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CHICAGO (CBS) — We all live busy lives, but one woman takes time out, six  days a week, to help and comfort the animals at Chicago’s animal pound.

When man’s best friend is in need, there are more than a few other friends who are willing to help out at Chicago’s Animal Care and Control. They are the volunteers who are selflessly devoted to the care of animals in distress.

One of those volunteers is Stephanie Bekker.

“Dogs are my favorite life form, and they need volunteers very badly,” she tells CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield. “Without the volunteers, the dogs never get outside, they can’t get adopted. The scared, shy ones don’t have anyone to comfort them. It’s a good way to make a difference.”

Twenty thousand animals a year come into the facility from the ranks of those that have been lost or that have been abandoned by their owners. From that number, 1,500 or 2,000 are adopted out.

“I walk them. I hug them when they need it,” Stephanie says. “I clean their cages. I write notes about their personalities and stick it on their cage and keep of list of who wants what, so I can call them when we get that kind of dog in the adoption room.”

Stephanie is one of some two hundred volunteers who have signed up to help out with what’s necessary to take care of the animals that come into the facility.

Shelter manager Brett Younsteadt says volunteers are vital in helping to socialize the animals.

“These volunteers take a lot of time and help re-acclimate them back to society. Sometimes just a loving hand, a loving touch is what they need,” he says.

Stephanie can be found here as a volunteer six days a week.

“Deep down inside, I am very pleased with what I’m doing. I think it’s helping these animals who I love dearly,” she says.

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