Archived Story

Downtown kitties now extinct?

Published 12:04am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NATCHEZ — Humane Society Vice President Nan Garrison said the case of downtown cat killings is mostly closed, just like the case of the dinosaurs.

“They’re all dead,” she said, referring to cats left outdoors. “I’m still totally confused. In the summer of 2011, within about a five-week period, we had 31 cats killed.”

From the end of July to the middle of August, Garrison said, numerous citizens in the downtown Natchez area witnessed a pack of three to four dogs killing cats. But in the past couple of weeks, just two cats have been killed near Auburn Avenue, she said.

Another reason the maulings have stopped, Garrison said, is more dog owners have started abiding by the city’s leash law and cat owners have started keeping their cats indoors at night.

Additionally, she said, two of the dogs responsible for the killings were “arrested.”

One of the dogs was reclaimed by its owner — who first built a fence, she said — and the other went unclaimed. Garrison said she didn’t know whether the unclaimed dog was euthanized.

“On the one hand, I think some of the owners of these dogs are acting more responsibly, and I think there are a lot of people who are taking their animals in at night for their own safety,” she said. “I think a lot of (cats) have been killed, so there aren’t as many out there.”

But in order to keep the same issue from arising again, she said, something must be permanently changed.

“We probably need to beef up animal control, even if it’s only on a temporary basis,” Garrison said. “If you do that and you pick up every stray dog on the streets, then the dogs that are actually owned, their owners will come forth and they will realize that if animal control picks up your dogs on the street, you’re going to get served with violation of the leash law.”

This would be especially helpful because one of the first problems with serving people with leash law violations is that people don’t want to get their neighbors in trouble — they just want their neighbors’ dogs contained, she said.

With animal control being the ones to serve leash law violations, Garrison said, neighbors wouldn’t have to get involved.

“I think if I take you to court and you have to pay $200 for letting your (dog) run free, you probably won’t do it again,” she said.

Currently, Natchez has one animal control officer, and while she works from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. five days a week, Garrison said it’s just not feasible for the officer to be able to pick up each and every stray in Natchez.

“The problem we’re having is stray animals are roaming at 3 a.m., and animal control is not a 24-hour job,” Garrison said.

If a citizen has a better idea for how to control strays, she said, she’s happy to hear new thoughts.

“I don’t really know what the solution is — that’s why we’ve reached out to everybody,” Garrison said. “The bottom line is leash law enforcement.”

  • Ham Bone

    Leash laws should apply to cats and dogs.  Make the animal control officer work shifts, some days work during daylight hours, other days work at night.  If the animal control officer is needed on the weekend,  then let the officer take that time off during the next week to avoid overtime hours.

  • Anonymous

    i have sean 3 red foxes in down town. in the last 4 weeks. could they be the cat kill. with the high water on the river this year the wild life moved to higher ground. by the way killing is killing EUTHANIZING A DOG IS  KILLING. SO A say dont donate to the money to these dog killers.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think a nighttime shift would be very effective, the officer won’t be able to see as many strays and definitely won’t want to chase them and wind up in someone’s back yard to get shot.  Agree with the trade off time.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but, the named dogs were seen at the scene of several crimes.

  • Anonymous

    Someone needs to spay and neuter all of the stray cats in the Duncan Park area, then there would no longer be an overpopulation of stray cats in that area.
    It is pretty ridiculous cats get to wander and do whatever they want.
    It just so happens that I love to watch squirrels and chipmunks. Cats have killed all of my beloved chipmunks and no one seems to see that as a problem.
    It seems like we have an issue of discrimination against certain species of animals. 

  • Anonymous

    I know the dog named zoose. an he lives in a house with 13 cats .  an not one cat was kill at that house ask nan she been there

  • Anonymous

    I need to borrow a couple of the cats for a few weeks, the chipmunk population I have in my yard are burrowing under everything and creating a mess. No, I don’t want them permanently (cats or chipmunks).

  • Anonymous

    He must live in Duncan Park with the cat overpopulation!

  • Anonymous

    the whole damn town infested with cats an fleas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Stutzman/100000914851900 Joe Stutzman

    stray cats are a problem in almost every town.  compare cat vs. dog reproduction rate.  it is amazing.

  • Anonymous

    If ever there was a non-story, this is it.  Oh, noes!   A dog who’s owner doesn’t care enough about to take inside at night killed my cat that I don’t care enough about to take in side at night!

    WHO CARES!!!???  Every human in this story gets what they deserve and nature runs its course.

  • Anonymous

    Folks, their is a LARGE population of foxes that most people have failed to mention. I have seen a pack of foxes near Dunlieth, which is the area their den is located, and they do hunt cats. The foxes may need to be trapped and sent out to the homochitto forest or some other rural area because they are multiplying very quickly. I see a fox downtown almost every day after dark.

  • Anonymous

    O brother, you see foxes everyday so we should send them to the Homochito National Forrest.  Maybe people should keep their cats inside then.  What about owls and hawks?  I’m sure they would catch a smaller cat for dinner, should we catch them too?  You know I see people everyday downtown, maybe we should catch them up and send them to a bigger city so as not to multiply around here. . .

    all domestic animals should be kept in a yard, fenced or in the house.  People don’t lets horses, pigs, cows roam free without fences either. 

  • Anonymous

    Foxes are not pack animals nor do they typically hunt cats.  They eat small rodents but mainly live as scavengers.  That is not to say one wouldn’t kill a cat but it would be unlikely.

  • Anonymous

    I have read stories about owls taking off with dachshunds.

  • Anonymous

    Goal!   It is interesting that this article gets almost 3x the comments that the tax hike budget article has gotten.

  • vilou09

    Are you huffing paint fumes….?

  • Anonymous

    I think someone should spay/neuter Melveo!  I mean…..what!!???

  • Anonymous

    Works for moles and voles as well.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, got both of them too.  If the deer don’t quit eating my shrubs due to the dry weather, this place is going to look like a desert without vegetation before long.  Need for hunting season to hurry up and get here.

  • Anonymous

    More people have animals than pay taxes.  Imagine if the story had been about taxing pets.  Boom goes the dynamite.

  • Anonymous

    If the dog was “arrested” why wasn’t the humane society/animal shelter the site that it was quarantined to? She doesn’t know if it was euthanized? Well then who does know the fate of the “other dog”?

  • Anonymous

    is that all you call come up with! by the way I have been fixed . how bout you . think about it

  • Anonymous

    no  are you

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768452640 Heather France

    Yes but not all of these weren’t strays, some were pets, and  its impossible to keep an outside cat inside!

  • Anonymous

    this is true . but I can say its hard to keep a dog that has been free like a cat locked up in a pen. see my point.

  • Anonymous

    Given the lack of interest in his choo-choo column, Cooper should consider kittie killing coverage instead. 

  • Anonymous

    Notice that, even though my post was in compliance with posting rules, it was deleted.  I guess my opinion wasn’t the “right” one since it actually placed responsibility on, you know, people.

  • Anonymous

    Many people have a hard time dealing with the truth.

  • Anonymous

    Stray cats aren’t the problem, it is irresponsible cat owners that refuse to spay or neuter their pets, leading to unregulated breeding….leading to feral populations.  If you cannot be responsible, you shouldn’t have a pet.  Now, I am a cat lover…I have two.  But, mine are inside only-and they are perfectly happy to be inside cats..you just have to start them out that way.  I kinda have to agree with folks, it is a double standard in a way.  I keep mine inside so my wild birds and lizard populations aren’t devastated, but my neighbors aren’t as considerate-so I am constantly shooing a neighborhood cat away from my bird feeders.

  • Anonymous

    Hey bigfish…. It’s called “sarcasm”

  • Anonymous

    Four of my five kitties (all spayed and neutered) live completely indoors, but I do have one neutered male who lives outside. He keeps the chipmunks, moles, and voles from turning the hill I live on into swiss cheese.  The only problem is that he will occasionally leave a “trophy” on my kitchen steps to prove he is doing his job.

  • Anonymous

    Just insert a T in your last sentence.  That should stop it.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, the lady who slaps waitresses must be in charge of deletions.

  • Anonymous

    Heather France, if you can’t keep your cat inside; don’t have one. The same leash law that applies to dogs, applies to cats. People just seem to think that cats are natural born roamers. You have seen first hand what happens. I don’t care if people own an armadillo, KEEP IT ON A LEASH OR INSIDE. END OF STORY.

  • Anonymous

    Zoose is a truly noble creature with more character than many people.
    I always assumed he spelled his name Z-e-u-s, but dogs don’t count very well, either.

  • Anonymous

    People who shoot animals should be arrested. 

  • Anonymous

    then the people at the animals sheter should be arrest for killing dogs! killing is killing

  • Anonymous

    It’s a good thing it is that kind of “trophy”.

  • Anonymous

    I had one deleted today on the city IT article, stated simply that many departments had duplicated websites, etc.  Nothing profane or otherwise that would violate rules.  Tried to re-post to be sure, got a message that moderator would have to approve before posting.

  • Anonymous

    I live in the county and “shooed” away the loose dog that has been wandering around here for a couple of weeks yesterday when he scattered my neighbors trash all over the place at the corner where we put it for today. This is the second time recently the same dog has performed.  I have not resorted to the T solution, not sure where the dog comes from but may be a stray, don’t think the animal control officer works in the county, and don’t plan to build a 6′ high fence to keep our garbage in.  Next step may have to be persuasion, we have not had this problem previously with putting trash out the night before.

  • Anonymous

    I see that comment.  If you post a link, it will tell you that moderator approval is required.

  • Anonymous

    dont leave out the fact that cats scratches your vechicles up, all indoor pets should be kept indoors and outdoor tied up or fenced in….