Presidents Message

President’s Message: Spring 2016

Written by Jennifer Brown, Founder and President of VSAS


As VSAS looks forward to its next 10 years, we recognize the need to expand our impact.  There are so many ongoing challenges yet to overcome, and others that will be entirely new for our organization.  It is our hope, in the near future, shelters will need not operate on such a high-volume, stressful scale and that through spay and neuter, outreach and assistance (ie., medical, behavioral, pet food and other resources), more pets will remain in their forever homes.

These may be lofty goals, but they are worthy ones, reminiscent of Gandhi’s famous quote about judging a society (nation) by how it treats its animals.  The Verona Street Animal Society and Rochester Animal Services (RAS) aspire to elevate our community’s treatment of animals as we show our kindness and compassion for our animal and human citizens.

The past 10 years have shown amazing progress as we have grown both organizations with the help of a passionate contingent of die-hard volunteers.  We have worked year after year to improve care for the animals.  We have established new programs, expanded our third-party event involvement, and raised awareness to new levels.  We have helped RAS elevate its Save Rate from below 50% to over 80%.

When I first founded VSAS back in February of 2005, it seemed that few people knew anything about RAS.  Few knew that there was even a shelter in the city.  Of those that did know about RAS, most thought it was just the dog pound and were not aware of the adoptable animals, spay neuter clinic or volunteer program.

This is quite a contrast as we look at 2016, with a vibrant volunteer program, active promotions and awareness via social networks, outstanding save rates and a signature event that last June was named a “Don’t Miss” race by the Democrat & Chronicle.  Now people throughout the community know about the great adoptable animals and other programs at RAS.

Over the years, we have had a slew of hardworking and fantastic board members, committee members, volunteers and staff.  Most importantly, we have positively impacted the lives of the animal residents at RAS, the people who have adopted them and the entire Rochester community.

We could not have done this without all of your support.  So thank you and keep spreading the word!


Jennifer Brown, Founder and President of VSAS