Adoption Policies

Thinking about adopting a new best friend? When you adopt your new pet from the Animal Rescue League of Berks County Inc. you’re not only getting a great pal but you’re also giving that special animal companion a second chance at life. On any given day, there are many wonderful pets just waiting to be adopted. Visit with us and tour our dog kennels, cat colonies, and barn to find that special pet to make your life complete. Application for Adoption. Below you will find what you need to know about adopting a pet from the ARL.

Things to Know Before You Arrive If you are coming to adopt, please note the following policies:

  • 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 must be current with rabies vaccinations. Proof is required either in the form of a certificate, or by verbal confirmation from your vet over the phone.
  • If you rent your home, permission from the landlord must be presented for you to own a pet.
  • 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.

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.

Adoption Process 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, spend time with him or her to begin to get to know each other. Once you have made your decision, the adoption process may take up to an hour. All adoptions must be initiated at least 15 minutes prior to the shelter’s closing time. You will need to complete an adoption application which can be downloaded by clicking the link above. You can complete the form and bring it with you.  At the front desk, an ARL staff member will review your application and will be doing the following:

  • Verifying that your name and address on the application matches what is on your driver’s license;
  • Verifying that you are not on the No Pet List;
  • Accessing the Berks County Tax Assessment (BCTA) database to verify that you own your home;
  • If you rent, we will verify the landlord’s ownership of the property in the BCTA and if you don’t have a copy of your lease, we will need to call your landlord for permission to have a pet.
  • We will call your current pets’ veterinarian to determine if all pets are current with vaccines.
  • 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
  • Once you have been approved to adopt, the pet will be microchipped (if not already).
  • 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.
  • Once everything has been approved, your payment is processed and the front desk personnel 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 do not bring one along. We have both brand new Lupine products as well as gently used items.

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.

Adoption Fees Dogs: Cost includes spaying/neutering, a Home Again microchip and an engraved ID tag. Dog licenses are additional.

  •  6 months and younger – $210.00 + tax = 222.60 + PA dog license
  • 7 – 11 months – $160.00 + tax =$169.60 + PA dog license
  • 1 – 7 years – $135.00 + tax = $143.10 + PA dog license
  • 8+years – $60.00 + tax = 63.30 + PA dog license
  • BONDED PAIRS (dogs unable to be separated as designated by ARL): $200.00 tax = $212.00 + 2 PA dog licenses
  • Seniors for Seniors – Dogs 8 years and older are FREE to Senior humans 65 years and older!

Cats: Cost includes spaying/neutering, a Home Again microchip, most vaccinations, and a combo test.

  • Kittens – 4 years – $95.00 + tax = 100.70
  • 5-7 years – $50.00 + tax = $53.00
  • 8 and older – $25.00 + tax = $26.50
  • Seniors for Seniors – Cats 8 years and older are FREE to approved Senior Humans 65 years and older!

Critters: (available at Pet Smart, Temple) Please be advised critters (i.e. rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.) are excluded from all sponsored adoption/free adoption events.  

  • Rabbits – $10.00 + tax
  • Guinea pigs – $10.00 = tax
  • Hamsters/Gerbils – $10.00 + tax
  • Domestic Rats – $10.00 + tax
  • Ferrets – $50.00 + tax
  • Chinchillas – $50.00 + tax

Birds: (available at Pet Smart, Temple)

  • Lovebirds – $10.00 + tax
  • Parakeets – $10.00 + tax
  • Canary – $10.00 + tax
  • Cockatiels – $25.00 + tax
  • Conures – $50.00 + tax
  • Parrots – $100.00 + tax
  • Macaws – $100.00 + tax

Lizards/Snakes: (available at Pet Smart, Temple)

  • Turtles – $5.00 + tax
  • Small Reptiles – $10.00 + tax
  • Medium Iguanas – $20.00 + tax
  • Bearded Dragons –  $25.00 + tax
  • Large Reptiles – $25.00 + tax

Farm animals: Please be advised farm animals (i.e. horses, goats, chickens, etc.) are excluded from all sponsored adoption/free adoption events.  All farm animal adoptions must be approved by our Shelter Manager and are subject to a home visit.

  • Fowl – $5.00 + tax
  • Pot-Bellied Pigs $100.00 + tax
  • Goats – Male $75.00 + tax, Female $100.00 + tax
  • Horses – Case by case (Minimum donation – $250.00)

Also included in our adoption fee is a complimentary health exam for your new pet at:

And to help you and your new pet adjust to your new life together, the Animal Rescue League will give you a special pet adoption folder filled with all kinds of information about pets from the Pennsylvania Dog Law to tips on puppy-proofing your home to animal safety awareness.

Our corporate friends also want to wish you the best with your newly adopted friend. When you adopt from the Animal Rescue League, you are entitled to a $10 gift certificate from Pet Supplies Plus in the Shillington Shopping Center.

Thank you for considering adoption from the Animal Rescue League!