Operation of the Animal Shelter
The animal shelter temporarily houses and cares for stray, disowned, and aggressive animals. We also provide temporary sheltering for pets whose owners are in crisis due to domestic violence or disasters such as house fires. Such care involves proper feeding and nutrition, cleaning, and disease control. The shelter is a community resource for locating lost pets and for adopting new family members.
Hours of Operation
Animal Shelter Hours
- Monday through Saturday: 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Open later on Wednesdays until 7:30 p.m.
- Closed Sundays
Animal Control Officer (ACO) Hours
All animal control calls are dispatched via 911. ACOs respond to non-emergencies in order of priority (call 311 for non-emergency and nuisance complaints).
ACO's are on duty Monday through Sunday 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. They are called in for high-priority incidents from 11:30 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.
Contact & Location Information
Programs and Services
Click on one of the links below for detailed information.
Animal Control Officers provide community outreach by connecting with pet owners in the neighborhood during routine and special patrols. The focus is on sharing information and resources to encourage pet retention and compliance and reduce future violations and shelter intakes.
We enforce NYS laws and City of Rochester ordinances related to animal control. The City of Rochester's Code Chapter 31 contains ordinances pertaining to dogs. Chapter 30 addresses animal regulations for all other companion animals. Animal Control Officers have authority to investigate complaints and issue citations for any relevant violations that are supported by substantial evidence. Citizens may document complaints on supporting depositions to aid in enforcement when Animal Control Officers are not present to observe such violations. The deposition instructions must be followed carefully to ensure appropriate and timely enforcement.
Pet Adoption Services
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. Learn more about our pet adoption program or come see for yourself!
Lost and Found Services
Animal Services takes in over 3,000 stray or unidentified animals every year. Owners should come to the shelter to attempt locate missing pets. You can also view animal profiles in our Lost and Found Search tool and learn what you will need to bring in order to reclaim your mssing pet.
Rochester Animal Services offers its Once Upon A Tail reading program in which children visit the shelter and read to adoptable animals. Why are kids reading to animals? There are benefits both for the children and the animals. Children are able to practice reading to a non-judgmental audience (i.e., the animal). It helps build confidence in reading ability. Animals benefit from the social interaction and from the children’s voices, which are believed to be soothing and relaxing. These are types of enrichment that reduce stress and contribute to animal wellness while in a shelter environment.
1-877-NEW PET Line
Hill's Science Diet will launch the first-ever live toll free help line to guide potential, new and current pet owners in making the right behavioral and nutritional decisions to help manage their pets' special needs during lifestage transitions.
Low-Income Spay Neuter (LISN) Program
We offer low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to cat and dog owners meeting the income and residency guidelines. This program was established as a result of the increasing numbers of stray, feral and surrendered cats entering Rochester's shelters each year. The program was expanded to include dogs as a result of our desire to assist low-income dog owners too.
The services include administration of anesthetics and pain control medication, surgical sterilization, preventative rabies vaccination, and suture removal 7-10 days post surgery.
The program is limited to City of Rochester residents. Fees are $25 for male cats, $45 for female cats, and $80 for dog surgeries. Applications are available online and at the shelter at 184 Verona Street. Both pages (i.e., application and release) must be completed and payment must be made before the surgeries can be scheduled. Contact Animal Services at (585) 428-SPAY (7729) for more information.
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.
"Anti-Animal Fighting" Task Force member
RAS has joined forces with the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County Sheriffs Office, the District Attorney's Office, the City of Rochester Law Department, NET, and the Housing Authority in an effort to eliminate illegal animal fighting through enforcement, education and public awareness.
Dog Bite Prevention
These programs are provided to a variety of different community groups, schools and public servants as requested. The purpose is to provide guidance to assist people throughout the community in avoiding dog bites and also tips for providing appropriate care and socialization for household pets.
Animal Services has an active volunteer program that enables citizens 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 spay neuter clinic, providing customer services, data entry, administrative support, and promoting the organization at special events. There is also a Foster Care Program for individuals interested in providing temporary homes for animals in need of special care or awaiting placement in a new home or transfer to another organization.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Placement
Animal Control Officers are licensed in Nuisance Wildlife Control by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. This license empowers ACOs to legally transport some wild animals either for relocation or rehabilitation. Citizens should not transport and relocate nuisance wildlife.
Find out more about programs, activities, and progress involving Animal Services and the Verona Street Animal Society in our quarterly newsletter.