About Animal Services

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 Community Forums

Community Animal Welfare Webinar

On June 23, 2022, Animal Services hosted a webinar to learn about proven strategies and programs to help pets and people in ways other than shelter intake and be part of the lifesaving solution. The webinar was led by Dr. Sara Pizano of Team Shelter USA. Dr. Pizano is the author of The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters and has worked with more than 115 shelters all over the country, from small rural facilities to large urban shelters. In this animal services community forum, she walks you through the steps each shelter, whether public or private and regardless of resources, can take to help more cats and dogs.

Review the recording and view the slide presentation


Evolution of Animal Services and the City's Transition to Human Animal Support Services

On April 14, 2022, Rochester Animal Services Director Chris Fitzgerald and special guests discussed the City’s transition to Human Animal Support Services and challenges and opportunities in animal services operations.  View Recording and Questions and Answers

Contact:     Chris Fitzgerald, Director, Rochester Animal Services, (585) 428-7274 

Get Involved 

Rochester Animal Services is a division of the City of Rochester whose mission is to serve Rochester’s people and animals to create safe neighborhoods, support the human-animal bond, and save and enhance lives. One of the most impactful things you can do right now to help support our mission is to become a foster caregiver   

While making adjustments during the COVID-response phase, Rochester Animal Services joined a team of animal shelter leaders, shelter medicine experts, and animal welfare organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada to develop a new model for animal sheltering. That collaboration is called Human Animal Support Services (HASS). The emerging model is not complete but we continue making adjustments and expanding programs and services reimagining our organization and our work.  Human Animal Support Services is a movement toward a goal that involves collaboration among animal welfare organizations, human services agencies, and community members to support people and animals. The movement is helping transform the field of animal services to better serve our communities. Visit RAS and Human Animal Support Services to learn more about specific adjustments and community-centered programming implemented in Rochester.   H2H-logo-hpac-blue

For decades, we have told people to bring unwanted and found pets to shelters so we could take care of them. However, shelters are scary and stressful places where animals are more susceptible to illness and behavioral deterioration. This is where the community comes in. We continue accepting intake of lost and surrendered pets but are asking community members to help us limit intakes to the most at-risk animals for which no other options are available. Finders are being asked to assist with reunification of healthy and friendly found pets. Owners are being offered support to help them keep pets or assist with self-rehoming, which ensures that the animal remains in a home with loving owners until a new home is secured. When finders and owners are unable to hold onto the animals, they come into the shelter and most move quickly into foster homes. All are routed on a pathway toward the best outcome. These are community challenges that we are addressing and they require community-based solutions.    

Please consider how you might get involved through adopting or fostering a pet, volunteering, or donating.

 Animal Services Center, 184 Verona St.
  Start video to learn about RAS  

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RAS encourages all pet-owners to have an Emergency Plan in place for their pets

  • Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event that boarding your pet becomes necessary.        
  • Have crates, food and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary or if the disease spreads in the community and it becomes necessary to reduce social exposure.         
  • All animal vaccines should be up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.        
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including the prescription from the prescribing veterinarian is also helpful.         
  • Pets should have identification including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.         
  • Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized.       

Do you need support for your pet?

Email us or call 585-428-6738 if you are in need of support or resources for your pet.

 How can you help?  

Become a foster caregiver. If you are interested in helping us reduce the number of animals at the shelter by offering up the comfort of your home, please complete this brief form

Adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue organization. By adopting from a shelter or rescue organization, you help us ensure we have the space and resources to care for our community's most at-risk animals. 

Volunteer your time, talent, and treasure. Volunteers are critical to serving animals and people in our community. Typical roles include dog walking, clinic support, customer service, shelter greeters, outreach and pet support, offsite adoption events, lost pet reunification, self-rehoming support, transportation, research and data analysis, and website management.

Make a donation. It is more important than ever to ensure we have the resources to provide general husbandry, medical care, support foster caregivers, and  provide resources to pet owners in under-served neighborhoods.     

Review the information about COVID-19 and pets.     

Don't cat-nap the kittens.

Create a preparedness plan for your pets.  


Animal Services Center
184 Verona Street
Rochester, NY 14608

Hours of operation

  • Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  (Adoptions and visitations end at 2:30pm)
  • Closed Sundays

Support our Friends

The Verona Street Animal Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3)
organization established to help support the mission and
programs of Rochester Animal Services.

Adopt, Volunteer, Give       

Virtual Fundraiser

The 2021 event was a smaller affair but another wonderful success in raising funds and awareness for our programs, services, and our vital mission of serving people and animals. Learn more about the event and stay tuned for notification about The Fast & The Furriest® 2022.


Pets and Animals