How long does adopting a pet take?
Because adopting a pet is an important decision for your entire family to make, we suggest planning an hour or longer for your visit. We offer all of our adopters one-on-one attention when adopting a pet, so please plan to arrive early, especially during peak adoption times on weekends. At times, we may have a wait before we might be able to work with you, but we promise to make it worth your patience! You can join the virtual waitlist here. (Please read all the information in the link regarding the waitlist before joining)
Who should come with me when I adopt a pet?
We suggest bringing all family members who live in your home to meet your new pet. If you plan to adopt another dog, we also suggest bringing your dog from home to make sure they will get along well.
What′s the adoption process like?
At the ARL, we consider ourselves to be great matchmakers! Your adoption process starts by gathering information about the type of pet of you’re looking for to help you think through your desired personality traits of pet you’re hoping to adopt. Then, our adoption counselors work one on one with you to introduce you to pets at the shelter who they think would be best suited to you and your family. After you have spent some time with your selected pets, your adoption counselor will go over everything we know about your pet’s medical, personality and behavior history (including any notes that his/her previous owner may have made). If your adoption counselor and your family think a pet is a great fit for you and your family, unless otherwise noted, you will be able to take your pet home that day.
Do I need to fill out an application?
While we do not have people “apply” to adopt animals, we do like to gather some important information about you, your family, other pets at home and your lifestyle so we can ensure we’re helping you select a pet who will be the best match for your family! To save some time during your appointment, you can print, complete and bring your profile along with you the day you plan to adopt, or, if you prefer, we have profiles you can complete when you arrive to the shelter!
Can I walk into the kennel spaces to see the available dogs?
Being able to meet potential adopters outside the kennel spaces has proven to be a much more positive experience for the dogs and adopters. That’s why after the Covid-19 protocols get lifted, ARL will continue having individual meet & greets with the animals. To see our adoptables and their profiles, please visit www.berksarl.org/pets.
What if the pet we choose isn′t a good match for our family?
We’re pleased to offer a happiness guarantee! While we always do our best to make sure that our pets find great homes and our adopters find great pets, in rare instances, some pets and families find that they may not be the perfect match. If this happens, we offer adopters the opportunity to return their pet without worry of judgement or criticism.
Can I be alerted when a particular pet goes up for adoption?
Because we are constantly managing an ever-changing population at the shelter, we are unfortunately unable to provide an alert service. However, our website is continuously updated throughout the day as pets become available for adoption or as they find homes. While it’s not 100% accurate, it’s your best place to check each day to see who’s available and ready to find a new home!
Can I get an appointment?
Adopters can join our daily waitlist here. In the past ARL set appointment for potential adopters. After the transition to a virtual waitlist, the number of adoptions increased significantly. The waitlist also allows our guests to sit in their cars or enjoy walking our picturesque 10-acre campus. Throughout your wait, you can monitor your place in line, and you will be notified by both text and email when it’s your turn to be personally assisted by a member of our staff.
Can I ″reserve″ a pet for adoption?
So that we have a fair and standardized procedure in place to give everyone an equal opportunity to adopt pets at the ARL, we do not offer a reservation service. Instead, we use a first-come, first-served virtual waitlist to handle adoption appointments. This virtual waitlist opens each weekday at 1PM and at noon on weekends (please note that the waitlist may open a little earlier during adoption events). When you arrive at the ARL, please click HERE to check in for your turn.
When do you get more animals, like puppies?
Your guess is as good as ours! So that we can focus on helping animals in our community, we do not place “orders” for pets, and we have an ever-changing population of pets in need who come through our doors each day. The best way to see who is available is to check our website and our social media sites as we often promote animals like puppies a day or two before they’re available to adopt.
Have all pets been examined by your medical team?
Yes! All pets–including kittens and puppies–are spayed/neutered, given all current vaccines, microchipped, and medically cleared before they leave the shelter. In addition, all adopters receive a certificate to other area participating veterinary practices to get your new pet a first check-up as soon as he or she becomes a part of your family!
What are your adoption fees?
Adoption fees are listed on our website HERE.
Are all pets spayed/neutered and vaccinated at the time of adoption?
Yes, they are! Plus, all pets receive a microchip to help you reunite just in case they ever become lost.
What can I do if I′m not sure if a pet is going to be a good match?
If you are not sure if a pet is going to be a good fit or you’re not ready to make a commitment, you can foster to adopt. As part of this program, you will be able to take the pet to your house for two weeks and see how it goes. You will be asked to sign a foster-to-adopt agreement with our Pet Placement Department. Adoption fees will be collected when adoption is finalized.
If you don’t want to continue the process with that particular pet, you can bring it back to the shelter and try again with another.