BBB Charity Review for
Humane Society of South Mississippi

A BBB Accredited Charity since 11/3/2008


The information in this report has either been provided by the charity, or has been compiled by BBB from other sources.

Charity Contact & Profile

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Business Name:
Business Address: 2615 25th Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39501

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Original Business Start Date: 1/1/1952
Type of Entity: Charity/NonProfit
Incorporated: 1977 in MS
Phone Number:
(228) 863-4394
(228) 863-3354
Email Address:
Type of Business:
Primary Email:
Website Address:

Evaluation Conclusions

This organization has been evaluated in relation to the 20 Better Business Bureau Standards for Charitable Accountability. This organization meets all those standards.


The mission of the Humane Society of South Mississippi is to advocate the bond between animals and humans, provide the highest quality services and compassion to the animals entrusted to our care, reduce companion animal overpopulation, and increase the save-rate of animals in our community.


The Humane Society of South Mississippi (HSSM) is a private, local, non-profit organization that serves the people and companion animals of South Mississipp. Their programs and services are made possible primarily through the generousity of their donors.

HSSM is a 100% independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. They depend on the support of its community to shelter and care for nearly 12,000 homeless pets and provide spay/neuter, pet identification and other services for an additional 10,000 community-owned pets each year.

HSSM is an open-admissions shelter and turns no pet away, regardless of health, age, or behavioral status. Oftentimes their open-admissions status in a community with a disproportionately high number of homeless pets leads to needless euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets in its shelter HSSM has now vowed to change this.

In January of 2012, HSSM’s Board of Directors adopted an initiative called "Countdown to Zero", which aims to eliminate the euthanasia of all healthy and treatable pets in the community by 2015. HSSM's dream is to make South Mississippi a truly humane community where every pet lives out his/her life in a loving home. When HSSM achieves this goal, it will be the first community in the Deep South to achieve this milestone.

HSSM’s life-saving programs include:

¦Progressive adoptions programs
¦Aggressive spay/neuter efforts
¦Pro-active pet identification campaigns
¦Innovative Love Train transports (through which 800+ adoptable pets
are sent to partner shelters across the country for adoption each
¦Exhaustive return-to-owner efforts
¦And much more!

Project for 2012-2015

The Second Chance Ward is one of the integral “Four Legs” of HSSM’s Countdown to Zero initiative to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets by 2015.

The Second Chance Ward is HSSM’s project to prevent the euthanasia of pets who may come to HSSM healthy but fall ill while they are in our care. The Second Chance Ward will be a separate building, like a hospital ward, on HSSM’s property and will be used solely for the isolation and treatment of highly contagious, but easily treatable illnesses which are common in a shelter environment.

This hospital-style building will ensure that each pet that comes in does, indeed, get the Second Chance he/she deserves.


To assist in reducing the number of stray pets entering our doors and increase the chances of reunion for a lost pet and its owner, HSSM is undertaking an extensive educational campaign about proper pet identification, with the slogan: “Tag ‘Em! South Mississippi.”

HSSM is offering Tag ‘Em! South Mississippi pet identification packages for just $7. These packages include both a microchip and an engraved ID tag.

Tag ‘Em! is integral in reducing the overall number of pets entering HSSM. If HSSM can spend less time caring for pets who have owners looking for them, it gives us more time and more resources to put towards caring for and adopting out those who do not.


Spay/Neuter in general is of utmost importance to helping HSSM achieve our Countdown to Zero initiatve of ending the euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets by 2015.  Trap-Neuter-Return is the most effective and humane means to control the outdoor cat population in any community and since it is FREE to Harrison County residents, they hope to make a huge impact and greatly reduce the number of unwanted kittens entering their doors each Spring and Summer.


Board Size:11
Paid Staff:87

Fundraising Methods

This organization is seeking funds from contributions and grants. These funds will be used for unrestricted operating expenses, special projects and building improvements.

Special Fund Raising Events include:

Rock-N-Roll-Over: Flashback to the 80's, LollaPETtooza, or Host Your Own Event


HSSM operates on a $2.6 Million budget each year to care for the nearly 12,000 homeless pets we take in each year.

To support our life-saving efforts and programs, HSSM offers two shopping opportunities.

BowWow Meow Boutique
HSSM’s BowWow Meow Boutique is HSSM’s full-scale pet retail store, located inside of HSSM’s prime Highway 49 location. The BowWow Meow Boutique specializes in high end, earth-friendly, and unique toys, accessories, collars & leads, clothing, and other pet merchandise.

HSSM’s BowWow Meow Boutique proudly sells Hill’s Science Diet products.

All proceeds from the BowWow Meow Boutique benefit the 12,000 pets taken in by HSSM each year.

HSSM’s Thrift Store
Shopping at the Thrift Store is a great way to support HSSM’s lifesaving programs. 

The Thrift Store features clothing, furniture, appliances, collectibles, housewares, books, toys and so much more. Its NOT just a store for pet items!

Financial Summary

According to the Audited Financials for the Fiscal Year ended 12/31/2011:

Total Income $2,168,617.00
Total Expenses $2,601,855.00
Gain/Loss for the Year ($433,238.00)

Expense Breakdown
Item Amount % of Expenses
Programs $2,088,818.00 80.28%
Fund Raising $132,483.00 5.09%
Administrative $380,554.00 14.63%
Miscellaneous $0.00 0.00%

Income Breakdown
Item Amount % of Income
Contributions $740,908.00 34.17%
Program Service Revenue $1,207,562.00 55.68%
Special Events $189,102.00 8.72%
Interest ($11,780.00) -0.54%
Dividends $42,825.00 1.97%

This report is not to be used for fundraising or promotional purposes.

Customer Complaint History

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BBB has processed no customer complaints on this charity in its three year reporting period.

Government Action(s)

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BBB has no information regarding government actions at this time.

Advertising Review

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BBB has no information regarding advertising review at this time.

Additional Information

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This organization is seeking funds from contributions and grants. These funds will be used for unrestricted operating expenses, special projects and building improvements.

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Report as of: 7/30/2015
Copyright © 2015 Better Business Bureau®, Inc. serving Mississippi

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