BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Animal shelters across the state are running out of room and don’t have many options to find more space or staff to care for the pets.

Luckily for one shelter in the Piedmont Triad, its large volunteer group is taking some of the load off.

Burlington Animal Service has about 650 active volunteers. Some of those people are coming in for a couple of hours here and there. Others devote more time. The work all of the volunteers are doing is saving the lives of the animals inside this shelter.

Living in a cage isn’t the best life for man’s best friend.

“You can have the nicest facility and all the staff in the world, but it doesn’t remove the stress that the animals feel while they’re here,” said Laura Michel, marketing and communications specialist for Burlington Animal Services.

People who work at the shelter, like Michel, do their best to show some love to the more than 40 dogs currently looking for their forever homes.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the time to get everybody out and spend time with them one-on-one,” said Michel.

That’s where volunteers come in. Hundreds of them are signed up to take pets out for walks, give them a day at the park or just hang out with them.

“If someone comes in and they get five dogs out over the course of their visit, that’s great,” said Michel. “That’s five dogs that got outside today, got some fresh air and exercise.”

When you have dozens of dogs needing attention, a little help goes a long way.

“The more animals that you have in the facility … it requires more work for everyone,” said Michel.

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In addition to the 650-plus volunteers, the shelter also has a list of about 850 people who are willing to open up their homes to foster a furry friend.

 “It makes a huge difference in helping us … save more lives,” said Michel.

The shelter is always open to more volunteers. Anyone interested can visit burlingtonnc.gov/pets to find out more information.