If you are missing a pet, please use these helpful tips to increase your chances of reunion with your missing pet.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Mississippi law states that after a stray pet goes 5 days unclaimed, ownership falls to the pet’s current caretaker (a.k.a. HSSM) and the pet can legally be placed up for adoption. It is of utmost importance that you check frequently (less than four days apart) for your lost pet!!!
- File a Lost Report: Call HSSM’s Lost & Found Department at 228-863-3354 ext. 124 or 125. We will ask you questions about your pet, as well as the time, place, and details about your pet getting lost.
- Check HSSM’s Lost Pet Listing: Click here to see all of the pets who have entered HSSM’s care over the past 7 days. Make sure you check back for your pet EVERYDAY. Mississippi law states that after 5 days of being in the shelter, a stray pet then becomes the property of the caretaker and can be placed up for adoption. HSSM tries to give all stray pets at least 7 days to be claimed, but during busy periods, we may go down to the State law required 5-day stray hold. Pictures on the Lost Pet Listing may lag behind other information, so please read descriptions closely and call or come in to HSSM to verify whether or not it is indeed your pet.
- Check Finding Rover: Finding Rover uses facial recognition technology to identify lost and found dogs in real time from a smartphone or computer. The app and website features a lost and found dog notification system that sends a push notification and social-feed photo-alert to users within a 10 mile radius. When a user spots a lost dog, he/she can take a photo either within the app, or upload a photo from a device’s photo album. When a dog has been found and identified through Finding Rover’s facial recognition software, the finder will receive information on how to notify the owner. Finding rover is free! Download and register here: Finding Rover
- Update Microchip Information: If your pet is microchipped and you have had ANY change in phone number, address, or any other information, please contact your pet’s microchip company ASAP to update that information and/or verify that it is correct. You will need your pet’s microchip number and a small fee may apply, depending on the company. HSSM places 24PetWatch microchips in all of the animals microchipped at our shelter, however, other common microchip companies include HomeAgain, AVID and many more. Up-to-date information is a MUST because when we scan your pet for a microchip, all we read is a number which is then plugged into a database with the given information in it. HSSM staff strives to find owners with out-of-date information, however, current and accurate information all but guarantees that if your pet ends up here, it can be easily returned to you!
- Create “Lost” Posters: Use this template or create your own “Lost” poster and hang it around your neighborhood, down main roadways, place in mailboxes, and submit one to HSSM for display in our Lost & Found lobby. Recent, full-color pictures are best, but make sure any picture you use is crisp and clear.
- Post “Lost” Listings: Take out a “Lost Pet” classified in local newspapers and take advantage of all on-line outlets, such as Facebook, Craigslist, Findtoto.com, etc. where you are able to post information about your pet, when and where he/she went missing and any other pertinent information (i.e. any required medications, identifying marks, etc.). Be creative! Post your pet’s story anywhere and everywhere you can!
- Search “Found” Listings: Check local newspaper classified listings, and the same online outlets where you posted your “Lost” information. If you think you have found your pet in a listing through any outlet, make sure you act quickly to reclaim your pet!
- Getting Desperate?: There are several companies who specialize in helping to reunite worried owners with their lost pets. FindToto.com, HomeAgain.com, and LostMyDoggie.com are just a few of these companies. Make sure you mention that the Humane Society of South Mississippi sent you and some of these companies will make a donation to HSSM in your lost pet’s name!
- Get Social!: Post your Lost Pet’s information on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media site. Ask your friends to share your pet’s info. Share it on HSSM’s Facebook page. Again, get creative and spread the word! You never know who may have seen or picked up your lost pet!
- Put Up A Yard Sign: Put up a sign in your yard with a picture and description of your pet! Many concerned citizens who find lost pets will wind through nearby areas looking for the owners of the animals they have picked up. Even if your pet’s collar has fallen off, this gives citizens another clue to where a lost pet came from. Case closed!
- Tag Your Car: Write brief “Lost Pet” messages on your car windows to let your neighbors and other passers-by that you are missing a pet!
- REMEMBER: HSSM also maintains a bulletin board with current posters of missing pets in our Lost & Found Lobby. If you have created a poster, please fax it or e-mail it to be posted.
- Download: You can Download Lost Pets Tips PDF here.