “(We could) maybe have some neighbors sit up an hour a night and take turns to see if they can spot these dogs,” he said. “I’ve also sat down and talked with the sheriff, and we’re possibly looking into getting a tranquilizer gun, then training a couple of key people to use it.”

    Trouble brewing ….

  • Anonymous

    Get St. Paddy to drive them into the river.

  • Anonymous

    Definitely need a tranquilizer gun…. made by Smith & Wesson!

  • vilou09

    “brendel colored”….?
    I had to google it to get an idea.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’ll tell you one thing, if those dogs are in fact near South Union, that’s my neck of the woods.  I’ve got a tranquilizer gun for ‘em alright, it’s a new one, called a .22.  BTW, Mullins is so full of it.  NPD is doing absolutely NOTHING to enforce the leash laws!  Who in the hell do you think you’re fooling?

  • Ham Bone

    Where is the cougar when you need him?

  • Anonymous

    If Nan was as concerned about her clients, who pay her ridiculous amounts of money for her legal ‘expertise’, as she is about these cats and dogs, then it might not take her MONTHS and YEARS to finalize a divorce and custody settlement. Just a thought…

  • Anonymous

    If Nan was as concerned about her clients, who pay her ridiculous amounts of money for her legal ‘expertise’, as she is about these cats and dogs, then it might not take her MONTHS and YEARS to finalize a divorce and custody settlement. Just a thought…

  • Anonymous

    No kidding.  I think they meant to say lever, not levee.  And, yes.  Dogs are carnivorous.  What a strange thing to say.

  • Anonymous

    yep SSS

  • Anonymous

    Why would anyone think irresponsible people would control thier pets??? They don’t try to control their offsprings !!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Some treat their pets better than their offspring!

  • Anonymous

    Give it to NPD and train Prater, guaranteed to work.

  • Anonymous

    Wow thanks ND I was just about to join the crips of Natchez but it sounds like the dominate gang to be in is the Killer Dawgs From Da Block!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Now Now are have these dogs been hanging out with the Ferriday Drunk dogs before they go out killing?

  • Anonymous

    I really can’t believe they are making such a big deal out of this. You would think they were talking about a serial rapist of something.

  • vilou09

    OMG! If it were YOUR cat, you’d be right in line with the ones trying to capture the dogs! Have you ever gone out to get your paper before work one morning and opened your front door to find your beloved best friend and pet DEAD on your door step from having its entrails ripped out of it and left to die?? This is what has been happening in downtown Natchez EVERY SINGLE DAY, and it’s left MANY hearts BROKEN forever. Do you know how heartbreaking and mortifying that is to go through??
    Have some compassion and respect…

  • Anonymous

    I agree but be careful, thanks to Sen. Dearing’s animal cruelty bill.

  • Anonymous

    That’s rich, Love it!

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like it’s just another day in the hood for her.  She must live on Itasca Street.

  • Ham Bone

     He couldn’t do anything until after the dogs are in the trap.

  • Ham Bone

    My pets are better than some offspring I’ve seen around town.

  • Anonymous

    GOAL!

  • Ham Bone

    If it were my cat, I’d keep it inside. Or I wouldn’t complain when something happened to it.  What about all the animals that the cats kill?  Squirrels, pretty song birds etc.  They walk all over peoples cars and get into trash.  Keep your cats inside and this problem will go away.

  • Anonymous

    Downtown is swarming with stray cats and it has been for many years. Survival of the fittest

  • Anonymous

    save a dog kill a cat!!!!!!     you dump asses i know ab0out 15 people downtown who buy cat food for the poor   little cats . then about 2 time a month they call the dog catcher to take the kittens to the pound.  natchez has to many cats that dont have a home. we need to have lease law for cats . a pet is a pet . keep them pined up or on a lease . then  put out about 100 traps  an have a round up are make hot tamoles rember under the hill about 30 years ago

  • Anonymous

    can’t imagine people signing up to volunteer an hour of sleep time to catch dogs…….

  • Anonymous

    LMAO!!!   If you cry forever over a pet that has been killed, then life will break you down.

  • Anonymous

    Out here in Plantation Park, it’s just the opposite. Here, we have mostly cat problems. They dig into the dumpsters, mostly at night, and leave behind a mess of garbage outside the dumpster. So, whatever was put in the dumpsters, could wind up on the grounds. Of all the cats out here, I have yet to see one with a name tag, and I have been here 4 years and 7 months. I can understand it if a cat had at least some kind of collar, but the others need to be removed. On top of all that, they are killing our squirrels and chipmunks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.cirilo1 Anthony Cirilo

    are you serious! can we find some real news in natchez?? Dogs are gonna chase and kill cats! they have for centuries and do you really think by “arresting” (very stupid)  them it will set an example for the rest of the dogs to behave??? ha ha! very funny!