Myers retiring from Natchez animal control after 9 years
Published 6:37 pm Friday, June 4, 2021
NATCHEZ — Natchez animal control officer Randy Myers announced he will retire from animal control on June 30.
For the past 9 years as the animal control officer, whenever E911 or Natchez Police received a call about a loose dog, cat or horse, Myers would be the one they called.
Myers said at times the job was overwhelming. Other times, Myers said he hoped for the phone to ring.
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“All in all, it has been a good nine years,” he said. “I’ve dealt with a lot of dead animals but also had lots of good community help. Everyone wants to get an animal back home when it’s lost.”
A large part of Myers’ job included rounding up dogs that were either abandoned or lost. In most cases, the dogs would not let other humans approach them until Myers showed up with a bag of treats and started to “sweet talk them” into wagging their tails, he said.
“If I can’t find their home by the end of the day, I take them to the shelter. I have a Facebook page that has been very helpful in getting animals back home. The community has been very supportive.”
Kathy Fitch, director of Hoofbeats and Pawprints Rescue, said Myers has helped rescue many dogs and other animals and brought them to the rescue service.
Fitch recalled a time when Myers discovered a litter of seven large Cur mix puppies approximately six months old that were dumped in north Natchez.
“The puppies were not socialized and not friendly toward people,” she said. “I went to the place where Randy had been feeding them to ‘shelter them in place’ and saw how Randy worked to trap them. It took several hours but we were able to get six of them. The last one would not come close to us. She just stayed at a distance and watched.”
A couple of days later, Fitch said Myers still had not given up on the seventh pup.
She received a call from him when he finally caught her and brought her to the shelter to be nurtured with her siblings.
“We worked with the litter of pups and all did well and they were placed through our transport program and the seventh pup was actually adopted by one of our staff members,” Fitch said. “She is living a dream life now, thanks to Randy not giving up on her.”
Rescuing dogs was not the only part of Myers’s job as an animal control officer. He has also responded to numerous calls about problematic wild animals in the city including raccoons, opossums, foxes, bats, coyotes and especially snakes.
Myers said the first thing he does when responding to a snake call is identify whether the snake is venomous or not — “round pupils for non-venomous, slit pupils for venomous,” he said.
However, most people do not want to get close enough to a snake to see their eyes. He can also tell from the shape of their head and sometimes from the pattern on their skin whether a snake is dangerous, he said. Non-venomous snakes are captures and released elsewhere to help keep the venomous snakes at bay.
“Nine years on the job, I’ve had many snake calls — snakes in attics, kitchens and bathrooms — but only a few poisonous snakes in the inner city. That is not to say there hasn’t been any moccasins. Snakes will travel drains following rats and that is how they wind up in people’s houses. I have released many king snakes right here on my property. They’re good to have around because they eat the rattlesnakes.”
As animal control, Myers said he is also the “animal ambulance” service. He responds to calls about hurt dogs or cats and takes them to the vet. He also answers calls about animal abuse or neglect.
Myers said he is also serving on a committee with Alderwoman Valencia Hall to revisit the city’s animal ordinances to help prevent animal abuse.
The most rewarding part of the job is seeing animals who were not well off recover, he said.
Myers said he was raised around a family farm and has always loved animals. As an animal control officer, he also enjoyed meeting new people on the job, he said.
“I will miss some of it. I’m tired of picking up dead animals but I enjoy the public. I like to meet new folks and I like helping them. They’re very grateful.”
Myers said he would stay busy as the owner of Natchez Saddle and Leather, helping his mother with her rental properties and perhaps helping both the City of Natchez and Adams County with animal problems as needed.
He and his wife also have Tuccio Farm and Rescue on Tuccio Lane, located north of Natchez, where he raises rescued animals and hosts hayrides in the fall.
While a replacement for Myers has not been identified, Myers encouraged anyone who is interested in being the animal control officer to apply.