Grant Recipient: The Animal Rescue League of Berks County

Posted by Jennifer on January 9th, 2014

Congratulations to The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc., they are a $1,000 grant recipient from the 2013 Veterinary Care Fund! We are so moved by the amazing lengths rescues and shelters go to give homeless pets a chance at getting healthy so they can be adopted – and think you will be too! Here’s how this grant will change the life of a pet or pets in their care. Photos are at the end!

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc.
Birdsboro, PA

“Please find below the answers to the questions required for the Veterinary Care Grant made possible through I would be happy to provide you with additional information should you require it.  Thank you very much for everything that you do for the animals! 

Since 1952, tens of thousands of animals have been spared the fate of uncertainty and given the opportunity to experience a more enriching and humane life through the services provided by the Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Inc (ARL). The ARL’s dedication to providing shelter and care for the unwanted and abused animals of Greater Reading has resulted in a comprehensive effort to not only provide the optimum level of care, but to enhance and guarantee a humane life for over 10,000 animals annually. At any given time we care for over 200 animals a day on our 10 acre facility, many of whom require veterinary care, rehabilitation, and training. Between the months of May through September, the shelter receives an average of 900 cats and 300 dogs per month.

The ARL operates at maximum capacity for 9 months out of the year, and during the that time, the shelter can receive up to 30 animals a day, all who require a cage that is currently full. The dedicated staff is committed not only to these animals and to finding every possible option to save as many as possible, but they are also devout to the citizens of Greater Reading who require their daily assistance. Remaining an open admission shelter with a 1.5 million dollar operating budget means a continuous influx of animals which requires endless resources and execution of services. However, the ARL is devoted to its mission of never leaving an animal in need behind, regardless of that animal’s condition. For example, we would like to share Willow’s story, an animal that was saved by our emergency medical fund called the Noel Fund:

The ARL employs 3 humane officers responsible for overseeing all of the animal cruelty investigations in the entire County of Berks, a population of over 413,000. One particular rainy day, our officers were called out to investigate a complaint of horses living in poor conditions. When we arrived on scene, what we found were several horses and a foal barely clinging to life.

When the ARL investigators found her, she was only five days old, in deplorable conditions, severely malnourished and unable to stand.  Her condition was deemed to be so urgent that the Animal Rescue League was granted power to seizer her immediately. Without emergency medical intervention, Willow (Will- To-Live) would not have survived the night.  

It was only after Willow’s rescue that the ARL soon discovered the extent of her neglect.  Weighing in at a meager 64 pounds, Willow was in critical need of vitamins and nutrients vital to her development, which was a result of not receiving the critical colostrum contained in the first feeding from the mother.  Under veterinary care she was hooked up to an IV drip and stabilized. Apart from that, she had to undergo multiple blood transfusions and surgery to remove her umbilical cord.  The first night of Willow’s road to recovery was rocky, and she suffered multiple seizures and collapses.

It was only in the following days that the vets became optimistic for Willow’s survival.  She slowly began to show signs of strength and stopped having seizures. After 3 weeks in the hospital, Willow was discharged to a foster home where she was put on milk replacer and underwent veterinary exams every other week for months. The months following proved to be positive for Willow as she began developing normally and gaining weight at a healthy pace.

In August, we celebrated Willow’s first birthday with her favorite treat, carrot cake! Today Willow lives at the ARL’s barn facility where she is now up for adoption. She has been cleared by her veterinarians as a healthy and happy yearling looking for a home.

The Animal Rescue League cares for all types of animals, including livestock and reptiles. We make every possible effort to save every animal we encounter and Willow is the perfect example of a soul worth saving. This is just one example of the lengths our organization is willing to go to save an animal. This grant will allow the ARL to continue to on saving more lives like Willow’s in the future. We thank you for your consideration.








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