Who runs Animal Services and what do they do?
Animal Services is a section within the Rochester Police Department. The City assumed operational control of the agency in July 2000 when the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm opted not to renew their contract with the City.
Rochester Animal Services (RAS) provides the following services:
- intake of stray, injured, unwanted, and menacing animals
- temporary housing and care for such animals
- reuniting owners with missing pets
- adoption of animals into new homes (traditional and alternative homes)
- enforcement of local and state ordinances pertaining to animal control
- administration of low-cost spay and neuter program
- response to public safety and public health concerns related to animals
- providing dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership programs
What are the animal shelter’s hours of operation?
Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Open Wednesdays until 7:30 p.m.)
Where is the animal shelter located?
184 Verona Street, one block north of Frontier Field, across from Brown Square Park.
How many animals do you deal with annually?
I just saw a dog running loose, what should I do?
Call 911 to report the dog so that an animal control officer can be dispatched.
I want to surrender my pet(s), what should I do?
First, always attempt to find a suitable permanent home for your pets among friends or family members. Follow our tips for finding a home for your pet or preparing to surrender it. Place classified ads in newspaper or post online using Craigslist, Petfinder.com, or Facebook. If a new home cannot be identified, try finding a local rescue organization that may be willing to foster your pet until a permanent home can be found. Another option is to contact the Humane Society of Greater Rochester at Lollypop Farm (223-1330) or visit www.lollypop.org for information. As a last resort when all other options have been exhausted, city of Rochester residents may bring their pet(s) to the Animal Services Center.
My pet is sick or injured and I don’t know what to do?
Contact your regular veterinarian during regular office hours or call the 24-hour Animal Emergency Services (424-1277) for directions and information.
I want to have my sick, injured, or elderly pet euthanized but cannot afford the veterinarian, what can I do?
If you are a city resident, call 311 or 911 to request an animal control officer or bring your pet to the shelter anytime during our open hours.
I suspect that an animal is being abused, what should I do?
Call the Humane Society’s anonymous animal cruelty hotline (223-6500).
I want to adopt an animal from Rochester Animal Services. What do I do?
Come down to the shelter, visit with the animals, talk to Animal Care Technicians, ask questions, discuss with your family or housemates. Do not make an impulsive decision. Before adopting an animal into your home, we will ask you to fill out some paperwork and answer a few questions. You will be asked for proof of identity and also for veterinary references. This process helps us to ensure the wellbeing of the animal you wish to adopt and to ensure the same for any pets that you may already have at home. After visiting with the animal that you are interested in, you will have a counseling session with a staff member who will inform you of the history, any special needs, and food and exercise requirements. Feel free to ask questions about spaying or neutering, house training, obedience training, controlling fleas and ticks, and anything else of interest. You will be asked to sign an adoption contract and to pay the appropriate fees.
What is the waiting list for adoptions and how does that work?
If an animal is impounded as a stray, it must be held for five full days (or ten for identified animals) before it can be adopted out. This holding period allows a reasonable period of time for a potential owner to come forward and reclaim the animal. During those 5- 10 days, the animal may be placed in an adoption room at the shelter, have its photo posted on the website, and be available for viewing and visitations by the public. Any interested parties may be added to a waiting list after completing a successful visitation with the animal. Interested parties may be added to a waiting list after completing a successful visitation with the animal. We use the waiting list to determine the order in which we will review applications for adoption. All individuals on the waiting list must be present to be considered for the adoption. If the first person on the list is not present, we proceed to the second person on the list and so on.
Does Animal Services spay/neuter the animals at the shelter?
Yes, we have an on-site surgical unit and veterinary team at the shelter to enhance our services, address the issues of unwanted litters, and improve the quality of care provided to the animals. All dogs and cats are spayed or neutered prior to release. There is also a low-cost spay/neuter program for income-qualifying city residents.
Why do the animals have to be spayed/neutered?
Rochester has a pet overpopulation problem that needs to be addressed through enforcement, education, and sterilization. Stray and unwanted animals face a variety of hazards and each year thousands of animals suffer and die on the streets or are needlessly euthanized at shelters. New York State law (Agriculture and Markets Law 387 Section 377) mandates that shelters either sterilize all animals prior to adoption or increase an altering deposit to encourage adopting clients to have their new pets sterilized after the adoption. The altering deposits have not proved successful in stimulating compliance for animals adopted from the shelter so RAS sterilizes them before they are released to their new homes. Rochester has a pet overpopulation problem that needs to be addressed through enforcement, education, and sterilization. Stray and unwanted animals face a variety of hazards and each year thousands of animals suffer and die on the streets or are needlessly euthanized at shelters. New York State law (Agriculture and Markets Law 387 Section 377) mandates that shelters either sterilize all animals prior to adoption or increase an altering deposit to encourage adopting clients to have their new pets sterilized after the adoption. The altering deposits have not proved successful in stimulating compliance for animals adopted from the shelter so RAS sterilizes them before they are released to their new homes.
The City of Rochester also has Sterilization Ordinances that requires all dogs and cats adopted or reclaimed by owners be sterilized before being released from the shelter. These ordinances were established to help address the overpopulation problem particularly for animals that have been roaming, threatening, used for unregulated breeding, or causing other animal control or public safety concerns.
In addition to addressing population control by rendering the animals sterile, spaying and neutering increases longevity by reducing the risk of uterine infections, breast cancer, and testicular cancer; eliminates the “heat” cycle; may eliminate or reduce behavior problems such as spraying and some forms of aggression; reduces the likelihood that male pets will roam in search of mates; is more cost effective than raising litters or treatment after your male cat gets into a fight with another tom cat; improves your community by reducing collisions with motor vehicles, encounters with wildlife, damage to native and ornamental plants, children frightened or bitten by stray animals; and will not make your pet overweight.
Do you offer discounted vaccinations or other medical care to pet owners?
Per NYS Law we are limited to providing rabies vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries for owned pets. We do vaccinate animals in our care, but we cannot offer such services to the public for pets that are not in our custody. Pets require annual vaccinations and check-ups, so we always encourage clients to establish a relationship with a local veterinary hospital to keep your pets happy and healthy.
How do I get involved with the shelter's clinic?
Animals Services recruits licensed veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians on an ongoing basis to augment the staff assigned to the Shelter Veterinary Unit. Please review the Request for Qualifications for more specifics about the application and selection process. The shelter also recruits and trains volunteers to assist with support function in the clinic.
Why adopt from a shelter?
These are animals that need to be rescued from a life on the streets, from owners who can no longer care for them, or from uncaring and irresponsible owners. Most of these animals will make great companions if just given the chance. They may only have a limited number of days here before having to be euthanized due to a constant influx and limited space. Although the shelter does see a fair number of purebred animals, there are lots of mixes too. Often mixed breeds have fewer health problems than their purebred counterparts.These are animals that need to be rescued from a life on the streets, from owners who can no longer care for them, or from uncaring and irresponsible owners. Most of these animals will make great companions if just given the chance. They may only have a limited number of days here before having to be euthanized due to a constant influx and limited space. Although the shelter does see a fair number of purebred animals, there are lots of mixes too. Often mixed breeds have fewer health problems than their purebred counterparts.
What kinds of animals are available for adoption?
The selection of animals available varies daily depending on what sorts of animals are picked up, surrendered, and brought into the shelter. Most of the animals are dogs and cats. There are a lot of mixed breeds at the shelter, but we also see purebred German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Cocker Spaniels, Mastiffs, German Short-Haired Pointers, Blue Tick Hounds, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Shih tzus, Labradors Retrievers, Golden Retrievers. We’ve also had purebred cats like Persians, Himalayans, Abyssinian, Russian Blues, Siamese, and Maine Coons. In addition to dogs and cats, we also get gerbils, hamsters, ferrets, Guinea Pigs, rabbits, and various exotic birds.
Where do the animals come from?
Most of the animals come in as stray, at-large, and unidentified animals. Hundreds are also surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them or who no longer want them. Some are seized as a result of warrants or arrests.
How can one get involved in helping Animal Services?
We have a volunteer program that is always open to new members. Volunteers walk, train, and socialize dogs; play with animals; bathe and groom animals; assist with adoptions; provide administrative support and data entry; assist in the spay/neuter clinic; promote the organization at outreach events; and assist the shelter staff with a variety of other duties. The volunteers truly enhance the lives of the animals in our care. You can also join the Verona Street Animal Society and serve on one of the committees (Events, Grants, Marketing/Public Relations, Corporate Relations, Web/Social Media, Education, Newsletter, Mailing List/Database Management).We have a volunteer program that is always open to new members.Volunteers walk, train, and socialize dogs; play with animals; bathe and groom animals; assist with adoptions; provide administrative support and data entry; assist in the spay/neuter clinic; promote the organization at outreach events; and assist the shelter staff with a variety of other duties.The volunteers truly enhance the lives of the animals in our care.You can also join the Verona Street Animal Society and serve on one of the committees (Events, Grants, Marketing/Public Relations, Corporate Relations, Web/Social Media, Education, Newsletter, Mailing List/Database Management).
I want to volunteer for Rochester Animal Services. What do I do?
Requirements for volunteering are:
Completing a Volunteer Application and phone interview
Completing a criminal record check
Completing an orientation and an on-the-job training session
I want to foster animals for Rochester Animal Services. What do I do?
Animal Services has a foster program for animals with special needs. The purpose of the foster program is to give a second chance to animals that might not otherwise have one. It may be a litter of un-weaned kittens that need round-the-clock attention, an adult cat with an upper respiratory infection, a dog with an injury, or an animal that simply does not do well in a shelter environment. Foster homes accept the responsibility for the care and nutrition of their animals with support and guidance from Animal Services. Fostering can extend holding periods, increase likelihood of adoption, aid in healing and recovery from injury or illness, reduce shelter crowding and improve socialization between animals and people. Additionally, fostering a special needs animal is a wonderfully rewarding way to assist Animal Services with the many challenges the organization faces on a daily basis. If you are interested in learning more about our foster program or becoming a foster home, contact us with your information and a representative will be in touch.
What is the Verona Street Animal Society?
The VSAS is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit “friends group” that supports the City’s animal shelter with fundraising and promotions much as the Seneca Park Zoo Society supports the County’s zoo.
Do you need anything?
We have a wish list available on our website. We have a wish list available on our website. www.rochesteranimalservices.com where you can learn more about what we do, our programs, and view some of the animals available for adoption. The Verona Street Animal Society also has a website, www.VSAS.org where you can learn more about the friends group, events, and how to get involved.
What do I do about nuisance wildlife?
If there is a wild animal in the living quarters of your home, call 311 to request an animal control officer. If there is a wild animal in your attic, basement, or inside the walls of your home, contact a private nuisance wildlife control operator or pest control company. For wild animals creating a nuisance or destroying property outside of your home, review our information sheet with tips and guidelines for dealing with nuisance wildlife. You may use humane live traps to capture nuisance animals but do not transport the animal yourself. Citizens are not authorized to transport wildlife for release. Such relocation of wildlife is regulated by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and restricted to licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operators. Such trapping practices should be limited to those particular animals that are causing some significant nuisance or property damage. If you rent, contact your landlord to make arrangements to address the problem. Traps may be rented or purchased from hardware stores, home and garden centers, equipment rental companies, or from a variety of websites.
In most cases, the “problem” will not be corrected without addressing the property with some form of habitat modification. Wild animals are drawn to areas for the basic habitat requirements: food, water, shelter, and places to breed and raise young. Removing one individual animal or even a series of animals does not eliminate the presence of the same species in the future. Often such removal simply results in migration of new animals into your area and may even result in population increases as the new residents take advantage of the abundant resources from your home or garden. We recommend that residents consider habitat modifications and exclusionary tactics as outlined on the nuisance wildlife information bulletin.
Contact the NYS DEC Region 8 Office at 585-226-5380 or Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources at 518-402-8924, or visit www.dec.ny.gov for additional information regarding nuisance wildlife regulations.
There is a wild animal (deer, coyote, raccoon, or opossum) in my yard, what should I do?
Leave it alone. In most cases the animal is searching for food and will move on. Securing garbage can lids can help discourage some animals from coming around.
There is a sick or injured animal in my yard, what should I do?
Call 311 or 911 to request an animal control officer.Call 311 or 911 to request an animal control officer.
How can people help?
Although we cannot solicit donations, we do accept donations. Cash donations are deposited into the Animal Control Gifts fund and used toward purchase of veterinary supplies and services for our spay-neuter program or for supplies to enhance the lives of animals in our care, microchips, and promotions. Our web site contains a wish list of items that people might provide as an in-kind donation; things like pet toys, collars, leashes, laundry detergent, dish soap, puzzle feeders, and pet carriers. Donations are also collected by the Verona Street Animal Society and used for the same purposes. Contact VSAS at 585-727-2533 or VSASinc@gmail.com or visit www.VSAS.org to learn more about how that organization supports Animal Services.
What types of events does VSAS organize?
There are two annual fundraisers. The winter event was formerly The Frosty Paws Winter Carnival which featured carnival-themed entertainment with live and silent auctions as the centerpiece. The summer event is The Fast & The Furriest® which includes 10K and 5K road races, 1-mile dog walk, food, refreshments, live music, and a variety of exhibitors in a dog-friendly festival.
Rochester Animal Services
184 Verona Street
Rochester, New York 14608