In an ongoing effort to provide better customer service and animal care
at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, effective August 1, we will begin
taking appointments for community members who wish to surrender their pets.
According to Tom Hubric, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Berks
County, this managed intake process will reduce waiting times for those looking to drop
off an animal, allow us to better manage kennel space to reduce overcrowding
during peak intake times, and allow dedicated staff to better understand the animal’s
unique needs to find him or her a permanent home.

“The Animal Rescue League will continue to be an open-admissions shelter, which
means we do not turn any animal away for any reason for those who live in Berks
County,” Hubric said. A scheduled and managed intake will allow the shelter to focus on
adoptions rather than intakes during peak business hours, and to help reduce
overcrowding at the shelter when kennel capacity is filled, he said. The primary reason
for the change in the shelter’s admissions procedure, however, is to provide better
customer and animal care: “Switching our intake process from a drop-off-whenever-you-want
model to a by-appointment-only model will allow our staff to work more effectively
as they can to plan and prepare for each individual animal’s arrival, and so that they can
provide that animal with individualized attention during the intake process to learn more
about how to best place the animal once he or she is in our care. This process will also
reduce waiting times for both the person surrendering their pet, as well as those in the
shelter looking to adopt.”

Owner-surrendered animals represent about 18% of the ARL’s intakes this year, which
is estimated to be about 5,000 animals. This percentage of owner-surrendered animals
is slightly greater this year despite us taking in the same amount of animals as
in years past. Hubric attributes the owner-surrendered animal percentage increase to
the Push P.A.W.S. no-kill initiative that began at the start of 2018. “It’s an anticipated
outcome of becoming a no-kill shelter,” he says. “People feel better about surrendering
their animals knowing that we won’t euthanize them for space.”

To surrender a pet, people should call the ARL during business hours at 610-373-8830
to schedule an appointment. Please be advised that same-day appointments may not
always be available, but we will do our best to intake a pet as quickly and
conveniently as possible.