SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

The summer and spring months can be the hardest for staff at local animal shelters; that's because it's breeding season for dogs and cats.

With no money to pay for a staff, the SBK Animal Shelter relies on volunteers like Alexis McWilliams to help care for the animals in need.

She's there two days a week during her summer vacation. "I've just been cleaning cat cages, washing some food bowls and litter boxes," says McWilliams.

Her favorite part of the day is being able to give the animals what they need, love and attention. "Each one just cries for you every time you walk by. They all reach for you and it's super cute, so I always try to give them what they want," adds McWilliams.

SBK Animal Shelter Director Becky Birdwell says people like Alexis to help get the shelter ready for the public. "We would really love to be able to hire at least one more person per shelter, but right now we just physically cannot," she said.

That's because the shelter is in the red when it comes to the budget.

We found out that unexpected expenses in 2013 has the shelter trying to make up $100,000. "We get some many animals in that are sick or injured. We try our best to give them a fighting shot so we take them to the vet so our medical expenses are crazy," says Birdwell.

Birdwell says the shelter needs updating, and everyday expenses never go down. "Fuel for the cars, the electricity, the phone bill, and paying employees. It all just keeps adding up," she said.

That makes the care Alexis brings to the shelter all the more valuable. "All the animals are super sweet and I've had a great time," says McWilliams.

If you're interested in volunteering or donating to help the animals shelter, click here for more information.