CUMRU TWP., Pa. - Thousands of animals each year are neglected and in need of a loving home.
The Berks County Animal Rescue League (ARL) is dedicated to providing shelter and care to those unwanted animals, but it needs help from volunteers.
Nearly 8,000 animals come through the ARL's doors in Cumru Township, Berks Co., each year.
Many are neglected and abused, when all they are looking for is love.
"Every dog is adoptable and I firmly believe we need to give every dog a second chance," said Mary Ann Hummel, who volunteers at the ARL.
The staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing that second chance.
Their job is to nurture and get the animals back on their feet.
"Our volunteers are essential to keeping our doors open and helping us assist as many animals in our county we can," said Kristi Rodriguez, the volunteer coordinator at the ARL.
Hummel has been volunteering for the past three years.
She's at the ARL five to seven days a week and tends to the larger dogs for socialization.
"I get the satisfaction of seeing the dog all the way back in the kennel that's scared and shaken to death, and bring it out to meet a family and that family adopt it," said Hummel.
The ARL said it can never have enough volunteers.
From greeting guests at the front door, to walking dogs and cuddling cats, that socialization can mean a world of difference to help the animals find a new owner.
"That's all we hope we can do is help ease them into homes and help the folks adopt them and get a better pet," said Diane Shields, who also volunteers at the ARL.
There is no set time commitment and now the ARL even offers a junior volunteer program.
"If you're two-years-old or if you're a senior citizen we have an opportunity available to you," said Rodriguez.
For more on how you can volunteer, visit the ARL's website at www.berksarl.org.
Allentown, PA 18102