AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Workers at the Mahoning County Dog Warden are now trying to find homes for the influx of dogs that came in after pandemic lockdowns ended.
Dog Warden Dianne Fry said Friday that there were 72 dogs in their care — more than the 50 to 70 dogs that were there pre-pandemic. She said many of those dogs have anxiety as they were used to being at home with someone all day and are now spending much of their day in a shelter full of animals.
Sarah Csepeggi, office manager at the Mahoning County Dog Warden, also attributes the increase, in part, to the end of COVID restrictions.
“Now that COVID’s kind of dwindling down, I think people are going back to work, people are getting jobs, and the dogs weren’t trained when they got them as puppies during COVID, and now they’re having a hard time leaving them, so they’re either letting them loose or turning them in,” she said.
Csepeggi said as the weather warms up, a lot of the dogs are also getting loose and coming in as strays.
She said potential pet owners should consider whether they have the time or money to care for an animal before they take on the commitment. If someone adopts a dog from the shelter, she said they should consider looking into proper training and socialization for the animals to help them overcome their anxiety.
The Mahoning County Dog Warden is located at 1230 N. Meridian Road. It has a Facebook page with photos of adoptable dogs, as well as hours of operation.
Meet and greets are by appointment only, and adoption fees vary by animal.