Learn About Our Adoption Process

Before applying for an animal, please review our Policies & Best Practices outlined below.

Benefits of Adoption from the ARL

All animals will receive:

  • Vaccinations
  • Microchip
  • Spay / Neuter
  • Check ins from staff
  • Welcome package including complimentary office visit to a local vet
  • Welcome gift bag
  • $10 Pet Supplies coupon
  • Giving a shelter animal a home!

Before You Arrive

  • Be prepared to spend an hour or more for the whole process.
  • Heads of the household and children living in the household must be present.
  • If you have another dog, it must come in to meet the new dog.
  • All pets should be current with rabies vaccinations.
  • If you rent your home, permission from the landlord must be presented for you to own a pet.
  • Complete the Adoption Application.

Please Note:

  • If you have a copy of your lease and your current pets’ vaccination records, please bring them along.
  • Many vets are NOT open on the weekends and we therefore cannot confirm rabies vaccinations until the following Monday.
  • If you don’t have paperwork, your adoption will be put on hold until confirmation can be obtained. Since we do not hold pets, this means you may lose the animal to another adopter.
  • Out-of-county adoptions require a $100 deposit which is refundable once the pet is spayed/neutered.
  • Out of state adoptions will be approved at the discretion of the ARL management staff on a case by case basis for special circumstances.


Adopting a new family member should not be an impulsive decision. When you come into the shelter, take your time and look around!

If a pet catches your eye, you are required to spend time with him or her to begin to get to know each other. All adoptions must be initiated at least 15 minutes prior to the shelter’s closing time.

You will need to complete an adoption application. An ARL staff member will review your application for the following:

  • Verify your name and address on the application matches what is on your driver’s license.
  • Verify you are not on the ARL “Do Not Adopt” List.
  • Access the Berks County Tax Assessment (BCTA) database to verify that you own your home.
  • Call your current pets’ veterinarian to determine if all pets are current with vaccines, if you didn’t bring your certifications.
  • If you are adopting a dog and currently have a dog at home, you will need to come back with your dog for a meet and greet. You will not be able to take home your new dog until that happens.
  • If the pet has not been spayed or neutered, we will schedule the surgery appointment.
  • If you are adopting a dog, a Berks County dog license must be purchased at the time of adoption.
  • Once everything has been approved, your payment is processed and the customer service rep will review the contents of the adoption packet with you, and you’re ready to take your new friend home!

Please note that all dogs must go home with a collar and leash which can be purchased in our lobby if you did not bring one along. We have both brand new Lupine products as well as gently used items.

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The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc. in its sole discretion may approve or deny your adoption application for any animal for any reason whatsoever.