LACON, Ill. (WMBD) — Who doesn’t love adopting a pet and welcoming it into their home? The process is fun and exciting. But a local shelter wants to remind people that there’s a way to help these pets before they get adopted to their forever home.

A.R.K. Animal Shelter in Lacon has been facing difficulties and is in need of volunteers.

Volunteers have to clean, take phone calls, answer emails, and engage with the animals. While it doesn’t seem too difficult, it’s the most difficult part for the A.R.K. since they don’t have many volunteers.

“We have never been as bad as we are right now. We are scrambling daily for someone to come in and help us,” said Sherri Coghill, president and director of the shelter.

Coghill decided to fulfill her passion by taking over the shelter, but now, she never gets a break.

Coghill said, “My life has always been consumed. I do not have a life outside here because this is 24/7. So with me getting older, it’d be nice to slow down a bit.”

The shelter currently has two full-time employees, making handling the shelter and all its needs extremely difficult.

“Neither one of us can ever be sick or ever take time off because there’s no one to fall back on,” said Coghill.

“It’s only within the last, I’d say probably a year that it’s really fallen apart, that we’ve lost a lot of help,” volunteer Laura Hansons said. “It’s just so hard to get help these days.”

Desperate for help for the animals, volunteers are asked to clean kennels, floors, and dishes, answer phone calls and emails, fold laundry, and have fun.

“I need somebody who’s just positive and just really wants to help and love animals,” said Hanson.

But without the help of volunteers lately, Coghill said the shelter hasn’t been able to do like offsite adoptions.

“We haven’t been able to go to schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4H’s, and do talks and explain the importance of a shelter,” she said.

For those interested in volunteering, call (309) 246-4275, email or click here.