The Dart: Local woman enjoys working, caring for pets

Published 11:20 pm Sunday, April 29, 2018


NATCHEZ — Working more than 65 hours a week at two jobs may seem difficult to some, but that’s exactly what Susan Weed wants.

When The Dart landed on Liberty Road Sunday, Weed was hard at work at the Natchez-Adams Humane Society’s transport center.

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Weed is there every day, she said, even after a long day of work at her banking job in Vidalia.

“I get off work, go home, change clothes and come out here,” Weed said. “Sometimes I stop and feed my animals first.”

When she has choir practice — every Wednesday evening after work — Weed, who is also the song director for Vidalia Methodist Church comes in the dark to take care of the animals.

Working at the transportation center means doing a million different odd jobs, she said, including installing a washing machine, cleaning kennels and changing lightbulbs.

“I just do what I’m asked,” she said, laughing. “I go where I’m needed.”

On Sunday, after six puppies were dropped off from their foster home, Weed said there are exactly 100 dogs and puppies in the transportation center.

“There’s never that many,” she said. “That’s a lot.”

All these animals — barking, growling and pressing against their kennel doors to get close to passersby — are housed in a large, metal barn that seems almost to magnify the April sunshine.

“There is no air conditioning, just big fans,” she said.

It is cold in the winter, with only one large diesel heater, and hot in the summer, she said.

So why would anyone choose to work in these conditions on top of a full-time job?

“Somebody needs to,” she said. “I’ve always loved animals, and I’ll do anything for them. They need somebody to love on them and care for them.”

The transport center sends out their dogs and cats once a week, and so Weed has also become adept at saying goodbye.

Though she loves the animals and caring for them, Weed said she has no difficulty in letting them go.

“I know when they leave here, they’re going somewhere that wants them,” she said. “I know they’re going to find a home.”

And it helps, she said, to be around like-minded people. Three women were working hard Sunday afternoon: Weed, Kathy Randall and Marie Paridon.

“We all work hard here,” Weed said. “Everyone puts in a lot of time.”

In a little closed in space in the front of the barn — where the cats and very young dogs are housed — Randall and Weed hold a few small puppies close to their chests.

“It’s worth it,” Randall said. “We all love the animals.”

Weed agrees.

“If I could work here full time and get paid, I would,” she said. “If I had a million dollars, I’d be right here.”