About Us

The ARL’s mission is to impact all aspects of humane treatment of animals through quality service, accommodation, and education of pet owners and the community. 

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, charitable organization. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.


Since 1952, tens of thousands of animals have been spared the fate of uncertainty and given the opportunity to experience a more enriching and humane life through the services provided by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc (ARL). The ARL’s dedication to providing shelter and care for the unwanted and abused animals of Greater Reading has resulted in a comprehensive effort to not only provide the optimum level of care, but to enhance and guarantee a humane life for over 5,000 animals annually. At any given time we care for over 175 animals a day on our 10 acre facility, many of whom require veterinary care, rehabilitation, and training. Between the months of May through September, the shelter receives an average of 900 cats and 300 dogs per month.

500x500_231888233The ARL operates at maximum capacity for 9 months out of the year, and during the that time, the shelter can receive up to 30 animals a day. The dedicated staff is committed not only to these animals and to finding them all homes, but they are also devout to the citizens of Greater Reading who require their daily assistance.

Current Programs

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County serves its community not just by providing care to the abandoned, abused and unwanted animals in our facility, but by offering the community options to enrich the lives of their own pets and the pets of others. It has a fully equipped animal control service that assists in police calls, animal cruelty investigations, confined animal pick up, and injured animal pickups (services are limited to contracted townships).

The state-of-the-art Harry D. Brown Surgery Clinic counteracts the rapidly increasing unwanted stray animal population by spaying and neutering an average of 3,000 owned and stray animals a year. The shelter runs a large adoption program that places an average of 4,000 animals annually in permanent homes by means of daily adoption promotions and special programs. Our one-of-a-kind Foster program currently boasts over 500 senior and special needs adoptions since the program’s inception in 2009. The shelter also provides the community and special interest groups with on and offsite education programs aimed to spread awareness on animal related topics.


The ARL places over 4,000 animals a year in qualified loving homes, leaving more than half of those that come to the shelter left to face the unfortunate realities of animal overpopulation. Shelters nationwide are struggling with the realization that there are not nearly enough homes or space in shelters to house and care for all of these animals, and they are forced to perform humane euthanasia as a last resort. This amount of animals has resulted in even higher euthanasia rates, animal suffering, and the downsizing and rid of facilities capable of addressing these issues. The ARL, along with all other shelters, experiences the pressures of decreased charitable giving, a lack of adequate staffing, and a community who does not understand the issues of animal overpopulation. More and more animals will remain homeless and living in deplorable conditions because there continues to be a lack of education and space available to house them.

Even though several committed volunteers take action to assist in fulfilling the needs these animals have, there still remains a severe lack of community action on the part of stray animal management. There is a direct need for the ARL to educate and impact the citizens of Greater Reading by helping them implement proper care of their animals and the animals within the urban, suburban, and rural communities that the ARL is responsible for.

The Solution to the Over Population

Already equipped with the knowledge and tools to implement change in its community, the ARL requires proper funding so that it can provide education, improve its services, and expand its programs so that it can change the way Greater Reading understands and manages stray animal populations. Through innovative educational programs in schools and service groups, the ARL can teach individuals about animal safety, environmental sustainability, and encourage them to take action in their community.

There are a variety of unique challenges that require the ARL’s services in Greater Reading. The most prominent and difficult to tackle is the financial and cultural challenges in the City of Reading. Animal breeding for profit, unsuitable living conditions, and a lack of financial means for animal needs are the top issues facing domestic animals living in Reading today. These animals are used to gain profit, for fighting and entertainment, and they serve as status symbols for most of the people living in the city. Through low-cost spay and neuter clinics, education, and financial assistance the ARL can restructure the way animals are used, treated, and kept in the city. This will not only improve animal’s lives, but it will give the community priceless education and provide them with an understanding of animal’s needs today.

Opportunities for Partnership

The ARL invites donors to make an investment to improve animal welfare by supporting the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Together, we can not only shape the mindset of our community and improve the quality of life through for homeless animals in Berks County, but we can set the bar for animal shelters nationwide to take action and implement change in their own community.