Protesters demand Rochester animal shelter take in stray and homeless animals

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Many protesters gathered outside the Verona Street Animal Shelter this weekend demanding that Rochester Animal Services take in stray and abandoned animals.

According to the protesters, the director of the shelter, Chris Fitzgerald, has put in place a secret policy called the HASS model which would allow them to close their doors to these animals. This policy also asks volunteers and staff to tell callers to leave these animals alone or to call the emergency services.

Protesters also claimed city officials, including Mayor Malik Evans, ignored or refused to do anything about the situation.

“City officials can actually recognize there’s a problem here with the shelter,” said community action coordinator Marcus C. Williams. “Because shelter is not a priority for a lot of people, they don’t even care about it, they don’t have any real oversight or anything like that and it’s something that really needs to be looked at. because animals are important too.”

The organizers, disgusted by these demonstrations, encouraged those who love animals to demonstrate with them on the sidewalk in front of the shelter.

Verona Street Animal Shelter has not commented on the protests, as officials said they have no influence over Rochester Animal Services.