An Open-Admission Animal Shelter

Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, is an open-admission animal shelter. This means that we accept every animal surrendered. We will not turn away any pet regardless of age, health issues or injuries, behavioral problems, or aggression. Ultimately, we want to prevent the surrender of pets by helping owners with the problems they may be facing, to serve as a refuge when pets are in need, and to send pets available for adoption to loving new homes.

More Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, is an open-admission animal shelter. This means that we accept every animal surrendered. We will not turn away any pet regardless of age, health issues or injuries, behavioral problems, or aggression, which may make an animal harder to adopt.

In the Greater Rochester community, Lollypop Farm has the largest capacity for animal care and is the only organization to accept stray and unwanted pets of all species. And so we view responsible open-admissions as a much-needed service that prevents neglect and unnecessary suffering. For every pet who arrives at Lollypop Farm, we keep in mind each animal’s individual needs. There is no time limit or predetermined length of stay for any of the animals in our care. The vast majority of pets are placed for adoption or transferred to another animal welfare group when a pet’s needs are different than we are able to accommodate. In some cases, animals may be euthanized. Lollypop Farm will not turn its back on an animal in need, even if that means the most humane option for that animal is to provide a dignified and humane end.

See our latest Shelter Animal Statistics

While open-admission shelters like ours provide refuge to all animals at any time, many limited-admission animal groups pick and choose which pets they will admit. Some may refer to themselves as “no-kill” because they do not accept animals who may be euthanized. Many open-admission shelters take in animals who have been refused by other shelters or rescue groups. And in every community, there are a number of pets who are not candidates for adoption due to medical issues or aggression. When those limited-admission or no-kill shelters only choose the most highly adoptable pets or otherwise refuse admissions, they are shifting the responsibility of re-homing those animals and euthanasia to other entities.

As the region’s largest and only open-admission animal welfare organization, Lollypop Farm takes in more animals than any other organization in the area. Sadly, some of these animals are severely ill or injured, or have a temperament which makes them dangerous to place into a home. Lollypop Farm will not place these animals for adoption. We feel that we have a responsibility to the community to not adopt animals who could be dangerous, and we feel we have a duty to animals who are suffering to not prolong their pain.

Lollypop Farm’s euthanasia rate has steadily declined over the past decade, and we continue to strive to reduce the number of animals who must be humanely euthanized.

See our latest Shelter Animal Statistics

To help prevent pet surrenders, we offer programs that address the reasons animals may come to the shelter. Our community programs and services include:

When people are looking to rehome their pet, we ensure that they have access to the resources our community offers before they make the decision to surrender their pet to Lollypop Farm. Our website refers pet owners to the assistance programs that address issues pet owners might be experiencing. We also provide suggestions and resources for re-homing, and offer links to other area animal rescues.

Lollypop Farm has a managed-intake process, meaning that we encourage those looking to surrender a pet to call us to make an appointment. When pet owners ask about surrendering their pet, we take this opportunity to provide information on resources available throughout the community. Scheduling appointments also allows us to manage our capacity and the number of animals we are caring for in the shelter. If an owner still decides to surrender their pet, we’ll advise them of the potential outcome for their pet and let them make a decision based on that information.

For every pet who arrives at Lollypop Farm, we keep in mind each animal’s individual needs. There is no time limit or predetermined length of stay for any of the animals in our care. The vast majority of pets are placed for adoption or transferred to another animal welfare group when a pet’s needs are different than we are able to accommodate.

To provide the best outcome possible for each animal, a variety of resources are available to meet that pet’s needs:

  • A full-service in-house veterinary clinic to address most medical needs
  • A behavioral modification program to help pets with behavior issues
  • An extensive foster care volunteer program that expands our capacity of care for young kittens and pets who need long-term rehabilitation
  • Collaborations with other rescues and shelters to transfer pets
  • Focused efforts to reunite stray pets with their owners.

Once a pet is available for adoption, our focus is on making successful long-term matches between pets and adopters. Again, there is no time limit for pets once they are available for adoption. And we offer incentives to encourage more adoptions such as waiving fees for seniors when they adopt dogs or cats who are 6 years of age or older, reduced-fee adoptions for veterans/military, frequent adoption specials, fee-free cat adoption days, and satellite adoption centers around the community.

Despite the many labels for animal welfare organizations, we all share a common goal—to help as many homeless or abused pets as possible. No shelter or rescue group in a community works in a vacuum. In order to address the problem of homeless pets, we need all animal groups and people in the community to work together.

We partner with many local, regional, and national animal welfare groups. We work closely with Rochester Animal Services, town animal controls, and rescue groups. We connect with the local veterinarians and pet stores. And we look to you as a partner as well.

When you volunteer or make a donation, your support directly saves the lives of pets in need and makes community programs possible. And when you choose to adopt your next pet, spay or neuter your pet, or share the message of responsible pet ownership—you are making a difference!

Despite the stereotype of pet owners who give up an animal as careless or irresponsible, we’ve found that most people who do need to surrender their pet care very deeply and are trying to do the right thing. They’ve just fallen on hard times or realized that their situation is not best for them or the pet, and have no other options.
We don’t support euthanasia either, but until an entire community can meet the needs of every pet, it will occur—somewhere. Euthanasia is not the fault of any shelter, public or private. It is the result of people in the community who do not spay/neuter their pet or practice responsible pet ownership.

By supporting Lollypop Farm, you are supporting a humane community for the animals. We look to help the entire community to solve the problem of homeless and abused pets—not just those housed in our shelter. As an open-admission shelter with robust prevention programs for the community and resources for pets in the shelter, we continually strive to do what we can to save as many pets as possible. As an independent, non-profit organization that relies on donations to help thousands of animals each year, you make that happen.