History of our Humane Society

Established in 1934, a local group of animal lovers founded the Berrien County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Since that time, the organization has been servicing the local community through their Rescue and Re-homing Program. In 1973, the name changed to the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan. In 2008, HSSM achieved a new milestone as a “haven for foundlings” as the only NO-KILL shelter in all of Berrien County, Michigan. Our mission is to rescue homeless/abandoned cats and dogs, and provide them with the necessary care, until they are matched with a long-lasting family that can provide a nurturing and caring environment.

HSSM Rescue and Rehoming Program consists of:

Animal Care services include shelter, food, medicine, and veterinarian care is given to every animal brought to the shelter. Each individual is examined by trained medical personnel on staff, and local area veterinarians who volunteer their time as a service towards our mission. For those animals that are ill or injured, we provide the medical attention and rehabilitation to help save their lives, if possible.

Spay and Neuter is an initiative within the program for animals admitted into the shelter to help assist our community in the reduction of overpopulation of homeless animals. Local organizations are referred to individuals for low-cost spay/neuter programs.

The Adoption Center strives to find a forever home for every adoptable cat and dog at the shelter. The objective is to use the skills and experiences of the trained staff to determine an animal’s temperament and behavior, and to find the best match with a potential adopter. Certain criteria for finding the right situation for animals and humans, is determined by an extensive adoption process.

Anti-Cruelty and Humane Education are offered to the public in our community through classroom visits, youth group programs, and civic group presentations. Our message that we communicate centers around responsible animal care, safe handling of pets, and compassion for all. Working closely with law enforcement agencies and animal welfare organizations to assist in the cruelty and neglect of animals, helps us further educate the public around laws governing animal care and cruelty.

Lost and Found Services assist in reuniting stray animals that are brought to the shelter with their respective owner. Animals that are not reclaimed after a certain time period will be placed in our adoption process.

HSSM is a local privately operated 501(c)(3) non-profit. We do not have any national or government affiliation. We do not receive any local, state, or national assistance and therefore, we rely on private donations.