AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Just one day into their new jobs, Mahoning County’s two newest humane agents are already on the road.

Both Jane MacMurchy and Britney Price took their oaths on Monday from probate Judge Robert Rusu, effectively tripling the number of trained agents working for Animal Charity of Ohio. They can now share the load with what had been just one agent for years.

“It’s really backing us up and we have this huge log of investigations that we’re working on,” MacMurchy said.

Besides posting warning signs on homes, we’re told the agency has at least 20 active and open cases right now, as well as caring for hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals at their facilities in Boardman and Canfield.

Money to cover the in-office promotions and new hires came from a $100,000 grant from the Youngstown Foundation.

“They came in and they saw our need. We wrote a grant and we were approved,” MacMurchy said.

Most of Animal Charity’s funding comes from offering low-cost pet care services such as grooming and veterinary care, but that only goes so far.

“We’re really, really struggling right now monetarily because the cost of the care of the animals right now is so high,” MacMurchy said.

MacMurchy says those costs run about $15 per animal per day. In the past, the agency operated on a budget of under $750,000. But already this year, workers anticipate they’ll spend more than $1 million — still hopeful local governments will be able to offset some of that.