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Animal services and programs

Operation 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.    

Field services 

Animal Services Officers provide community outreach and support services 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 in access to resources.  Such efforts are also helping to increase compliance and reduce shelter intakes. 

Pet adoption program 

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 pet services 

Owners seeking missing pets should visit our Lost a Pet 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. Finders of lost pets can play a huge role in getting those animals reunited with their families. Visit our Found a Pet page, submit a Found Pet Report, and follow the tips to get the pet home as quickly as possible.

Supported self-rehoming

Animal Services can provide support, guidance, and assistance to pet owners seeking new homes for their pets. Keeping the pets with the owners and out of the stressful environment is better for everyone. Check out our Before Surrendering a Pet page for tips and links to aid in the process. Home to Home is an interactive web tool created to help reduce intake at animal shelters and rescue organizations. By using Home to Home, pet owners can be directly involved in identifying and placing their pets in new homes without having to surrender them to a shelter.  

Foster program

Give the gift of a home! If you are interested in learning more about the Foster Care Program or becoming a foster caregiver, email or apply now. 

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. 

Volunteer program

Animal Services has an active volunteer program that enables community members 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 service, triage, and case management; data entry and analysis, administrative support, pet reunification, self-rehoming support, transportation, shelter greeters, website content management, and promoting the organization at special events.