Position Statements

Adoption and Pet Breeding
Animal Population Control
Canned Hunting
Community Cats
Companion Animals in Housing
Factory Farming
Humane Discourse
Local Events or Contests Involving Animals
Mass Breeding Operations
Transportation/Transferring of Companion Animals from Out of Area
Use of Animals in Education and Research
Wildlife and Rodent Pest Control


Approved December 15, 2020

We strongly encourage the adoption of pets through animal shelters, rescue organizations, or private owners, given that thousands of pets are in need of new homes each year. If a suitable pet cannot be adopted then we recommend obtaining a pet through a compassionate, responsible breeder.

When making the choice to purchase a pet through a breeder, we encourage thoroughly researching the practices of the individual(s) or business. People should work with breeders who:

  • Commit to supporting their animals’ physical and psychological well-being.
  • Keep breeding pets healthy and well socialized, and never keep more animals than they can provide with the highest level of care, including quality food, clean water, proper shelter from heat or cold, exercise and socialization, and professional veterinary care.
  • Not breed extremely young or old animals, and base breeding frequency on the mother’s health, age, condition, and recuperative abilities.
  • Comply with all applicable laws regulating breeding in their jurisdiction.
  • Employ transparent business practices as it relates to the animal’s health, disposition, and positive and negative breed characteristics.
  • Provide accurate and reliable health, vaccination, and pedigree information.
  • Take great care when screening and counseling potential new homes for animals.
  • Provide a purchase contract that clearly spells out the breeder’s responsibilities, the owner’s responsibilities, health guarantees, and return policies that take lifetime responsibility for the animals they have bred.


Approved February 16, 2021

We actively support spay and neuter programs as a population control method to prevent pet homelessness and euthanasia. Spaying and neutering keeps thousands of animals from entering shelters each year and provides both behavioral and medical benefits for individual pets. We strongly encourage pet owners to work with their veterinarian to spay and neuter all household pets when possible.

Within the shelter, we will control the animal population by:

  • Providing spay or neuter services for companion animals at the earliest possible time that it is safe to do so. We may spay pregnant animals when medically safe and in the best interest of the shelter population. For small animals, reptiles, or birds who cannot be sterilized, breeding is prevented by herd management.
    Sterilizing farm animals surrendered into our care when medically possible and safe for the animal. Otherwise, breeding is prevented by herd management.
  • We do not support the intentional breeding of animals who have been surrendered to shelters. We support the advancement of science in the field of animal welfare on the research of non-invasive, safe methods of non-surgical sterilization.



Approved February 16, 2021

We oppose canned and remote (or computer-assisted) hunting, which is the killing of confined animals who have no means of eluding the hunter and who are often surplus zoo animals or animals habituated to humans because they are fed and confined by humans until it is time for the hunt.


Approved November 17, 2020

We believe in the humane management of community cat populations that consist of free-roaming, outdoor cats that comprise a mixture of feral, semi-socialized, stray, or abandoned cats. Community cats are found in all areas of the country and tend to gather together in colonies. We are committed to the humane management of community cats by engaging in and supporting Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return and Return-to-Field practices.

Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR)
TNVR is a proven humane method that reduces cat populations over time. This is a practice where community cats are trapped by animal advocates for the purposes of spaying or neutering, vaccination, and ear-tipping prior to being returned to their original location or safely relocated to a new location with the participation of the property owner. We pledge to:

  • Provide low-cost spay/neuter programs and assistance or incentive programs in conjunction with participating veterinarians to reduce the number of community cats.
  • Work with individuals and property owners to identify healthy, free-roaming cats who are successfully living outdoors as candidates for TNVR in order to prevent shelter admission, unless a positive outcome can be ensured.

We do not support the trapping of community cats for the purpose of euthanasia, except in extreme circumstances where an individual animal is suffering from a life-threatening illness or injury.

Return-to-Field (RTF)
RTF describes an approach where healthy, free-roaming cats–who lack identification–are brought to the shelter by community members and then spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped and then returned to the area where they were found.

This kind of program is based on data showing that only a small percentage of cats who enter a shelter are reunited with their owners or caregiver. Once in the shelter, they may be more susceptible to stress, zoonotic diseases, or risk of euthanasia. Freeroaming cats who appear to be healthy are likely receiving care from someone or from multiple people. Owners and caregivers are more likely to be reunited when the cat is returned to its neighborhood and able to return home on its own.

We pledge to use current industry best practices in determining whether a cat should be held as a stray or is a candidate for RTF.

We support the ability to use discretion when determining the most appropriate positive outcome for a cat at any time by evaluating an individual cat’s situation, taking into consideration its health, temperament, or environmental factors such as inclement weather or dangerous surroundings.

We will coordinate with the community/public, animal control agencies, veterinarians, legislators, and the news media to develop an understanding of the unique behaviors and needs of community cats and a unified approach to humane community cat management methods.


Approved October 19, 2021

We believe that all animals living in a household should be provided with humane and compassionate lifelong care, which includes meeting the animal’s physical, behavioral, social, and psychological needs.

To ensure that pets are good neighbors in their community, pet caretakers should:

  • Provide humane and compassionate care to all pets in the family or household.
  • Recognize that the number of pets that an individual or household can successfully provide for may vary.
  • Be considerate of how their pets affect others and their property.
  • Seek out rental or housing communities that are inclusive of the family pets and comply with the terms of the housing, insurance, and municipal policies.

Housing policy restrictions on companion animals are unnecessarily prohibitive to pet caretakers and contrary to our goal of keeping people and pets together. To that end:

A. Municipal Limits on Companion Animals
We oppose legislation or ordinances that limit the number of pets for one person or one household. Concerns about animal neglect, cruelty, noise, waste, smell or nuisances, may be addressed through laws and ordinances that cover those types of complaints.

B. Companion Animal Housing Community and Rental Policies
We oppose rental and housing policies that restrict the pets that residents may house based on characteristics such as weight or breed, regardless of an individual pet’s behavior or demeanor. Restrictive pet policies create limitations for prospective pet owners and adopters and may force individuals to relinquish their pets.

C. Companion Animal Housing Insurance Policies
We oppose housing insurance policies that deny coverage to individuals based on the breed of their pet. These policies unfairly discriminate against caretakers whose pets otherwise have no history of behavioral issues. We support the pending New York State legislation that prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge an increased premium for both those who own and rent their homes.

We encourage pet caretakers to review our pet-friendly housing resources.


Approved October 15, 2019

We are strongly opposed to declawing of cats for the convenience of their owners. Cat owners should explore all behavioral and environmental management techniques to address their pet’s behavior. Declawing is now unlawful in New York State, with limited exceptions. We encourage pet owners to develop a relationship with a veterinarian to discuss the options available to maintain the health and wellbeing of both pet and owner.


Approved September 15, 2020

Factory farm is commonly used to describe an industrial facility where large numbers of farm animals are bred and raised for food and other goods production. In these types of facilities, profits may be prioritized over the physical, social, and emotional needs of the animals. These practices can also occur on small, less industrialized farms.

We support the Five Freedoms for all animals, and believe that all farms should meet these standards for the animals in their care. The Five Freedoms are:

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst by providing animals with ready access to fresh water and diet to maintain health and vigor.
2. Freedom from Discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
3. Freedom from Pain, Injury, or Disease through prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
5. Freedom from Fear and Distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

We encourage farming practices that provide good welfare for the animals, and a reduction of farming practices that cause pain, injury, or stress. We support the replacement of such practices with ones that allow animals to experience social interaction, grooming, nesting, exercise, and play.

We also support the labeling of animal-derived products with accurate claims about the methods of production used in order to enable consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.


Advocacy Committee Approved October 8, 2020

Lollypop Farm is committed to communication and collaboration with our partners in the community that is respectful, honest, and direct. Understanding that there are different philosophies, opinions, and views, it is essential that professionals treat one another with respect and dignity and be accountable for a standard of transparency and disclosure. In service of this commitment, we:

  • Seek to find common ground, putting aside differences and work toward the common goal of saving more animals.
  • Pledge to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas freely to support each other in addressing problems and in improving operations.
  • Will approach others individually to understand differences or address concerns.
  • Oppose efforts that encourage threats, hateful or derogatory language, and mistruths.
  • Lollypop Farm encourages all in the animal welfare community to join us in this commitment.


Approved May 18, 2018

We oppose any event, contest, or entertainment that involves the inhumane treatment of animals and displays insensitivity to the cruel treatment, neglect, or abuse of animals.


Approved December 17, 2019

We oppose mass breeding operations that produce large numbers of pets and prioritize profits over their welfare, with little concern for their physical, social, or emotional needs. Mass breeding operations often maintain pets in crowded, unsanitary conditions that lack food, clean water, socialization, or much-needed veterinary care. We acknowledge there are professional, responsible breeders who invest in the wellbeing of individual pets and their future with their new families. We encourage people to consider pet adoption from animal shelters or rescue groups to provide loving homes to pets in need.


Approved May 17, 2019

We advocate for the use of evidence-based humane pet training and behavior modification methods, which foster trust and build positive human-animal relationships. We are opposed to punishment-based techniques that can lead to anxiety, fear, distress, or pain.


Approved March 17, 2020

We support the transportation of companion animals from outside the Greater Rochester area to be made available for adoption at Lollypop Farm or other local animal welfare organizations. These companion animals should be transported with humane standards of care adhering to best practices for transport as outlined by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement* and in accordance with NYS and interstate transportation laws. In all cases, no local animals in need should be euthanized or displaced due to the transports.

*AAWA Companion Animal Transport Programs — Best Practices


Approved November 16, 2021

We oppose the indiscriminate chaining, or other methods of tethering dogs, without due regard for their physical and/or psychological well-being.

We encourage pet caretakers who tether their dogs outside to:

  • Ensure their dogs have access to shelter that is appropriate for the weather conditions.
  • Ensure their dogs have adequate and easy access to food and water.
  • Regularly supervise their dogs during the period of tethering.
  • Limit the amount of hours their dog is tethered and not to leave it tethered overnight.
  • Ensure methods and equipment used will not cause their dogs any physical or mental harm.


Approved May 19, 2020

We oppose the use of steel-jaw leghold traps, body grip traps, snare traps, or other traps that inflict injury, stress, pain, or prolonged suffering. We encourage considering alternative methods that do not pose an ancillary danger to children or pets who may encounter them.


Approved February 18, 2020

We join other national and local animal welfare organizations in support of the application of the Three Rs (Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement) to the use of animals in education and research.

The principle of the Three Rs (Replacement, Refinement and Reduction) is credited to Russell and Burch’s 1959 report, “The Principles of Humane Experimental Techniques,” and are widely accepted internationally as criteria for humane animal use in research and testing.

Reduction – experiments should be designed in such a manner that the least number of the most suitable species are used.
Refinement – research animals need to be maintained in a clean environment in which they are humanely cared for before, during, and after the procedures.
Replacement – animal-based research methods should be replaced when possible with alternative methods, such as mathematical or computer modeling, molecular modeling, organ modeling, or other methods that allow the attainment of the objectives without having to use animals.

Based on these principles, our organization recommends the following approaches:

A. Use of Animals in Education
I. Primary and Secondary Educational Settings
a. Dissection
We oppose curriculum that includes the use of animals for dissection or other activities that may cause harm. With the development of new technologies that offer engaging, realistic, and humane educational experiences, there are anatomical models and tools that are proven to achieve the same educational goals.
b. Hatching Projects
We urge educators to replace bird-hatching projects with learning activities that teach life processes without the use of live animals. The animals raised in these projects often do not receive veterinary care, particularly if they are born sick or deformed in these projects. Additionally, more than half of all birds raised through these types of projects are roosters. Many municipalities prohibit the keeping of healthy chickens, particularly roosters, which families cannot keep. This can lead to the neglect or demise of the animals, and potentially an increased burden on animal shelters.
c. Classroom Pets
We recognize the value that a pet can bring to an educational setting. Prior to adopting a classroom pet, we recommend that there is a primary educator responsible for ensuring the daily care of an adopted pet, including daily feeding and habitat maintenance. We counsel educators that the classroom environment and noise level should be suitable for the pet, and that a pet should never be handled when unsupervised. All pets require a lifetime of care, and a plan should be created that takes into account the animal’s regular and emergency veterinary needs, as well as long term care during weekends, holidays, vacations, and when the animal is no longer a classroom pet.

II. Postsecondary Educational Settings
We understand and recognize the value of the use of animals in professional education for veterinary, medical, and biological careers. However, we encourage and support alternative methods to the use of animals for dissection or laboratory study when available. Where appropriate, alternatives to the use of animals, such as computer modeling, should be considered at the undergraduate level and beyond. When a substitute is not available, ethically-sourced cadavers should be considered. We support donation programs that allow private citizens to donate the bodies of their deceased pets.

B. Use of Animals in Research
We support the use of the 3Rs principle in testing and research projects. Live animals should be used only when necessary and mandated by law to enhance the health and welfare of humans and animals. Researchers should eliminate experiments that are duplications of existing research. Any research conducted should adhere to strict accountability practices that provide safety, comfort, cleanliness, and enrichment for the animals. Pain and fear should be avoided, but where it cannot, efforts should be made to reduce animals’ stress and suffering. Live animals used should be offered for adoption rather than destroyed at the end of their use in research, when appropriate.

C. Surrendering Animals for Research
Lollypop Farm does not surrender animals, live or deceased, for use in research.


Approved May 19, 2020

We support humane methods to control rodents and other wildlife that can find their way into homes and businesses. We recommend prevention strategies by blocking interior entry, using good sanitation practices, and preventing access to garbage or other food sources. When necessary, humane live traps to capture and relocate nuisance animals may be used. Property owners should also consider additional methods such as sonic deterrents, non-toxic deterrent essential oil sprays, and products that emulate the scents of natural predators.