The Berks-Mont News (

ARL bids farewell to executive director

By David Barr, For 21st Century Media

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

“Residents” of the Berks Animal Rescue League, 58 Kennel Rd., Birdsboro, will bark a sad farewell for Harry Brown, III. Brown, the ARL’s Executive Director and Certified Humane and Animal Control Officer, will be stepping down after nearly 25 years on the job.
Before his position with the ARL, Brown, worked as a steel worker who did pest control on the side. When he found a stray cat, he would bring it to the Rescue Leagueand “I started spending more time up here.”
Soon enough Brown heard that a position for humane and maintenance work was open.
“They asked me if I wanted the job and I took it and I’ve been doing it ever since,” Brown said. The maintenance work he did involved anything from painting to taking care of the property. Brown began working at the Rescue League on May 5, 1989 and will step down at the beginning of next year.
“January 1st will be my last day,” Brown said, “It’s been enjoyable.”
As a child, Brown always worked with animals. His parents weren’t pet people, so Brown began taking care of animals he found in the wild. He brought home field mice, snakes and rabbits. Now Brown’s parents have adopted two dogs from the Rescue League.
Brown said what he is most proud of in his time at the Rescue League is “all the animals that we found homes for.”
“Helping the animals is the biggest part of it,” Brown said. “It’s all worthwhile ,” Brown said.
Along with the animals, the coworkers that Brown has worked with have been a pleasure. “The people I’ve worked with and worked for, I wouldn’t trade them. I’ve made friends I’ll probably be friends with the rest of my life. I can’t count how many friends I’ve made,” Brown said.
Even though he is retiring, Brown will still be volunteering at the shelter two to three days a week. First up for Brown will be to take a vacation. Brown looks forward to a fishing trip with his brother, as he will be retiring, too.
The Berks Animal Rescue League started in July of 1952, thanks to Mary Archer, who was the first president until she passed away at the age of 82 in May 1963. In the years that followed, the future of the league was in doubt, but the league persevered and remained open.
The Rescue League is always looking for people who are willing to open their homes to an animal, even if that animal is a little on the wild side. There isn’t much that the Rescue League doesn’t take in. They’ve had crocodiles, alligators, a python, even an ostrich at the Rescue League. “I would not trade it for anything,” Brown said of the last 24 years.
The last Brown heard, the python was living in the Atlanta Zoo.
“If it walks, crawls, slithers, or flies, we’ll pick it up,” Brown said, proud of the motto of the ARL.