Play Yard at Rochester Animal Services



  • Animal Services recognized the need to provide its shelter dogs exercise and socialization as part of the enrichment program.
  • Beginning in 2007, Animal Serives began exploring opportunities to establish a play area for dogs.In 2012, Kodak and the City established a site access agreement for use of a vacant property on Brown Street to exercise and socialize shelter dogs.
  • The City installed snow fencing and Animal Services began using the area in a limited capacity with dogs on long lines.

Support from our PartnersBrooklyn

  • In March 2013, Animal Services brought Animal Farm Foundation representatives to Rochester for a full-day seminar on adoptions, behavior assessment, and kennel enrichment. 
  • The Animal Farm Foundation’s grant coordinator encouraged the Verona Street Animal Society (VSAS) to apply for funding to install a more appropriately fenced play yard.
  • VSAS submitted the request, the grant was awarded, and the fence was installed in mid-August 2013.
  • In late August, Aimee Sadler presented her 3-day “Playing for Life” workshop, again made possible by VSAS funds obtained from Animal Farm Foundation.
  • RAS immediately began implementing playgroups and have been thrilled by the results.

Benefits The volunteer play yard team

  • Support from Animal Farm Foundation has allowed VSAS and Rochester Animal Services to establish and improve the play yard to benefit shelter dogs.
  • Dogs are better socialized, obtaining more exercise, and appear less stressed and visibly “happier.”
  • Play yards are the best way for shelter dogs to experience enrichment and to socialize.
  • Socialization for shelter dogs is essential for the dogs' physical and mental well-being and will result in sending more dogs home faster.