Animal Services and Programs

Animal ShelterOperation of the Animal Shelter

The animal shelter temporarily houses and cares for homeless, disowned, and aggressive animals. Such care involves proper feeding and nutrition, cleaning and disease control, exercise, enrichment, and socialization. The shelter is a community resource for locating lost pets and for adopting new family members.    

Hours of Operation

Animal Shelter Hours

  • Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Open later on Wednesdays until 7:30 p.m.
  • Closed Sundays 

Animal Control Officer (ACO) Hours
All animal control calls are dispatched via 911. ACOs respond to non-emergencies in order of priority (call 311 for non-emergency and nuisance complaints).

ACO's are on duty seven days a week, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. They may be called in for high-priority incidents from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Contact & Location InformationMeeting Kitty

Programs and Services

Click on one of the links below for detailed information.

Field Services 

Animal Control Officers provide community outreach by connecting with pet owners in Rochester neighborhoods during routine patrols and door-to-door visits. The focus is on sharing information and resources to encourage pet retention and remove barriers for pet owners. Such efforts are also intended to increase compliance and reduce shelter intakes.

We also enforce NYS laws and City of Rochester ordinances related to animal control. The City of Rochester's Code Chapter 31 contains ordinances pertaining to dogs. Chapter 30 addresses animal regulations for all other companion animals. Animal Control Officers have authority to investigate complaints and issue citations for any relevant violations that are supported by substantial evidence. Citizens may document complaints on supporting depositions to aid in enforcement when Animal Control Officers are not present to observe such violations. The deposition instructions must be followed carefully to ensure appropriate and timely enforcement. 

Pet Adoption Services

We adopt out a variety of dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, and other animals such as gerbils, hamsters, Guinea pigs, ferrets, rabbits, and various exotic birds. You never know what you might find on your next visit to the shelter or our adoption web pages. Learn more about our pet adoption program.

Lost and Found Services

Animal Services takes in over 3,000 homeless or unwanted animals every year. Owners seeking missing pets should visit our Lost and Found Pets page to view profiles of found pets, submit a Lost Pet Report, and refer to the Lost Pet Resource Packet. Owners may also visit the shelter to attempt to locate missing pets but many are being housed in temporary foster homes. 

Reading Program

Rochester Animal Services offers its Once Upon A Tail reading program in which children visit the shelter and read to adoptable animals. Why are kids reading to animals? There are benefits both for the children and the animals. Children are able to practice reading to a non-judgmental audience (i.e., the animal). It helps build confidence in reading ability. Animals benefit from the social interaction and from the children’s voices, which are believed to be soothing and relaxing. These are types of enrichment that reduce stress and contribute to animal wellness while in a shelter environment.

Community Events

Animal Services participates in various events within the Rochester area including The Fast & The Furriest® 10K, 5K, Dog Walk, and Pet Fest; parades, summer festivals, off-site adoption events, and other activities to promote shelter adoptions and volunteering.  

Dog Bite Prevention

These programs are provided to a variety of different community groups, schools and public servants as requested.  The purpose is to provide guidance to assist people throughout the community in avoiding dog bites and also tips for providing appropriate care and socialization for household pets.

Volunteer Program

Animal Services has an active volunteer program that enables citizens to get involved with various aspects of the programs and services.  Volunteer duties include dog walking, pet bathing, socializing and training animals, cleaning cages, assisting with the spay neuter clinic, providing customer services, data entry, administrative support, and promoting the organization at special events. There is also a Foster Care Program for individuals interested in providing temporary homes for animals in need of special care or awaiting placement in a new home or transfer to another organization. 


Wildlife Rehabilitation Placement

Animal Control Officers are licensed in Nuisance Wildlife Control by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. This license empowers ACOs to legally transport some wild animals either for relocation or rehabilitation. Citizens should not transport and relocate nuisance wildlife.