Peacock on the loose tops officer’s tales
A peacock loose on East Academy Street was one of TchiaKousky Williams Sr.’s wildest and most colorful calls as an animal control officer the last decade in Madison County.
Williams has been picking up and trapping animals humanely and with great care all over Madison County ever since he first joined his hometown police force a decade ago hoping to become a police officer, a goal he later abandoned because of his love for animals.
You may be thinking about the Russian composer Tchaikovsky and there’s a connection — well, sort of.
Williams is not Russian, but his now late mother Shirley Bloodsaw had a passion for music. The composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s picture was on the wall of the Canton High School choir room back in the day and it stuck.
His first name certainly generates a lot of discussion and interest like it did the other day when Williams was the guest speaker at the Canton Rotary Club.
Williams, 5-feet, 10-inches tall and heavyset, cleared up the Russian part pretty quickly and told the story about his mother’s love of music.
He has worked in Ridgeland and for Madison County, but got back home to Canton in August 2020. Some of the unincorporated neighborhoods such as Ashbrooke and Bear Creek Crossing kept calling on him.
That’s when he decided to start his own business, TchiaKousky’s Animal & Critter Control LLC, where he contracts with subdivisions outside of city limits to help with nuisance animal calls and to help enforce neighborhood bylaws and covenants.
His day job is Canton. So the other day, with a reporter in tow, Williams jumped into his unit to go make rounds to check on live-catch traps he had set at various locations throughout the city the previous day to catch some nuisance animals.
On the way to his first stop, turning onto Hill Street from S. Liberty Street (U.S. 51), he stopped his truck, rolled down the window and made a little chit-chat with a coworker who had pulled up at the same intersection before they shared a laugh and went about their separate ways.
“My wife loves it when we go out of town because I don’t stop and talk to everybody,” Williams said.
Williams proceeded along Hill Street and stopped to talk to another friend and her child who were standing in a driveway before proceeding and stopping in front of a green-colored house where he had left a trap the day before.
He got out of the large black SUV and made his way to the trap in the bushes next to the house where the residents have complained about unwanted cats and where he has captured eight cats in recent weeks.
In the trap this day was a calico cat that was meowing and growling like a mountain lion while protecting a newborn baby kitten in the cage with her next to an empty cat food can that had contained the bait that lured the cat in.
Williams was quick to surmise that perhaps more kittens were nearby. He scoured the hedgerow and looked underneath the house. After finding no other kittens, he collected the cage and put it in the back of his SUV to take the cat and kitten to the Canton Animal Hospital to be checked out.
Such is a day in the life of an animal control officer, but not all of Williams’ calls are as simple as dealing with dogs and cats.
Throughout his 10-plus years as an animal control officer, Williams said he has dealt with peacocks, buzzards, bobcats, alligators and skunks to name a few of the species.
That is not what most people think about when they think about animal control, Williams said. Most of the time they equate animal control officers with dog catchers.
“It is way more than that now,” Williams said. “Dogs and cats are about half the job.”
Williams originally began working as Canton’s animal control officer in October 2010 when he joined his hometown’s police force hoping to later become a regular police officer.
Williams said after working as the animal control officer for a while he decided he liked the work and would rather do animal control work than to be a regular police officer.
One of the strangest animal calls Williams said he has ever gotten was the report of a peacock loose on East Academy Street in Canton.
“Are you serious?” Williams said he responded to the dispatcher.
“No. We have a peacock,” Williams said the dispatcher replied.
“I thought, I’m going to go and just see. Somebody must have drunk something or something,” Williams said with a laugh. “And lo and behold, there it was between the houses. Are you kidding me?”
Williams said the peacock turned out to be an easy catch.
“I was like, when it did its feathers, ‘Oh my God!’” Williams said. “For some reason, it was scared of me, and I was scared of it. So I just set the cage up between a tree and a fence, and I just walked around and it walked right into the cage.”
Williams said he took the peacock to the Mississippi Animal Rescue League that turned it over to a peacock rescue group.
The scariest and perhaps most dangerous animal call was when some children catching minnows reported an alligator in Canton’s Bachelor Creek.
“An alligator in the city?” Williams said. “It was 3- or 4-feet long. I went down there and got the catchpole.”
Williams said he had to get out over some rocks to get the catchpole on the alligator and when he did he was surprised at the power the alligator had. He had to get some deputies out to help him form a daisy chain to pull the alligator in.
That incident was in 2015 and Williams continued to work as the Canton Animal Control officer until June 29, 2017, when he went to work for the Ridgeland Police Department before going on to work as the animal control officer for the Madison County Sheriff’s office from February 2018 until June 2020 when the county decided to discontinue the animal control officer’s position.
In addition to the animal control business on the weekends, he and his wife Tangela were inspired by their two children, TchiaKousky Jr., 3, and Ava, 2, to open a bounce house party rental business that has grown over the past year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though his private businesses have been successful, Williams said he was pleased to rejoin the Canton Police Department in August 2020 as the animal control officer.
He has since been promoted to code enforcement officer and support services officer in addition to his animal control duties.
“The city has definitely gone on the up and up, especially in animal control,” Williams said.
“This position was deemed a demotion for a lot of people. If you got in trouble, you were demoted to animal control. I’m just blessed enough to have brought some dignity to this position to say, ‘Hey, this is not some position you give to punish people. This is a career.’ You can make this a career if you have that passion for it. I just have that passion.”
Meanwhile, once Williams was at the Canton Animal Hospital with the kitten and mama cat in hand last Friday, Mary Kathryn Cox, vet tech and office manager and other staff members, advised Williams to take the captured cat and kitten back to the original location so the mother cat could tend to any other kittens that might be left behind.
Cox speculated that the cat had likely been moving the kittens when it was attracted to the bait inside the cage and that the other kittens would need her attention.
Williams was happy to return the cat and kitten to the location where he set them free. He said he knows he can come back and collect them later and make sure they get proper veterinary treatment before being adopted out.
Such humane treatment is typical of Williams, said his coworker Canton Police officer Sonya Wright.
“He is a great guy,” Wright said. “He is extremely passionate about what he does.”
Williams and his TchiaKousky’s Animal & Critter Control LLC and bounce house business can be reached by calling 601-761-0948.