By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An animal shelter going a different route to reach as many people as they can to get help: The Front Street Animal Shelter is so short-staffed they took to social media asking for volunteers.

“That’s put us in a really tough spot where we’re just keeping up with our essential functions and adoptions,” said Sacramento Animal Care Services PIO Ryan Hinderman.

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Waiting for their forever home is taking longer than it should.  Hinderman told CBS13 overall staffing is down 25% – and the animal care staff, those who actually tend to the animals, is down 50%.

“With the staff we have, we’re able to keep up with essential functions, taking animals, feeding, medicating,” said Hinderman. “But because there’s only one or two staff right now to handle adoptions. What that means [is] animals are staying in the shelter longer than they need to.”

But when Front Street Animal Shelter put out a call for help on Facebook, the community answered with hundreds applying to volunteer.

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“We weren’t sure how many responses we were going to get. We were going to be happy if we got a few dozen responses. We’ve actually received over 350 applications,” said Hinderman.

Already roughly 20 trained on Sunday, with some expected to start volunteering at the shelter next weekend.

“If we just have more help to help members of the community meet these animals, counsel them then that means we can get these animals out faster and out of a stressful environment as fast as possible, and that’s always our goal,” said Hinderman.

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While so many stepped up, they are still taking applications. They’re looking for volunteers to fill at least one 2 1/2 hour shift once a week for three months.