YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Throughout the pandemic, experts believe abuse has been up and reporting has been down. This is the case with child, animal and intimate partner abuse. Local pet shelters are seeing more and more of those animals finally come in, but they’re running low on space.
“All of them, every animal you’ll see is part of a case,” said Jane MacMurchy, with Animal Charity of Ohio.
Right now, Animal Charity has about 175 animals in their custody. They oversee all of Mahoning County for abuse cases — all 425 square miles of it.
The lobby and offices have been converted to house animals — the humane officer even has a puppy in her office.
“It’s been a really tough two weeks. In a span of six days, we rescued 38 living animals. We have one that is now unfortunately going to be part of a felony case. The animal has passed away,” MacMurchy said.
And they expect to keep getting more cases.
“This is where we’re at. Every shelter, every rescue, every pound and warden agency is full,” MacMurchy said.
All of the animals at the shelter cannot be seen because some are still involved in pending court cases. Benji is one of those recent rescues. He weighs about 40 pounds but for his breed, he should weigh twice that.
“It’s just been kind of the worst-case scenarios the last couple of weeks. Where it’s just been multiple hoardings, multiple condemned houses, cruelty cases, animals starving to death,” MacMurchy said.
Animal Charity, though, doesn’t limit their capacity.
“We will never be full… Just because we bring in one case and fill up an area, it does not mean our shelter is closed,” MacMurchy said.
Animal Charity says they are always looking for volunteers. Right now, they are also in desperate need of blankets, towels and sheets ahead of winter. Head over to their website to find out more about how you can help.