Its an unfortunate reality in our region of Southern Mississippi that there is an abundance of stray animals. Southern Pines is committed every day to try and help this burden by educating our community, spaying and neutering, as well as finding homes for as many animals as we possibly can. We know that it is common for people to encounter and take in strays in need of nourishment, companionship or shelter. Below we have compiled a short guide to how you can best try and reunite animals with their owners or rehome them if needed.
Steps to Reunite a Pet with Their Owner:
1. Start Close to Home!
- Most lost pets are found within just a few blocks from home. Take some time to knock on doors and read through all of this info before moving the animal from where you found it.
- If you've found young kittens, please READ THIS before touching or moving the kittens. Mom is probably nearby, and removing them may dramatically reduce their chances of survival.
- Be aware that many areas in our state do not have leash laws, and in those areas animals are legally allowed to be free-roaming. Please check local laws and ordinances before moving or containing animals that may be just taking a walkabout.
- Most shelters and rescues are not able to accommodate walk-ins, and may require appointments and surrender fees even for stray pets. Please read through the rest of the info on this page before reaching out to local shelters and rescues who stay overwhelmed with the volume of stray pets in need of assistance. YOU are this pet's best resource for getting home safely!
2. Use Social Media
- Utilizing community pages or groups on Facebook to help spread the word that you have lost or found a pet is a great resource. When people call Southern Pines with information about a lost or missing pet, we direct them to Lost and Found Pets of the Pinebelt and other relevant pages/groups.
- Sharing and promoting the animal on your social media is a great way to get the dog's photo and information out to the community, but it rarely as successful as posting in community groups and other pages and groups specifically for reuniting lost and found pets with their families.
The Lost and Found Pets of the Pinebelt is a very active, local Facebook page monitored by area shelters and rescues. Area residents are invited to post both lost and found pets on the page, with the purpose of creating a central location for networking lost pets and getting them home.
Whether you've lost a pet or found a stray, posters are encouraged to:
1. Upload a picture
2. Include geographic location where the pet was lost or found
3. Include pertinent information about the pet (age, breed/mix, collar, microchip, gender, altered status, unique markings etc.)
4. Share contact information
Visit the PetcoLoveLost website and register the found pet for free. PetcoLoveLost works by comparing a photo of the found pet against a database of more than 100,000 dogs and cats who have been reported by community members, shelters, and rescue groups.
Additionally, they have found pet poster and social media post templates, plus tips and articles about how to most effectively reunite pets with their families.
3. Get the Pet Scanned for a Microchip
- Most vet offices or clinics will scan an animal for a microchip for free. Taking the dog or cat to a facility with a scanner and asking for them to check is a quick process that could possibly deliver the owner’s information nearly immediately. Most microchips are located under the skin so there is always a chance that a pet could be chipped even if they have no other form of identification.
- Making posters and hanging them on posts or boards around your neighborhood is a good way to get the word out that you have found a stray. Keep in mind that there are people that don’t have access to social media so having a poster or flyer up increases the number of people you are reaching.
- Due to the high volume of posts on lost and found pages, repost frequently!
It’s Not Working- Rehoming Options
1. Make sure they’re ready for Rehoming!
Please click here to view a full list of local, area shelters
- We strongly recommend that you set this pet up for success before you start the rehoming process! Please make sure the cat or dog is fixed, vaccinated, and dewormed. For low cost spay/neuter options and low-cost vet care you can contact the Southern Pines Healthy Pet Clinic.
- The following web sites will allow you to post your animals for rehoming. Please visit each page/site to read their rules and regulations.
- Hattiesburg Give My Animal a HOME!! [Facebook Page]
- Hattiesburg MS Rehoming Pet Page(: [Facebook Page]
- Ms Southern Pets Rehoming [Facebook Page]
- Pets for adoption in South Mississippi [Facebook Page]
- Rescueme.org [Online Listing Option]
- Rehome.adoptapet.com [Online Listing Option]
- Other options include classified websites.
- Reach out to rescues! Contact local and breed specific rescues. Often the best way to find rescues is be searching online and specifying the city or region you live in (ex. South Mississippi, Pinebelt, Hattiesburg, etc.). If you are considering working with a rescue organization, make sure that they are a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. You can confirm any organization’s non-profit status at www.irs.gov/charities.
Please click here to view a full list of local, area shelters
- Lamar County or City of Petal - Hub City Humane Society
- Your tax dollars help to pay for this contract. HCHS requires proof of residency and may require a surrender appointment. They also provide lower fees to their service area than we are able to provide to out of service areas.
- Jones County - Southern Cross Animal Rescue and the Animal Rescue League
- Pearl River County - Pearl River SPCA.
- Stone County - Stone County SPCA.
- Rankin/Hinds/Madison Counties - CARA and the Mississippi Animal Rescue League.
- George County - Dixie Adoptables, formerly the Lucedale City Municipal Shelter
- Simpson County - Save Our Strays in Mendenhall.
- Harrison County (Gulf Coast area) - Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM)
- Jasper County - Happy Healthy Pet Adoption in Bay Springs.
- Lincoln County - Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.
- Adams County - Natchez Adams County Humane Societ
- Wayne County - Waynesboro Animal Rescue (WAR)