Catalog of Care
Each year, the Animal Rescue League of Berks County cares for more than 5,000 lost, injured, abandoned, unwanted or abused animals during their greatest time of need. These animals are given medical care, housing, food, water — and so much more by our dedicated staff who gives them love and shows them kindness as they work tirelessly to find them a second chance in a loving home.
As the only provider of animal cruelty and humane investigation for the entire county, our staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to respond to nearly 2,000 calls and care for more than 5,000 animals who need us the most. We are so incredibly proud of the work we do — it feeds our soul and powers our hearts as we care for these tender and precious lives — but it does not come without significant costs.
Upon arrival, nearly every animal who comes in through our doors needs vaccines to stay healthy while in our care. Most need to be spayed or neutered to ensure that our mission to reduce unwanted pets has a lasting impact. And rarely do animals come in one day and leave the next. Most need extended care with us as they build trust and regain their confidence after losing the only place they knew as home. Throughout the year, you can find our kennel space hovering at capacity — or beyond — as we call on foster families willing to care for those who are too young, too scared or too fragile to thrive at the shelter.
Below are ways in which you can help us help these animals — because even a little means a lot. On behalf of the kittens, puppies, dogs, cats, critters and farm animals in our care, as well as our grateful staff, thank you for choosing to support our mission. We simply couldn’t do it without you!
Leash, collar or toy
Even a little provides a lot! For just $10 we can provide a dog with a leash, collar or toy. You can imagine how essential these items are whether it’s to go on a walk or entertain a dog in his or her kennel. Fido will appreciate your gift!
Formula for kittens
More than 300 tiny motherless kittens enter our shelter each year, needing supplemental formula until they can be weaned. Your gift will ensure we can provide a litter of kittens with the vital nutrition they need to get the best possible start!
Whether we’re showcasing animals at off-site adoption centers, taking them out for media appearances or transferring them to rescues to alleviate shelter crowding, your funds help us fill our tank to save more lives!
Care for one pet
Each day, we feed up to 175 kittens and cats and more than 75 dogs in the shelter, while providing food and supplies for up to 250 pets in foster care, plus all of the animals in our barn. You can imagine how quickly we go through bags of food, litter and treats! (Nevermind the astounding number of loads of laundry we do, too!) Your gift ensures an animal receives all he or she needs to eat and sleep comfortably throughout his or her stay.
A place to sleep
Your donation of $75 can help provide our dogs with a raised Kuranda bed. This provides them with physical comfort but also has mental-health benefits, too. When dogs are comfortable in their kennels, they relax and their personalities shine through. We want them all to have a comfy place to cuddle and a better chance to put their best paw forward for potential families to fall in love with them.
Care for a colony
Our free-roaming cat colonies with outdoor “catio” access allow cats who need extra socialization and/or decompression the luxury of doing so in expanded kennel space where they can get used to shelter life and interacting with our shelter staff. Our cat colonies also provide a wonderful environment for kids to read to the cats as part of our Book Buddies program. Your help can provide food, enrichment, toys and comfy spots for a colony of cats to sleep — as well as extra time for our volunteers and staff to work with them so they can build their confidence before they move to our adoption floor.
The animals in our care often arrive with health issues that need immediate medical attention, but these procedures can be expensive! We see a wide variety of problems, from painful tooth infections to lameness from broken limbs. Your gift will help us provide an animal with x-rays and emergency medical procedures that we may not have the funds for on our own.
Care for a litter
Each year, we take in approximately 400 litters of kittens — many of whom have been separated from their mothers and most who arrive to the shelter in desperate condition — dirty, hungry, cold and sick. Throughout the 2-3 months on average they spend in our care, they go through countless medical procedures and dozens of cans and bags of food and litter until they reach an appropriate age to be adopted. Your gift of $375 will ensure each litter will receive the medical care, formula, food, litter and love they need to thrive and find a loving home.
Without their mother and littermates to keep them cuddly and warm, many newborn kittens are at risk of death simply from becoming too cold. Incubators help tiny and fragile kittens keep a consistent and just-right body temperature to give them the greatest chance of survival during this very precarious time when they’ve been prematurely separated from their mother and littermates.
Before animals leave the shelter, they are spayed/neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. These procedures take time and funds that most adoption fees do not cover. Your $500 gift will provide an animal with all of the essentials needed during their stay to become a healthy, happy and adopted!
As the only provider of animal cruelty and humane investigation in the county, we can face extraordinary legal fees when prosecuting those who abuse animals. These cases can take months to work their way through the legal system, often while the affected animals stay at the shelter, unable to be adopted or fostered until the case is decided in court. Animal care and sheltering fees often climb into the thousands and are very rarely ever recovered, leaving us with both massive legal and animal care fees even when a guilty verdict is reached. Your donation of $1,000 can help offset these legal expenses to allow us to continue to prosecute those who hurt animals and break the law.
Feed the shelter
Ever wonder how much it costs to feed all of the animals in the shelter and foster care each week? On a daily basis, we use 45 cans of wet food and 80 pounds of dry food to feed the cats in our care, and we use 40 cans of wet food and an astonishing 180 pounds of dry food and treats to feed the dogs in our care! All totaled, the costs averages $2,500 for a week. Your gift ensures every animal in our care will receive high-quality food making for happy and full tummies!
While we’re very fortunate to receive grants and volunteer veterinary assistance to help the public receive affordable spay/neuter options, we struggle securing funding to spay/neuter all the pets in the shelter system. Because our mission is focused on reducing the number of unwanted pets in the community, we feel strongly that each pet we adopt must be altered at the time of adoption — but rarely can our adoption fees cover the cost of this surgery plus the animal’s full shelter costs. Your donation will provide spay/neuter surgery for approximately 50 pets at the shelter, ensuring that the hard work weíre doing has a lasting impact for years to come.
If you have a family member, friend or beloved pet whose life has been touched by the ARL, we hope you’ll consider making a gift in honor of them. A gift at this level can help fund our immediate needs or an improvement project. The financial benefits include an income tax deduction and possible elimination of capital gains tax.
More than $100,000 each year is spent on veterinary expenses for procedures, x-rays and imaging that we don’t have in-house and cannot afford on our standard annual budget. We’ve identified some of the equipment that would significantly reduce our expenses, including:
- $10,000 – dental x-ray machine
- $30,000 – full body x-ray machine
- $50,000 – ultrasound machine
Additional items that would allow us to work more efficiently and help us welcome, care for and adopt more animals are:
- $25,000 – commercial-grade and industrial-sized washer and dryer
- $100,000 – mobile adoption vehicle
- $125,000 – mobile spay/neuter vehicle
As an independent nonprofit receiving a small amount of municipal support and no federal, state or county funding, we rely heavily on you, our supporters, to keep our shelter open as the largest safe haven for animals in the county. Your investment of whatever amount you choose allows us to continue our life-saving and life-changing work on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves or survive on their own. On behalf of the kittens, puppies, dogs, cats, critters and farm animals in our care, as well as our grateful staff, thank you for choosing to support our mission. We simply couldn’t do it without you!