EXETER TWP., Pa. — “Well, ever since I was little, I’ve always loved animals,” Vicky Hoffman said. “I worked at one of our local shelters for eight years, part-time.”
As three foster dogs frolic in the early evening spring sun, a quote from Joan Rivers comes to mind.
“They like you rich or poor, and they don’t have an agenda,” Hoffman quoted.
She helps a number of animal rescues in the Berks area, including Rescue of Zoe’s house, Arps of Noah and CatWorks Inc.. She says these places face increasing challenges in helping unwanted, often unhealthy animals and then finding them a good adoptive home.
“We don’t get grants, we don’t get money from the state, from the city, from the county,” Hoffman said. “These are all gifts.”
And for people who volunteer to rescue animals, shelters are often their own homes and backyards.
“We’re all in foster care, we don’t have kennels,” Hoffman explained. “I think a lot of people in Berks County think we have kennels or shelters. We don’t. We’re all in foster homes. Without foster homes, we can’t continue to save those dogs.”
Hoffman says the number of animals needing help from a rescue program is on the rise.
“Because they’re not open here in the county, we’re getting more calls for that because now people are going to call and say, ‘The shelter won’t accept my pet, will they? ? ‘” she said.
She hopes more people will volunteer and donate to help local animal rescue programs in the area.
“Donate if you want to donate,” she urged. “Please donate to your local relief because we desperately need your help or we won’t be able to continue to do so.”