Rochester is probably no more pet-conscious than any other city, but we definitely have plenty of resources for any kind of furry friend you may have, or want to have. Once you've welcomed him or her to your home, Fido or Puff can live the life of Riley in the Flower City: healthy, well-fed, spiffed-up, socially connected, and beautifully behaved. Note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive list of all pet-related resources in Rochester, just a starting point for you and your animal companions.
The Humane Society of Rochester has been in business since 1873, and at its current home in Fairport, Lollypop Farm, since 1964. Yes, it is a farm — a 134-acre home to cats, dogs, rabbits, horses, and many more creatures waiting for loving owners. Lollypop Farm is also an open-admissions shelter that accepts (and tries to find homes for) all animals. With 90 staff members and hundreds of volunteers, Lollypop Farm cares for more than 11,000 homeless animals per year and sponsors an annual telethon. Lollypop Farm is located at 99 Victor Rd., Fairport. For information on animal adoption or acceptance, volunteering, and much more, visit lollypop.org or call 223-1330. Lollypop Farm's 24-hour Animal Cruelty Hotline is 223-6500.
Within the city limits, the City of Rochester's Animal Services also provides pet-adoption opportunities, information on care and regulations, and more; Animal Services takes in 6,000 dogs and cats annually in hopes of finding them good homes. Animal Services sponsors its own fundraiser, "The Fast and the Furriest," a 10K, 5K, and one-mile dog walk; the 2012 event raised more than $47,000. This year's event is scheduled for June 8. Animal Services is located at 184 Verona St.; for more information call 428-7274 or visit cityofrochester.gov and search "Animal Services."
Dogs being pack animals — no, let's say gregarious, socially evolved creatures — dog-walking can be an excellent way for your pet to find canine companionship, and also for a new Rochesterian to make some two-legged friends. Besides the usual morning-and-evening hygiene walk in your neighborhood, you can go to Monroe County's two dog parks: Ellison Dog Park in Penfield and Greece Canal Dog Park, each open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk. Dog parks give your pooch space to legally and safely play off-leash. You must be registered to use them ($24 per dog per year); you can register at the Monroe County Department of Parks, 171 Reservoir Ave., during regular weekday hours. On-site registration is also available on select days. For more information on area dog parks, including a complete list of rules and regulations, visit monroecounty.gov/parks-DogParks.php.
If you work a lot and don't like the thought of leaving The Furry One(s) at home, Dogs At Play is a perfect solution. You can drop off your dog each weekday morning and pick him or her up in the evening (the center opens at 7 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m.). Dogs at Play is located at 75-79 Howell St., off Monroe Avenue and parallel to the Inner Loop. Any dog will love the four toy-filled room, the two outdoor areas, and making new friends of every breed, shape, and size. You can even watch your pet while at work on the Dogs at Play webcams. Dogs at Play offers other services and classes for dog owners. For more information call 325-3647 or visit dogsatplay.com.
For further doggie getaways, Rochester also offers a franchise of Camp Bow Wow, located at 85 Mushroom Blvd., which offers day camp and overnight camp as well as "Home Buddies" in-home pet care. Tour the camp, subscribe to the newsletter, or view their Camper Cams by visiting campbowwow.com, or call 613-9247 (WAGS). Dependable Pet Services is located in Honeoye Falls, but makes dog-sitting house visits in the city and throughout the area (info at dependablepetservices.com or 615-8354).
Rochester offers many dog trainers, including: American K-9 Training Services (704-4219, americank9trainingservices.com), Family Dog Obedience (145 Halstead St., 554-3938, familydogservice.com), Miss Rachel's School for Dogs (1150 University Ave., 319-4153, missrachelsschoolfordogs.com), and Rochester Canine Academy (168 California Drive, 271-8458, rochestercanineacademy.com).
If you want to move beyond the supermarket aisle for pet food, toys, and equipment, these stores offer a more rarefied shopping experience. PetSaver Superstore has Rochester outlets in Greece's Stone Ridge Plaza (1596 W. Ridge Rd., 621-0890), and in the Brighton-Pittsford area's Monroe Clover Plaza (2947 Monroe Ave., 242-0808). For more information on this locally grown outlet visit petsaversuperstore.com. Within the city limits, Natural Pet Foods Company offers healthy food alternatives for dogs and cats (766 S. Clinton Ave., 530-3371, naturalpetfoodscompany.com).
Neighborhood pet shops are rare these days, but two in Rochester are Park Avenue Pets (933 Monroe Ave., 256-0006, parkavepetsroc.com), and Al's Pet Shop (464 W. Ridge Road, 865-6040, alspetshopllc.com), which has been in business since 1950. Both offer plenty of animal companionship beyond dogs and cats — Park Avenue Pets with rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small, kid-friendly animals; Al's also offers fish and birds. If owning a salt-water aquarium interests you, check out Caribbean Forest, which specializes in salt-water fish, corals, and other supplies (24 Bursen Court, 342-5510, caribbeanforest.com). The biggest bird-centric store in the area is Webster's Birds Unlimited (1421 Empire Blvd., 288-4457, birdsunltd.com).
It is not enough for your dog to feel good; it must also look good. No problem, as Rochester contains a multitude of dog groomers. The prize for best store name goes to Dirty Hairy Pet Services, mobile dog groomers serving Monroe, Livingston, Wyoming, and Genesee counties (754-6543, dirtyhairyllc.com); honorable mention goes to Bark Avenue Dog (159 Park Ave., 244-2275, barkavedog.com). And if you want to try doing it yourself, consider Rochester Institute of Dog Grooming, which offers a 450-hour course leading to a professional license — which includes cat grooming, too (rochesterinstituteofdoggrooming.com).
We'll wind up by mentioning two useful local magazines for pet owners: Pup Culture (read or download at pupculturemagazine.com) and Petpalooza, billed as "WNY's and CNY's Favorite Pet Magazine" and available at Lollypop Farm, Rochester Animal Services, Tops, Wegmans, and many other locations — or read online at petpalooza.com). Both feature interviews with pet-owners famous and un-famous, helpful tips from various pet gurus (birds and fish are not forgotten in Petpalooza), coupons, and more. Along with constant proof that among the benefits of pet ownership is a well-developed sense of pun.
Did we forget some of your favorite Rochester-based pet-related businesses? Tell us about them by leaving a comment on this article, below.