Rochester Animal Services became a unit of the Rochester Police Department in July 2000 when the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm discontinued the contractual agreement with the City, which had been in place for the previous 18-20 years. During the transition, Chris Fitzgerald was hired as the City’s first Director of Animal Services along with a staff of animal care technicians, animal control officers, supervisors, and a receptionist. It was immediately apparent that there were limitations that prevented Animal Services from saving more lives and improving care for shelter animals.
Beginning in 2001, Mr. Fitzgerald began researching non-profit organizations that support other government entities including libraries, cemeteries, zoos, and animal shelters. There was also consideration given to partnering with other non-profit foundations such as The Do The Right Thing program. Potential board members were recruited into the discussion but little formal progress was made until the right person arrived to champion the effort.
In February 2005, Jennifer Brown met with Mr. Fitzgerald to find out what she could do to help the shelter and the animals. Mr. Fitzgerald explained the challenges facing the organization, the distinction between Animal Services and not-for-profit animal shelters, and the restrictions in fundraising as a municipal animal care and control agency. Following that initial meeting, Ms. Brown adopted her husky Nanook from the shelter and became a volunteer, walking dogs and assisting with special events. Simultaneously, Ms. Brown began the process of forming a separate not-for-profit 501(c)3 group to provide support and resources to the shelter. Small informational meetings began in January 2006 to explain the group’s purpose and to recruit members. The Verona Street Animal Society officially formed in May 2006, with the appointment of directors and the election of its first officers.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors meets on a quarterly basis, at minimum, to assist in planning strategic efforts to help Rochester Animal Services become the premier animal care and control organization in New York State. Each director serves a two-year term. Directors also serve on subcommittees such as Corporate Relations, Marketing/Advertising, and Event Planning, working along with staff and volunteers to ensure that Animal Services’ mission is fulfilled.
- Jennifer Brown – President
- Jaime Coughlan – Vice President
- Michael Holvey – Treasurer
- Melissa Cappello – Secretary
- Chris Fitzgerald – Ex Officio
- Diedra Kirk – Marketing & Development Chair
- Andrea Basso
- Kathleen Parker
Monday – Saturday
11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
To learn about serving the Verona Street Animal Society on a committee or on the Board of Directors, please call (585) 237-8366.