With winter precipitation forecasted overnight and through the weekend, and with bitterly cold temperatures forecasted for the following week, the ARL has extended Code Blue through Monday, January 28. The code is in effect during ice and snow events, as well as when the temperatures are 20 degrees or less.

In accordance with Bill #22, an amendment added to the City Code, Chapter 141, Part 2 Animals, Section 205 Caring for Animals in 2015, any person who owns, possesses, or has custody of a dog must bring the animal inside their residence for the duration of the code, except for supervised and necessary bathroom breaks and exercise. Additionally, non-compliance can result in the animal being removed by an Animal Control Officer from the property and impounded at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Owners will have 48 hours after the code has been lifted to pick up their animal and will be subject to applicable sheltering fees.

Executive Director Tom Hubric notes that while the code is enforceable only within the City of Reading, the recommendation applies to all pet owners in Berks County. “If the temperatures are too cold for you to be outside comfortably, they’re too cold for your pet, too. The extremely cold temperatures predicted for our area over the next few days are potentially life threatening for animals left outside to fend for themselves. We hope that all Berks County pet owners take this threat seriously and bring their pets inside.”

Any person witnessing an unsupervised dog left outside in the elements within the City of Reading should call the Animal Rescue League of Berks County at 610-587-3659.