Animal Services Events

Rochester Animal Services is involved in a variety of outreach and educational programs. As our mission states, we are committed to making the Rochester community safe for its human and non-human residents. Although enforcement is a major component of our operations, education and training are also essential. That means providing educational programs for the community and pursuing on-going training for our animal care and control personnel. You can read more about what's going on at Animal Services in our newsletter.  

Upcoming Adoption Specials


Free Adoption Event

Visit the Animal Services Center on Saturday September 16, 2017 to adopt a pet at no charge. This one-day event applies to all cats and dogs available for adoption and is made possible by a grant from Bissell Pet Foundation.

Please remember to bring a collar and pet carrier to ensure that pets can leave the same day as the event and make it to their new homes safely.

The Fast & The Furriest® 5K, 10K, Dog Walk, & Pet Fest

FastFurryLogoNoDateJPGThe 2016 event was a huge success drawing over 600 registered runners and more than 200 walkers and grossing over $70,000 to benefit Animal Services. During the event, five dogs and 15 cats were adopted into new homes. Additionally, we provided 200 rabies vaccinations, 200 DAP-P vaccinations and 100 microchips to owed pets brought to the event. The Fast & The Furriest® 2017, will be in its eleventh year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Mark your calendars for Saturday June 3, 2017.

This annual charity fundraiser is organized by the City of Rochester Animal Services and the Verona Street Animal Society (VSAS), a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization established to help support the mission and programs of Animal Services through fundraising and promotion. The event raises awareness about the City's animal shelter and its programs and helps boost adoptions and volunteer recruitment.  Additionally, the funds raised help support critical programs including spay/neuter, pet adoption, foster care, canine play yard, and community outreach and improve animal care and enrichment at the shelter. 

Join us on June 3, 2017 for this perennial favorite among summer events that includes 5K and 10K road races, live music, a pet festival, vendors, food, and refreshments, and loads of fun for the whole family, including the dog. If you are interested in getting involved with the 2017 event, contact us at  


June is Adopt-A-Cat Month

Spring and summer are always the most challenging months for shelters nationwide as cat intakes skyrocket without a corresponding increase in adoptions. Shelters become overwhelmed with unwanted litters and roaming strays. In June we reduce adoption fees in recognition of Adopt-A-Cat Month. Those discounts are extended into July, August, and September in the hopes of placing more cats in permanent homes. However the numbers of cats at the shelter continued to remain high into the fall.  

Animal Services brings in over 2,400 cats every year.  Only around 800 get adopted and fewer than 50 are reclaimed by owners. These adoption incentives are meant to stimulate interest in adopting from shelters and helping save lives.     

“It’s a constant challenge trying to keep pace with the continual influx of cats,” says Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Animal Services. “We need to find additional ways to promote adoptions and increase the number of shelters, rescue groups and foster homes with which we collaborate so that we can provide more outlets for the high numbers of cats entering the shelter.”  When shelters become crowded, the levels of stress and disease increase. Many cats are humanely euthanized due to lack of cage space or because they come down with upper respiratory infections. These illnesses are common in shelter environments and are essentially the feline version of the common cold. Fitzgerald hopes that periodically offering these waived fees will stimulate adoptions of cats and help reduce the unnecessary euthanasia.

As always, the City will continue to offer a “Two-Fur-One” discount on all cat adoptions.  Additionally, Animal Services has a Seniors-For-Seniors Program. People 60 years and older can adopt a cat 6 years or older at no charge.   

October is Adopt-A-Dog Month 

In celebration of American Humane Association’s national Adopt‐A‐Dog Month this October, Rochester Animal Services is asking prospective pet owners the question: What can an adopted dog bring to your life? 

 “There are as many responses to that question as there are dogs in this world,” said Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Animal Services.  “Whether you want an exercise buddy, a best friend for your child, a partner in agility competitions, a constant companion for an aging parent or simply a fuzzy face to greet you after a hard day at work, an adopted dog can be all of these — and more. Adopt‐A‐Dog Month is the perfect time for people to adopt a shelter dog and experience the joy of finding their own answers.”

If you’re thinking about bringing an adopted dog into your family, here are some things to consider:

  • Like children, dogs are completely dependent on their owners for all their needs — food, water, medical attention, exercise, shelter and, most important, companionship. But unlike children, dogs will never learn to pour themselves a drink, fix breakfast or clean up after themselves. Opening your home to a dog can be highly rewarding, as long as you understand and accept the daily responsibilities and routines that come with owning a dog.
  • The qualities and personality you want in a dog are more important than size and appearance. For example, an older shepherd mix might do better than an energetic terrier in an apartment. Very often the pet that has the characteristics you’re looking for will come in an unexpected package.

Rochester Animal Services has dogs of every type, size, age and personality waiting for loving homes. The shelter is located near downtown Rochester at 184 Verona Street just north of Kodak and Frontier Field.  Parking is free and can be accessed from Verona Street or from North Plymouth Avenue.  For more information contact the shelter at 428-7274 or visit us online at

Dog Bite Prevention Program

Provided upon request. Learn the do's and don'ts around dogs. We can cater these programs to school groups, utilities workers, visiting nurses, social workers, parole and probation officers, postal carriers, and others as appropriate. Please call our office at (585) 428-7274 or email us to schedule a program at the animal shelter or at your school, workplace, or neighborhood association.

Weekend adoptions at PetSmart

We bring adoptable animals to the Webster location the third Sunday of every month from 11am-2pm. You can visit the PetSmart website for more details about PetSmart Charities and the Luv-A-Pet Adoption Center program. 

Weekend adoptions at Pet$aver Healthy Pet SuperStore 

We bring adoptable animals to the Webster location at 980 Ridge Rd, Webster, NY 14580 the first Sunday of every month from 12pm-2pm. Come on over and check us out.