YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The overpopulation of dogs in pounds and wardens across the Valley is becoming more concerning, and the Mahoning County Dog Warden shared some of the issues it faces as winter nears.

Those with the Mahoning County Dog Warden say the facility is filled to the brim.

“We haven’t had low numbers in probably about a year,” said Lisa Hill, kennel supervisor with the dog warden.

The warden is experiencing an enormous influx of stray dogs.

“People are getting evicted, they are going back to work or just don’t want the dogs anymore,” Hill said.

Turning down dogs is difficult for the warden, but they simply have no space.

“When they call to surrender them, there’s just no room, so they end up turning them loose,” Hill said.

It’s in issue that in itself comes with many consequences.

“They could get hit by a car, they could bite somebody, they could starve to death. There’s so much wrong with that,” Hill said.

It’s a stressful job for the staff: Trying to find dogs homes when their hands are completely full.

“We do give them suggestions on other places to call,” Hill said. “We will add them to our surrender list, so if something does open up, we will give them a call to bring their dog in.”

As the holidays get closer, it may sound like a good idea to get a loved one a dog as a gift, but the warden says, “Think again.”

“Don’t get a dog for anybody that’s a surprise, make sure they know. Make sure they come meet the dog to make sure it’s a good match for them,” Hill said.

The warden says the environment can be stressful for the dogs, too.

“Especially if they come from a home into a loud noisy kennel, so we try and give every dog one-on-one time,” Hill said.

Those who would like to volunteer to help the warden take care of the dogs can give them a call at 330-740-2205.