Verona Street Animal Society Hires First Executive Director

Verona Street Animal Society (VSAS), the non-profit organization that exists to support Rochester Animal Services (RAS), has hired Mary Jones as its inaugural executive director. Prior to creation of the new position, VSAS was run entirely by volunteers since its founding in 2006.

RAS is the City of Rochester’s municipal animal care and control agency. As a socially conscious animal shelter, RAS works toward the best outcomes for all animals while supporting the human-animal bond. VSAS serves as the fundraising and marketing arm that enables RAS to enhance care, programs, and services including shelter veterinary care, pet adoption, spay and neuter, shelter enrichment, foster care, pet owner support, and much more.

Prior to joining VSAS, Jones served as Regional Director of Make-A-Wish® Metro New York and Western New York for nine years. She also held the position of Director of Development at the National Kidney Foundation. A longtime advocate of animal welfare, Jones served as the Resource Development Manager at the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, and first began her relationship with Rochester Animal Services more than 16 years ago as a shelter volunteer.

“As a 100% volunteer-led organization for almost 15 years, we’re excited to take this step to continue our strategic growth with the creation of this dedicated position,” said Jennifer Brown, Board Chairperson, Verona Street Animal Society. “We are so grateful to the community for all the support we have received, and we’re confident Mary will move the organization to even higher levels to increase our visibility, foster new partnerships, and help RAS to better serve the people and animals of Rochester.”

“As a life-long resident of Rochester, I am proud to be a member of such a giving and caring community,” said Mary Jones. “The exceptional team of staff and volunteers at VSAS have worked tirelessly to build a solid foundation and I am honored to be welcomed to lead the next chapter. Together, we will bring the work of this essential organization to more people to better serve the animals in our community.”