With temperatures and the heat index expected to reach 95 degrees or higher for a period of three days or longer, the ARL has enacted Code RED starting at noon on Friday, July 19 through 8PM on Sunday, July 21, 2019.

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 Alexis Pagoulatos notes that while the code is enforceable only within the City of Reading, the recommendation applies to all pet owners in Berks County. “High heat can be difficult and sometimes deadly for pets who are accustomed to living indoors. We encourage all pet owners in the county to take this threat seriously and to bring their pets inside.” She notes that it’s extremely important that people do not leave their dogs unattended in their car under any circumstance or for any length of time, and that people should also be mindful of walking their dogs on hot pavement.

Any person witnessing an unsupervised dog left outside in the elements within the City of Reading should first try to encourage his or her neighbor to bring their dogs inside before they call the Animal Rescue League of Berks County at 610-373-8830. When calling the ARL, if possible, please provide the phone number and/or address of the person in violation of the code.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County serves more than 5,000 animals per year and is the county’s only provider of animal cruelty and humane investigation. The organization’s full-service adoption center works to find responsible and loving homes for thousands of kittens, puppies, cats and dogs, as well as working/barn cats and other farm animals each year.