ARL opens Summer Break foster applications to alleviate space amid disease outbreak

The program tries to place healthy pets in foster care to make space to control the spread of illnesses at the shelter.

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County opened applications for families who may be interested in becoming a short-term foster for the Summer so that shelter pets can enjoy the Sun in the comfort and safety of a home rather than at the shelter.

“This program is a great opportunity for families that would like to help a pet but doesn’t have the time for a long-term commitment to do so, and it’s a lovely way to do something small yet so important for a shelter animal,” said Alexis Pagoulatos, ARL’s CEO.

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“Any time we deal with diseases affecting the animals, our capacity of care at the shelter diminishes because ill animals take far more time and resources than healthy ones. So moving them into foster families will help reduce the stress for the sick population while helping prevent transmission.”

All pets will be available for families to take home for a two-weeks period. After applying at, families will be qualified by the Pet Placement team and matched with a pet. The team will contact accepted families within 48 hours after receiving the application, and a Pet Placement Specialist will ensure the foster pet is a good match for their family and other pets in their home.

“In addition to the dogs’ infection, we are still dealing with calicivirus among the cat population, which is treatable, but we need greater capacity” said Pagoulatos.

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All foster pets will go home with a “suitcase” packed with supplies, food, and instructions to ensure a successful and joyful foster experience. If, for some reason, the family decides that the assigned pet isn’t a good fit for their home, they can return their foster pet while also receiving support from the ARL team.

To learn more about the Home for the Holidays – Summer Break edition or to complete an application, visit the ARL website at or contact the ARL at 610-373-8830.

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