Directors Cut

The Director’s Cut: Winter 2016

Written by Chris Fitzgerald, Director of Rochester Animal Services


I wrote a separate and lengthy piece that included reflections on where we started, our many accomplishments, and where we are heading. I encourage you to read that one too, however this one will be briefer. In spite of our continuing progress with regards to increasing save rates, heightened outreach, we still have significant challenges that require improvements to the facility, increased funding, and more staffing. I am appealing to our community to help bolster support for Animal Services. That support may come in a variety of forms including monetary contributions, in-kind donations, volunteering, adopting a shelter pet, licensing your dog, or simply helping promote our organization’s programs and services through social media or word-of-mouth communications.

If you are interested in getting involved as a volunteer, please visit our website ( For those interested in becoming a foster care giver, visit the VSAS site ( If you would like to provide in-kind donations, we maintain a wish list for a variety of programs in need of support on our donations webpage ( We post photos and profiles for our adoptable animals on our website as a means of helping to promote their adoption. However, we always recommend visiting the shelter because that is how most adopters make that special connection and you never know what you might find. Often, visitors happen to be at the facility at just the right time when a new animal becomes available for adoption or is brought into the facility.

To all of the dog owners out there, please get your dogs licensed. Although we still recommend use of collars with ID tags and micro-chipping, the license is your legal proof of ownership. In addition to serving as a form of identification, facilitating return of lost dogs to owners, and a public health benefit because of the rabies vaccination requirement, licensing your dog also helps agencies like Animal Services. The revenue from license fees does not go into a municipality’s general fund.  Rather, they are deposited into special funds used to support animal care and control services for the municipality. So, if you are a city of Rochester resident, your dog license fees go toward the Animal Services operating budget. Increasing such revenue may facilitate improved care and increased staffing in future budgets.

We are pursuing a variety of grant opportunities and working with VSAS to expand our fundraising efforts to bolster the operation. Other means of increasing Animal Services support will involve monetary contributions from individual donors, foundations, and corporate sponsorships. Anyone interested in donating to our cause should visit and If you would like to discuss more formal City partnership opportunities, please contact us at

We are making progress and need your help to take our successes to even greater heights.