Chris Fitzgerald

Chris Fitzgerald with Keeva, a brown dog

Director, Rochester Animal Services

Christopher S. Fitzgerald has been the Director of Animal Services for the City of Rochester since June 2000. In addition to overseeing and directing the strategic initiatives for Animal Services, Fitzgerald also serves on the Board of Directors for the Verona Street Animal Society, a not-for-profit organization established to help support the programs and mission of Animal Services through fundraising and marketing.  In 2020, Animal Services was selected to participate in the Human Animal Support Services coalition and Fitzgerald serves on several working groups including the Managing Committee. Fitzgerald has also served on the Board of Directors for the New York State Animal Protection Federation and is the Past Chairperson for the Greater Rochester Animal Coalition.

Born and raised in Rochester, Fitzgerald received a B.S. degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University and an M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Management from the University of Arizona.

Throughout his career with Animal Services, Fitzgerald has worked to elevate the agency’s professionalism and public image while enhancing both care for animals and service to the public. During his tenure, Fitzgerald established the shelter spay/neuter clinic; created positions for the City’s first veterinarian and veterinary technicians; implemented dog playgroups as a component of enrichment; expanded support through donations, grants and partnerships; heightened the focus on pro-active and supportive services becoming an HSUS Pets for Life Mentorship Partner and a HASS Tier 1 organization; and increased the annual live release rate from 40% to 90%.