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Pet surrender prevention resources and rehoming support

Keeping families together

We strive to reunify, re-home, or transfer as many animals that enter our care as possible. This is challenging, given that all animals owned by Rochester residents or found within the city are accepted regardless of age, health, species, breed, type, or behavior. 

There are hundreds of sick, injured, abandoned, and lost companion animals that are in greater need of shelter compared to one healthy pet already in a home. Although we will provide the best possible care for every animal that comes in, a home environment is almost always safer and healthier for your pet's medical and behavioral wellness.

The City asks that owners exhaust all options before deciding to bring a pet to the shelter. First, is keeping the pet an option? Perhaps there is some form of support or intervention that we might provide that would help you overcome challenges and keep your pet in your home. 

The following is a partial list of the types of support we may be able to provide or facilitate:

  • Pet food or supplies
  • Crate and crate training guidance
  • Vaccinations
  • Behavioral support
  • Locating pet-friendly housing

Call us for more information at 585-428-7274 or via email

If keeping your pet is not possible, check with family, friends, and co-workers to see if any can accept your pet into their homes. Advertise your pet for adoption.

 Consider using a web-based re-homing service or social media platform to assist in showcasing your pet to the community. If you need assistance from us with re-homing, our preferred protocol is to work with you on direct placement from your home to a new home. This approach keeps your pet in a comfortable home under your care and avoids the stressful and frightening visit to a shelter. Additionally, self-rehoming ensures that you are directly involved in identifying and securing the right home for your companion. 

Re-homing pet resources that we can help with

home to home
  • Our supported self-rehoming program  
    • Home To Home    
      Home To Home is a platform that allows interested adopters to connect directly with people looking to re-home their pets. Rochester Animal Services (RAS) has not evaluated or assessed these pets. RAS is unable to provide any additional information or guarantees about the pets – please contact the pet owner directly to learn more about them. 
  • Other web-based re-homing services

Additional tips and resources to increase the likelihood of finding a new home for your pet

  • Spay or neuter the pet. We may be able to help with this.
  • Make sure the pet is healthy and current on vaccinations. 
  • Work with the pet to make sure it is friendly and comfortable with many different people and situations.
  • Allow the pet indoors, so it can learn to be social and have better manners.
  • Read these suggestions from Best Friends Animal Society.
  • Explore options and solutions as outlined by The Humane Society of Rochester at Lollypop Farm  

End-of-life services for medical or age issues 

If your pet is suffering from medical or age-related issues warranting euthanasia, please contact your veterinarian. If you cannot afford the veterinary fees, try contacting Rochester Hope For Pets for financial assistance.  Animal Services staff may perform euthanasia services for pets of Rochester residents as staffing and operational needs allow. Please call (585) 428-7274 to make an appointment. We also accept walk-in requests, but we prefer that you attempt to make an appointment.


Leaving your pet at the Animal Services Center without having a staff person admit the animal to the shelter may be considered abandonment. Please call (585) 428-7274 to schedule an appointment or 9-1-1 for emergencies.

Back to Rochester Animal Services: Found Pet Guide