Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

Lost Pet

Losing a pet can be a scary and terrible experience and it can happen to any of us. No matter what the circumstances, pets can sometimes become lost in a short amount of time, and our goal is to help them get back home just as quickly. Many lost pets make their way to the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin through caring citizens and local law enforcement agencies. While no one wants to think of their furry family member in a shelter environment, you can rest assured, our caring staff welcomes them with open, loving arms.

*Strays are held for 5 days to allow owners time to locate their pet. After that time period they are put up for adoption or occasionally transferred to other shelters.*

Within the First Hour

  1. Search your area first. In most cases, your pet has not gone far. Indoor cats are usually hiding within 3-4 houses on either side of where they got out. Ask neighbors if you can look around their property. Your pet may be within hearing distance but not come out when you call out of fear of the big wide world.
  2. If your pet has a microchip, contact the microchip company right away to report them as lost, and update your contact information if needed.

Within a Couple Hours

  1. Call or visit us to fill out a lost report. We’ll ask you some questions about your pet's physical description and tell you about any reports of found animals made by other community members. Please call 608-752-5622 to speak with a staff member. Here are some examples of how to describe your cat.
  2. Start searching through our strays listed below first and then browse through the Petco Love Lost Database linked below. Upload your lost pet’s photo to Petco Love Lost, they provide free facial recognition software to reunite lost pets with their owners. Your pet’s uploaded photo will be scanned against photos of found animals at shelters and those reported by the community.

After the First 24 Hours

  1. Visit your local animal shelter to look for your pet. At HSSW, staff will assist you in walking through the shelter and show you all the stray cats in the facility. We may not recognize your pet from the flyer if they come in at a later date, so be sure to visit the shelter as frequently as you can.
  2. Hang lost pet posters. We recommend hanging the poster with duct tape at major intersections within a 3-mile radius of where your dog was lost or a 1-mile radius of where your cat was lost. Once your pet is found, retrieve your lost pet posters from wherever you hung them.
  3. Look for your pet frequently on our website. If you see your pet’s photo, please call the shelter where the pet is located, immediately. Keep in mind that your pet will be listed under a different shelter name. YOU are your pet's best chance at being reunited.

Trapping Your Lost Cat

If you decide to trap your cat, you can rent a trap from HSSW. Please visit our Live Trap Rental Page here or contact our Adoption Supervisor Alison at for more information.


Strays at the Shelter

(updated every 30 minutes)


You can also check out Petco Love Lost to see lost and found pets in your area. Click the widget below for more information.

Upcoming Events

Kauffman’s Country Store Adoption Event

May 28, 2022 (9 AM-1 PM) -

Stop by Kauffman's Country Store on May 28th and say hello to our volunteers! They are ready and willing to answer any questions you may...

Petco Adoption Event

June 4, 2022 (11:00am - 1:00pm) -

Please stop by and meet some of our adoptable pets who are looking for a great home! You can speak to some of our amazing volunteers to learn...

News & Announcements

Faith Stephens, Adoption Supervisor & Community Outreach Coordinator HSSW on Stan Milan Show

JANESVILLE, WI (WCLO) - Faith Stephens, adoption supervisor & community outreach coordinator joins the show to discuss funds received from the Streigel Family Christmas display, adoption and...

Milton High School Students Organize Pet Adoption Event

MILTON, WI ( - A pet adoption event Saturday, January 8th at Milton High School organized by students benefited the Humane Society of Southern...

Lost Pet Portal