Meet our Foster Coordinator!

Hello, my name is Kelsie Burkhart. I am the Foster Coordinator at the ARL. I am responsible for getting our animals out of the shelter and into a foster family in order reduce the stress they may endure in the shelter environment. I also coordinate the ongoing care that our foster families provide our beloved animals.  I’ve been part of animal care since I was a little girl. I grew up on a horse and dairy beef farm until I was 14. At the age of 22, I graduated from Delaware Valley University with my BS in Agribusiness. I began my career as a Milk Tester with Dairy One, traveling throughout Pennsylvania to test cow’s milk to make sure it was safe for public consumption. After three years, I decided to take on the position as Quality Assurance Supervisor at Bell & Evans. After a year, I decided that I needed to go where it felt right in my heart. That career was animal welfare and the place was the Animal Rescue League. In 2017, I started my position as Kennel Technician for the Animal Rescue League. After 10 months, I became a Medical Technician. Later, when the opportunity to be Foster Coordinator came up, I knew that I had found my perfect position. 

The Animal Rescue League has been part of my life since 2013 when I started fostering senior dogs or dogs that had a lot of anxiety or behavioral issues. During my years, I have worked with large animals; cattle, horses, pigs, and goats as well as small animals; guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, and dogs. Fostering has always been an important part of this organization and it’s important to me that it stays that way.  I’m excited to be able to make a difference for our animals and our community.

We are very fortunate to have foster homes that reduce the shelter population and decrease the overwhelming atmosphere these animals are often placed in. If you are interested in fostering, please feel free to contact Kelsie Burkhart at or give her a call at 610-373-8830 x117.

How does it work?
  1. Fill out a foster application
  2. Meet with our foster coordinator, Kelsie Burkhart
  3. Join our Facebook Group
  4. When an animal becomes available for foster, we will post it on our Facebook Group.  If you have an approved application and are interested in the animal, let us know! No Facebook, no problem! We’ll give you a call if we think we have a match for you.
  5. If fostering a dog: bring your dog in for a meet and greet and if all goes well, the foster dog goes home with you.
  6. Give your foster pet tons of love!
  7. Attend at least one event a month (or, as many as you can!) with your foster so it can meet potential adopters.
  8. Bring your foster to the shelter for meet and greets with potential adopters. (Don’t worry – we’ll work with you to schedule meet and greets that work for you.)
  9. Once everyone is happy with a match, send your foster off with love into it’s forever home and start the process all over again
What’s the Fine Print?
  • The ARL pays for any needed vet care, spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccines and a microchip
  • The ARL can provide you with food, bedding and toys if you need them.
  • The ARL may do a home visit and will check vet references to ensure that the pet is going into a good environment.
  • If you have one or more dogs, they must come to the shelter to meet a foster dog to ensure that they will get along.
  • Your pets must be up-to-date on vaccines and have current licenses.
  • Foster homes must have their own transportation
  • Foster homes must commit to providing the pet with proper care and adequate exercise.
  • Foster homes must bring the pet to the shelter when necessary to meet potential adopters (we’ll work with you to find a time that works!)
What kind of animals are available for foster?
  • Dogs: They could be especially young, especially old, or any age but showing signs of anxiety or stress in their kennel. They could also be special needs dogs: deaf, blind, awaiting surgery, etc.  They could simply be a long-time resident that could benefit from a change of scenery.
  • They could be big, they could be small.  YOU help us decide what will work for you!
  • Cats: Especially seniors and kittens! We often receive kittens too young for adoption that need care until they are 8 weeks of age.

You can mail, fax, or stop in the shelter to drop off your application. Upon review, you will have a one-on-one interview with our foster coordinator to ensure your home and circumstances are appropriate for fostering. Thank you for considering being a foster parent. If you have any more questions, please email  or call (610) 373-8830 extension 117 to speak with the Foster Coordinator, Kelsie Burkhart.

Thanks for helping and loving the homeless animals of Berks County.

Become an ARL Angel

 ARL Angels commit to a monthly recurring donations of at least $25. This monthly donation goes into a fund for emergency animal care.  Recurring donors will be dubbed “ARL Angels” and will receive an original print by Nettie Price, inclusion in the ARL’s bi-annual newsletter mailing, receive a weekly adoptable update email, and be listed on the ARL Angel webpage. Interested donors, foster families and/or adopters can learn more at or by contacting the Foster Coordinator, Kelsie Burkhart at  or 610-373-8830 x117 Make Your Recurring Donation Now


Current ARL Angels
  • Jesse Allen
  • Teresa Bair
  • Daniel Barnhardt
  • Stacy Becker
  • Carol Bowman
  • Cathy &Terry Cescon
  • Ellen Clark
  • Amy Cole
  • Sallie Christman
  • Alison Columbus
  • Curtus & Mary Deturk
  • Glenn & Robin Dunkelberger
  • Diane Ellis
  • Theresa Ferlazzo
  • George Ferrero
  • Daniel Forman
  • Darin Fry
  • Kristi Gage
  • Chris Garey
  • Robert Gosney
  • Brian & Sharon Graeff
  • Cathy Hartman
  • Allison Hinrichs
  • Kristine Robert Turco Koehler
  • Cynthia Long
  • Richard & Elizabeth Loose
  • Susan Lysczek
  • Sue Monk
  • Lisa Moughan
  • Constance Morin-Glahn
  • Catherine Mueller
  • Beth Muratore
  • Karen Neri
  • Beverly Olsen
  • William Oliver
  • Peach Tree Cremation Services
  • Annie Quinn
  • Chris Readinger
  • Russ & Caroline Reber
  • Trish Ream
  • Gina Roth
  • Tina Saracino
  • Rodney Scharffer
  • Kalyse Schell
  • Melissa Seibert
  • Ken Simon
  • Kim Stahler
  • Laureen Straw
  • Jill Vasquez