Cold snap triggers animal safety measures in West Reading and Reading

In anticipation of severe cold weather, the Animal Rescue League of Berks County has activated the Code Blue Ordinance for the Borough of West Reading on November 29, 2023, from 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Similarly, a Code Blue will also be in effect for the City of Reading from November 28, 2023, at 4:00 PM through November 29, 2023, at 11:00 AM.

Per Ordinance No. 1173, an amendment added to the Code of the Borough of West Reading (CBWR), Chapter 152, Section 152-3 in September 2023, the owner of an animal is required to “temporarily bring and keep it in his dwelling for its protection from the elements when the National Weather Service (NWS) predicts a wind chill temperature of twenty degrees Fahrenheit (20° F) or below, precipitation with temperatures below thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit (32° F) […]”

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Additionally, non-compliance can result in the animal being removed by an Animal Control Officer from the property and impounded at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County. Owners may also be subject to a fine of no more than $600 and a citation by section 152-15 of the CBWR.

In the City of Reading, per Bill #22, an amendment added to the City Code, Chapter 141, Part 2 Animals, Section 205 Caring for Animals in 2015, any person who owns, possesses, or has custody of a dog must bring the animal inside their residence for the duration of the code, except for supervised and necessary bathroom breaks and exercise. The temperature threshold for the City of Reading Code is a wind chill temperature of twenty-two degrees Fahrenheit (22° F) or below, or precipitation with temperatures below thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit (32° F).

Sergeant Hayden Carroll, ARL’s Department of Animal Protection Manager, notes that while these codes are enforceable only within the City of Reading and the Borough of West Reading, the recommendation applies to all pet owners in Berks County. “The cold temperatures predicted for our area are potentially life-threatening for animals left outside to fend for themselves. We hope residents take this threat seriously and bring their pets inside.”

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To report an unsupervised dog left outside during Code Blue in West Reading or the City of Reading, residents are encouraged to contact the Animal Rescue League of Berks County at 610-373-8830.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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