Volunteer for Animal Services

LilacParade08Rochester Animal Services volunteers are essential to the success of the organization. Our volunteers help to enhance quality of life for animals at the shelter. They extend their time and hearts to the animals. Many activities involve direct contact with the animals but there are many opportunities that also provide supportive and administrative functions. Regardless of the specific assignment, all volunteers help enrich the animals' time at the shelter, improve customer service, augment the care provided by staff, and promote our programs and services ultimately helping to increase adoptions and pet retention. We have many active participants but are always in need of more.  

Typical Volunteer Activities 

  • Dog walking
  • Clinic support
  • Animal bathing
  • General animal husbandry
  • Customer service and data entry
  • Off-site events
  • Shelter enrichment
  • Dog play yard

Special Volunteers Needed 

We know you love animals but are you a people person?  Animal Services is in need of individuals with great customer service and communications skills to work as greeters at the shelter. We are building a team of friendly and compassionate representatives to welcome visitors to our facility and provide triage functions to improve customer service and the overall visitor experience. If you are interested in getting involved as a greeter, please contact us by email or call 585-428-7274.

Once Upon a Tail  

Once Upon a Tail invites children to visit Rochester Animal Services and read to adoptable animals. This activity is mutually beneficial:
    • Children are able to practice reading to a non-judgmental audience.
    • Reading aloud helps build confidence in reading ability.
    • Animals benefit from social interaction and from hearing the children’s voices.
    • Interaction reduces stress and enhances animal wellness.
How to Register: School groups, clubs and organizations may call 585-428-7274, or send an email to AnimalServices@cityofrochester.gov to schedule reading sessions.  Teachers and childcare workers are welcome to assist with reading sessions. If you would like to get involved with the program as a volunteer, contact us by email or call 585-428-7274.

Foster Caregivers 

In addition to direct support for Animal Services, we are also looking for people interested in assisting our partner organization, Verona Street Animal Society, in expanding the foster program to extend the walls of the shelter by providing temporary homes until permanent ones can be secured. Contact VSAS by email or call 585-237-8366 for more information about becoming a foster caregiver.


Become a Volunteer Now 

Requirements for volunteering are:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Completion of a Volunteer Application (or apply online)
  • Undergoing a criminal background check
  • Completion of an orientation and an on-the-job training sessions.

Please contact us if you'd like to volunteer at the shelter, at a special event, or at an off-site adoption location. Find out more about Animal Services in our quarterly newsletter.

  • Telephone: 585-428-7274
  • Facsimile: 585-428-6130
  • Address: 184 Verona St., Rochester, NY 14608   Map  
  • Email  

Join our Friends Group 

The Verona Street Animal Society, Inc. (VSAS) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that helps support the mission of Animal Services through fundraising and promotions. VSAS recruits volunteers to serve on various committees that focus on event planning, marketing and advertising, public relations, foster care, shelter advocacy, and strategic planning. If you are interested in getting involved as a committee member, please email VSAS directly.