Our History

The City of Rochester assumed operational control of Rochester Animal Services 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 how to facilitate the formation of a Friends group to assist Animal Services in expanding the bandwidth to deliver their mission.

In February 2005, Jennifer Brown met with Mr. Fitzgerald to find out what she could do to help the shelter and the animals. Ms. Brown adopted her husky, Nanook, from the shelter and became a volunteer, walking dogs and assisting with special events following that initial meeting. Being so inspired with the impact RAS could have on our community, Ms. Brown began the process of forming a separate not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization to provide support and resources to Rochester Animal Services. The Friends of Verona Street Animal Shelter officially formed in May 2006, with the appointment of directors and the election of its first officers. The Friends have been operating under the name Verona Street Animal Society since that time.


The Board of Directors meets monthly to assist in planning strategic efforts to help Rochester Animal Services become the premier municipal animal care and control organization in New York State and beyond. Each director serves a two-year term. Directors also serve on committees such as Finance, Marketing/Communications, and Resource Development, working closely with the City’s Director of Animal Services and a team of volunteer committee members to ensure Animal Services’ mission is fulfilled.

  • Jennifer Brown – Board Chairperson
  • Michael Holvey – Vice Chairperson
  • Angela Krezmer – Treasurer
  • Leanne Fisher – Secretary
  • Chris Fitzgerald – Ex Officio
  • Amy Button
  • Perry Duckles
  • Rachel Quinn
  • Amy Warner


Monday – Saturday 
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Closed Sundays

To learn about serving the Verona Street Animal Society on a committee or on the Board of Directors, please send an email to info@vsas.org.