Rochester Animal Services Community Outreach

Supporting Pet OwnersAnimal Control Officer with dog

Animal Control Officers (ACO) engage in proactive efforts to provide information and support to pet owners and address concerns before they escalate.

Our ACOs engage in non-enforcement and preventative patrols on a regular basis, during which they visit neighborhoods and chat with citizens about their pets or their concerns. Door-to-door foot patrols are also conducted in specific focus areas. This proactive approach follows the Humane Society of the United States Pets for Life model and involves non-judgmental communication, building relationships, offering services and sharing information to support healthy choices for pet owners.

Challenges, Actions and Benefits

There are a variety of challenges related to companion animals and the following is a list of some of the most significant ones, along with our actions to address them and the associated benefits of doing so.


  1. Unleashed dogs creating nuisances or public safety concerns;
  2. Pet relinquishment due to lack of funds, resources, or pet-friendly housing;
  3. Community cats pose nuisance concerns;
  4. Breeding of dogs and cats without proper plans for long-term placement;
  5. Dogs chained outside, unattended for extended periods of time are more likely to bite
  6. Non-neutered male dogs are more likely to roam and to bite;
  7. Dog fighting supports anti-community activities (e.g., gambling, backyard breeding and animal cruelty). 


  1. Low and no-cost spay and neuter;
  2. Free pet food, bowls, collars, leashes and other supplies for pet owners in need;
  3. Collaboration with Health Department and Lollypop Farm at free rabies clinics;
  4. Free rabies, DAP-P, and microchips at The Fast & The FurriestĀ® annual event;
  5. Sharing information materials (e.g., spay/neuter, crate training, removing dogs from chains);
  6. Dog bite prevention presentations


  1. Decrease in stray and unwanted dogs and cats in our community;
  2. Decrease in animals surrendered by owners or brought in as strays at the Animal Services Center;
  3. Decrease complaints of animal nuisances;
  4. Decrease complaints of animal abuse and neglect;
  5. Fewer dogs on chains and in potentially dangerous situations;
  6. Increased community engagement and pride.