Reclaiming A Pet

Nearly 5,000 stray pets end up at HSSM each year. However, less than 1,000 will be successfully returned to their owners.

If you have seen your pet on HSSM’s Lost Pet Listing or you have otherwise found out or suspect your missing pet is at HSSM, there are a few things you will need to bring with you in order to re-claim your pet.

  1. Government-Issued IdentificationHSSM requires a valid driver’s license, military ID, or other form of government-issued identification to process any type of outcome for the animals we serve. You must be present in order to re-claim your pet. Directions to HSSM are available here and you will enter through HSSM’s Lost & Found/Surrender Entrance to speak with an Animal Care Associate.
  2. Proof of OwnershipHSSM asks for proof of ownership for any animal being re-claimed. Please bring one or more of the following items to serve as proof of ownership:
    • Your pet’s registration papers (this alone may not be sufficient, so if you have any of the following as well, please bring that too!)
    • Your pet’s vet records with a description of your pet, as well as your name and contact information
    • Your pet’s vaccination records with a description of your pet, as well as your name and contact information
    • Your pet’s microchip paperwork with your name and a description of your pet
    • A picture of you with your pet
  3. Proof of Current Rabies VaccinationTo comply with state law, HSSM cannot release an animal that is NOT current on its Rabies vaccination (i.e. it has had a Rabies vaccination within the past 12 months).
    • If your pet is current on Rabies, please bring proof of Rabies vaccination or contact information for your Veterinarian. HSSM staff will need to verify with your Veterinarian before we can release your pet to you.
    • If your pet is NOT current on Rabies, HSSM is REQUIRED by law to provide you with a Rabies vaccination. This additional service incurs a $15 fee.
  4. Return-to-Owner FeeHSSM’s average cost to care for each animal that enters our doors is $215. To offset some of these costs, HSSM requires a Return-to-Owner fee for each pet reunited with his/her owner. The fee schedule is as follows: (Please add $15 to any of the below fees if your pet is in need of a Rabies vaccination)
    • Spayed/Neutered Pet with Existing Microchip… $50
    • Spayed/Neutered Pet with No Microchip… $60.00*
    • Intact Pet with Existing Microchip and Request for Spay/Neuter…$75
    • Intact Pet with No Microchip and Request for Spay/Neuter…$85*
    • Intact Pet with Requests for Microchip and Spay/Neuter… $75.00
    • Intact Pet with NO Request for Spay/Neuter…$300
    • (Second Time in Shelter) Spayed/Neutered Pet with Existing Microchip… $60.00

In addition to HSSM’s requirements for Return-to-Owner, your local governmental body (whether municipal or county) may have additional requirements for pets being reunited with their owners. Examples include mandatory Rabies vaccinations (unless you can show proof of current vacc.) and/or mandatory microchipping for a first offense and mandatory spay/neuter for additional offenses.

*All un-microchipped pets being returned to their owners will receive a microchip upon their first impound.

Avoid all this trouble take advantage of HSSM’s Low-Cost Pet Identification options!