MAYFLOWER, Ark – The Mayflower Police Department and Animal Control Center says ‘animal dumping’ is getting out of hand within the city, upping penalties to put a stop to it once and for all.

As the clock strikes 9 a.m., a new day begins for Mayflower Animal Control Officer Lisa Kossman. Kossman certainly has her hands full feeding, cleaning, and caring for more paws than she can count.

“This is the most dogs we’ve ever had at one time,” Kossman said.

In a shelter that is supposed to house 9 animals, kennels are packed with 2-3 dogs and sometimes entire litters.

“I get calls every day about dogs dumped,” Kossman said.

Kossman said in the last year, animal dumping is becoming more common which has caused an increase in shelter housing.

Right now, Kossman says all but one of the dogs in the shelter was dumped somewhere in the city.

“I was shocked to be honest,” Robert Osborn said.

Osborn first met Kossman last week. He says he witnessed a dog being dumped near his house.

“I was devastated, I was mortified from it that somebody can just actually dump off this precious little animal in the forest with them to fend for themselves, it was terrible,” Osborn said.

On this day, Osborn found out he was one of many in the last year to witness dogs being left without a home.

Mayflower Animal Control said the increase is likely a result of people abusing the “no kill” shelter policy.

“You give somebody an inch, they take a mile,” LT. Taylor Decker with Mayflower PD said.

This week, leashes are being tightened up at the police department. Officers say they’re taking on every dumping incident, issuing charges for animal cruelty.

“I think people will learn hard lessons,” Decker said.

As the sun sets on another day, dogs are left waiting behind bars. An animal pleading innocence as they wait for a miracle.

“Don’t get a dog if you don’t want to commit to it for 15 years,” Kossman said. “Just cause it’s a cute puppy and then it gets older, and you don’t want it anymore and you decide to go dump it. If that’s the case, don’t get one.”

Mayflower PD said that if someone is caught dumping a dog, it will be charged as a misdemeanor.