Emphasizes Education before Confiscation
The Natchitoches Police Department welcomes Jonathan Meziere as the new Animal Control Director. Meziere is a Natchitoches native and after serving 26 in the military, he is excited about the new position with the Animal Control Shelter. “I love it. I enjoy working with people and helping people,” stated Meziere. “My motto is to educate before we confiscate.”
The Animal Control Shelter is responsible for animal control within the city limits of Natchitoches and also assists within the parish as needed. The shelter is open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an officer on call for animal bites.
“Our main job is to help and educate the public to know what they need to enjoy their pets,” stated Meziere referring to leash laws and tag requirements. All dogs within city limits are required to have a rabies tag providing proof of inoculation and a registered City tag. In addition, any dog off of the owner’s premises is required to be on a leash of not more than six feet in length or by some other equivalent means of positive physical control. The shelter also emphasizes spaying and neutering to help control the animal population. Residents are able to obtain a spay/neuter certification from the Natchitoches Humane Society for their pets.
Stray pets that are collected by Animal Control are housed for seven days to give the owners time to claim them. “By having the animals registered, this makes it easier for us to get the animals back to their rightful owners,” he said. The animals are provided shelter, fresh water and food, and opportunities to play and exercise. After seven days, the animals are put up for adoption. Animals that are considered sick, dangerous, aggressive and/or unadoptable are transferred to Alexandria where they are euthanized. Meziere encourages residents who have lost their pets to call the Animal Control Shelter and they will assist them in locating their pets. “We have a great Facebook page. We’ll post pics of lost pets and those that are up for adoption.”
While Natchitoches Animal Control handles mostly dogs and cats, Meziere says that is not all. “We mainly deal with dogs and cats, but occasionally we’ll have raccoons, armadillos, opossums, and red foxes.” When asked what were some of the strangest calls he had been on, Meziere who worked previously with Animal Control under the direction of Angela Lodridge stated “capturing 85 raccoons in one neighborhood may have been the biggest at one time.” He also mentioned that red foxes along Williams Avenue are some of the most difficult animals to catch.
For more information on the Natchitoches Animal Control Shelter, please call (318) 357-3885 and like their page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Natchitoches-Animal-Control-Shelter-410680778993734