ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Many protestors gathered outside Verona Street Animal Shelter Saturday to demand that Rochester Animal Services take in stray and abandoned animals.

According to the protestors, the shelter’s director, Chris Fitzgerald, allegedly implemented a secret policy called the HASS model that would allow them to close their doors to these animals. This policy also instructs volunteers and employees to tell callers to leave these animals alone or to call rescue services.

Protestors also claimed that city officials, including Mayor Malik Evans, have ignored or refused to do anything about this situation.

“City officials can actually recognize that there is an issue going on here with the shelter,” said community action coordinator Marcus C. Williams. “Because the shelter is a low priority for a lot of people, they don’t even look into it, they don’t have any real oversight or anything like that and it’s something that does really need to be looked into because animals are important too.”

Organizers, disgusted by these protests, encouraged those who love animals to protest with them on the sidewalk outside of the shelter.

Verona Street Animal Shelter has no comment on these protests as officials said they have no influence on Rochester Animal Services.