Thank you so much for your interest in fostering for the Animal Rescue League of Berks County! Foster volunteers provide care in their homes for animals who may need special care due to their age, medical or behavioral conditions. Fostering is both rewarding and challenging, and is one of the most important programs at ARL. Because of you, we are able to provide individualized care and love to the population of animals that need it the most. You help us prepare them for a future that they otherwise may not have had without your help.
- Foster volunteers must be at least 18 years of age
- Foster volunteers must provide a safe, clean, caring environment
- Foster volunteers must provide exercise and socialization as appropriate
- Foster volunteers must monitor any medical and/or behavioral problems
- Foster volunteers must be able to bring animals back to ARL for medical checkups, boosters as required, spay/neuter surgery and adoption when the fostering period is over.
- Isolation from other animals in the home is required for a minimum of 10-14 days
- All foster volunteers must attend an orientation with the Foster Department before they can foster animals.
- The ARL Foster Department’s primary method of contact, communication and notification is via email; therefore, email access is required.
- All foster volunteers who are inactive for 1 year or more must attend an orientation to become an active member.
- ARL will provide supplies as much as possible; however, you may need to supply food, litter, toys, treats and other supplies. Animals on a special, medically-necessary diet will have all food supplied by ARL.
The length of time an animal will be in foster is very dependent upon his or her needs. Some pets need more time because of age, illness, injury or behavioral needs. Fostering experiences can range from a few days to months; most foster animals require a minimum 2-4 week commitment.
Foster Registration Now Open!
To learn how to become a valuable member of our foster family team, please register for an orientation here. Orientations are held the education room at the shelter and will last approximately 90 minutes. Following your registration, please complete and print the foster application and bring it along to the foster orientation or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. For your convenience, we also will have applications you can complete at the orientation.
Thank you; we look forward to welcoming you to our incredible and dedicated foster family team!
Meet our Foster Coordinator!
Hello, my name is Kelsie Burkhart. 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. I have worked with large animals, including cattle, horses, pigs and goats, as well as small animals, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and dogs. With my BS in Agribusiness I have worked in multiple animal related industries, however, animal welfare became my passion when I started as a kennel technician with ARL in 2017. I eventually moved into the medical department, which happily led me into my current role as the ARL’s foster coordinator.
In addition to my life-long animal experience, you’ll find that I’m also a dedicated and experienced foster volunteer, starting in 2013 when I began bringing home senior dogs and dogs that had a lot of anxiety or behavioral issues. 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.