Volunteers Eileen & Kim

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County is happy to announce that we are offering new opportunities to our volunteers including:

  • Dog Walking:  Effective January 18th, 2016 All volunteer dog walkers will be required to attend a training orientation prior to walking shelter dogs and a one-on-one training session. Each session will last approximately one hour.  Once completed, dog walkers will receive a badge for use when walking dogs and dog walkers  are welcome to come in any time during our regular business hours. This policy is required of ALL dog walkers regardless of if they will be volunteering for just one day or for multiple days.  Leaders of volunteer groups should contact Outreach Coordinator Hope Poliansky to schedule training for their group. View upcoming training sessions here.
  • Book Buddies: learn more here
  • Welcoming Committee – Help “direct traffic” during our busiest times by answering simple questions in our lobby, asking guests to sign waivers, and directing them to our adoption rooms.  Volunteers are needed Tuesday & Thursday evenings 5-8 pm and Saturdays and Sundays 11-4.
  • Events: Love to schmooze? Then this is the job for you! Join our Outreach Team in the community by setting up tables, walking dogs, and talking with the public about the services offered by the ARL.
  • Community Outreach: Love education?  Help us get the word out about responsible pet ownership, spaying and neutering, why adoption rocks, and more by leading facility tours and assisting in group settings (at schools, senior centers, etc)
  • Administrative: Are your skills more technical?  We always need help at our front desk with filing, scanning, returning phone calls and with administrative projects.  Volunteer availability from 9am – 11am any day of the week is a bonus!
  • Kennel: Want to get down and dirty?  You can help our kennel staff clean kennels and cat cages/colonies.  Not glamorous, but such a necessity!

Orientations will be held periodically (check our event calendar) to provide more information about the above opportunities and we ask for volunteers to attend an orientation before beginning volunteer duties.  All volunteers must complete a volunteer application.

All volunteers over the age of 18 are required to complete a volunteer release waiver and have a copy of their photo ID made upon their first visit to the shelter.  Volunteers under the age of 18 must have a minor release waiver completed by a parent or legal guardian. Waivers must be updated every year. Volunteers under the age of 18 cannot handle animals without a parent or guardian present.


  • All volunteers must sign a release waiver before volunteering.  If the volunteer is under 18, a release waiver must be signed by parent/legal guardian.
  • Volunteers must be 18 or accompanied by a responsible adult in order to interact with the dogs.
  • 16 & 17 year olds may complete community service without a parent/legal guardian, but will not be allowed to walk dogs unless they are accompanied by an a responsible adult.
  • 15 years and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times regardless of activity.


  • Groups of volunteers under the age of 18 must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times (1 adult for every 5 children is required.)
  • Those under the age of 18 will be allowed to walk dogs when accompanied by a supervising adult.  For the safety of all involved, no more than one dog per five students will be allowed and the adult will handle the leash.

Walking shelter animals is a favorite activity of many ARL volunteers. In addition to giving shelter animals the opportunity to exercise outdoors, volunteers also get to enjoy the added pleasure of walking on the bucolic, 10-acre shelter grounds in Cumru Township. A modern barn is nearby to shelter abandoned or abused horses, ponies, chickens, pigs, and other farm animals. A popular resting spot for dog walkers is our attractive gazebo surrounded by seasonal plants and flowers.

Volunteers are always welcome at the Animal Rescue League. As with many non-profits, volunteers are the backbone of our shelter. We have so many opportunities for you to use your particular talent to help the animals. Whatever volunteer time and talents you can give the shelter are greatly appreciated.

The ARL has a very active volunteer auxiliary called Pawsome Partners that plans and assists with events. They meet on the last Thursday of the month at 6:00pm in the ARL’s Education Room. Just show up!

If you have any questions in regards to our volunteer policies or are interested in volunteering in any aspect here at our shelter, please contact Hope Poliansky, Outreach Coordinator at (610) 373-8830 x120 or via email at HPoliansky@BerksARL.org.  We look forward to seeing your around the Animal Rescue League soon!

Volunteer Testimonials



“I literally feel like the shelter gave me a purpose and passion that I never had or wanted.” Allyson, Welcoming Committee Volunteer