Reading City Council hears report from animal control board

READING, Pa. - Liz McCauley, the executive director of the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Berks County, and Rich Rosato, the president of the Animal Control Board, provided a report to Reading City Council on Monday.

"Our mission is to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the city of Reading and to ensure the humane treatment of animals by regulating the care and control of animals within the city," said Rosato, who is also practice manager with the Exeter Veterinary Hospital.

"We [the ARL] are the only agency in Berks County that provides animal control services and humane police officers for animal cruelty investigation services," said Liz McCauley, a humane police officer for the ARL and liaison with the Animal Control Board. "We are in the last year of a five-year contract and hope to continue to work with you for many years into the future.”

Some of the services provided by the ARL include the enforcement of all city ordinances, including exotic pet and pet limit ordinances; investigation of complaints of violation of the animal cruelty law; shelter and board for stray domestic animals prior to adoption; and facilitation of the Animal Control Board.

Last year, the ARL fielded about 500 animal control calls and conducted more than 200 animal cruelty investigations in Reading and took in more than 2,000 animals from the city. The organization also enforces two new ordinances: Code Red/Code Blue and the anti-tethering ordinance.

"Pennsylvania has been trying to get anti-tethering laws passed for at least 12 or 14 years, and they just can’t get it done," McCauley said. "You guys got it done, so congratulations. You did a great job writing the law, and we’re happy to enforce it.”

In other business, Ronald P. Banks was sworn in as first deputy chief. Banks was hired February 1, 1993, and was originally assigned to the A platoon as a jumper.

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