Underdogs to Super Dogs

Underdogs to Super Dogs
These programs give underdogs the chance to become great pets and sometimes even service dogs!
This gives them a purpose, a home and a new chance at life.

Big Paws & Service Dogs
SFAHS has partnered with Big Paws Canine to find adoptable dogs who have that extra something. That extra drive to be more than just a loved pet. With the help of this program, dogs who show the potential for greatness are taken under the wing of Big Paws and trained to become service dogs!

The dogs in this program go through intensive training to help with various tasks that those who need a service animal may require. After the dogs have shown progress and ability to complete the program, they are paired up with veterans who are waiting for their new best friend. They complete the rest of the program together, at the time of graduation from the program, they are bonded and best friends forever.


  Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee is one of the most recent success stories of this program. Bruce Lee had a ton of energy and would get into trouble when he was left alone simply; he was just too smart to be an average dog. After completing his training with the help of Big Paws Canine he is now paired with a veteran and is a trained service dog!
One of the success stories of this new program is Jackson! Jackson was a wild and crazy man when he first arrived at the shelter, but we saw the potential in him to do something great. He was wild and crazy because he was bored! He needed a job, and with the help of Big Paws Canine training he is now paired with a veteran and is a trained service dog! 

Casper has been a long-time success of the shelter and a long-time friend. Casper came to the shelter shy and scared, but the potential was there. She was trained and successfully graduated as a service dog. Whenever she comes to visit, she receives lots of love! Casper was paired with a veteran and has been a tremendous help with her everyday activities and they are inseparable.

Paroled Pups Program

SFAHS has partnered with the South Dakota Penitentiary to create this program, to help dogs with behavioral issues get more individualized attention than they would receive at the shelter.

The most common reason for enrollment in this program is that a dog has not been taught any manners in its previous home. Sometimes a dog just ends up staying at the shelter for a long period of time without getting adopted. They may be unruly, but in order to deter kennel craze, the dog will be enrolled in the program because we do not have a time limit on how long we will keep an animal. In rare instances, a dog will go to the program to learn socialization skills. These are dogs that come to the shelter frightened and appear that they haven’t had much social contact outside of their previous owners.

The dogs in this training program are trained by men at the Penitentiary. Each dog is placed into a daily regiment to help correct their behavioral issues. Some of the issues are as simple as jumping on people, others have no social skills
and will require individual attention given by the dog handler.

The training process uses positive reinforcement. Trainers use consistent verbal and non-verbal cues for the better comprehension by the animal.

Both two-legged and four-legged participants benefit. The men learn to train dogs through a routine of consistency and compassion. The dogs receive much-needed attention, training, and socialization making them more adoptable pets.

Once the dog receives the training and has a good report card, the dog will show available on the website by appointment.

If you are interested in a dog that is available you will need to fill out an application and e-mail it to humaneofficer@sfhumanesociety.com. After your application is reviewed you will receive a call or e-mail to set up an appointment to meet the dog and find out if the pet would be a good fit for your family.

How Can I Help?

Donations are always needed and welcomed! Below are the highest needs for this program specifically.
if you wish to make a monetary or general donation, please see the Donation Page

Highest Needed Items
- Nutrisource Dog Food
- Interactive Dog Toys. The more indestructible the better!

3720 E Benson Rd, Sioux Falls, SD 57104

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