Adoption Category Definitions

WAITING FOR A FUREVER HOME SINCE...
The date listed at the top of the profile is the date that animal became available for adoption, not the day they arrived at the shelter. 

SHELTER STAR
There is a cat shelter star and a dog shelter star. These pets are chosen as staff favorites that have been at the shelter for a longer period of time .  When they are adopted they will receive a special bag full of treats, toys and extra surprises! 

BREED
The breeds listed are either what was listed when the animal came in, or our best guess at what breeds they could potentially be. Since only a very small percentage of a dog's breed makes up their actual appearance, the actual breed of the dog may be different than what is assumed. Getting a DNA test for your dog is the best way to know their breeds for sure!

AGE
Ages listed are what has been told to us at the time of surrender and/or double-checked by our vet staff and kennel staff via teeth examinations to estimate approximate age based on the current development or stage of the animal's teeth.

INTAKE TYPE
Stray
A stray intake means this animal has come into the shelter via animal control, the SFAHS Humane Officers, someone in the community who found them, or through our night receiving area. This animal has been placed on a minimum of a 3-day waiting period for the animal's owner to come and claim them. The 3 days does not include Sunday inside Sioux Falls city limits. Some holidays may also affect this waiting period. This hold time is determined by your city office, not the SFAHS. If you have questions about this hold, please contact your city officials. If the animal is not claimed when the waiting period is over, the animal is signed over to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society adoption program and is evaluated by the trained staff. Dogs and cats will be fixed before they are available for adoption. The date listed on their profiles is the date they became available for adoption, not their intake date. For any questions, please see the front office during adoption.
Owner Surrender
An owner surrender intake means the animal has been brought to the shelter to be re-homed by their owner. There may be a variety of reasons the animal may have needed to be re-homed. We do our best to explain this reason, if we are able to, in their animal's story. For any questions, please see the front office during adoption.
Transfer From Another Shelter
A transfer from another shelter intake means the animals have been brought to the SFAHS to be re-homed from another rescue or shelter organization. This may be a local organization or from another part of the United States. Some transfers come from Southern states, because they had time limits in their former shelter, whereas the SFAHS does not have time limits for how long an animal is up for adoption. Other transfers may simply be easier to place in our community versus their original community. For any questions, please see the front office during adoption.

CHILDREN COMFORT LEVEL
All Kids
This pet is social and outgoing, and/or has done well with supervised children in a previous home. This pet doesn't seem easily spooked by loud noises and/or is comfortable with the handling of all types. As with all pets, children should be supervised while with pets, and we cannot guarantee the temperament of any animal.

5+
This pet is social and outgoing, and/or has done well with most supervised children in a previous home. This pet seems somewhat spooked by loud noises and/or is comfortable with most types of handling. 

7+
This pet is somewhat outgoing, and/or has done well with some supervised children in a previous home. This pet can be standoffish with younger children, somewhat spooked by loud noises and/or is uncomfortable with some types of handling. 
9+
This pet is standoffish with younger children, somewhat spooked by loud noises and/or is uncomfortable with some types of handling. This pet may be somewhat mouthy when playing or be listed at this age comfort level due to being unaware of their size and strength, which may cause injury to children unintentionally. Some dogs with higher age comfort levels may have food or toy guarding issues.
11+
This pet is standoffish with young children, spooked by loud noises and/or is uncomfortable with most types of invasive handling. This pet may be somewhat mouthy when playing or be listed at this age comfort level due to being unaware of their size and strength, which may cause injury to children unintentionally. Some dogs with higher age comfort levels may have food or toy guarding issues.
13+
This pet is uncomfortable with young children, spooked by loud noises and/or is uncomfortable with most types of invasive handling. This pet may be somewhat mouthy when playing or be listed at this age comfort level due to being unaware of their size and strength, which may cause injury to children unintentionally. Some dogs with higher age comfort levels may have food or toy guarding issues.
15+
This pet prefers the company of older children or adults. They may lack socialization with younger children, and/or are uncomfortable with most types of invasive handling. This pet may be somewhat mouthy when playing or be listed at this age comfort level due to being unaware of their size and strength, which may cause injury to children unintentionally. Some dogs with higher age comfort levels may have food or toy guarding issues.
No Kids
This pet has not done well with children in a previous home, exhibits signs of being nervous/spooked by loud noises, and/or is not comfortable with rough or invasive handling. This pet may also not feel comfortable with typical child behavior or curiosities. A larger dog may be listed as No Kids if they are unaware of their size and strength, which may cause injury to children unintentionally.  Some dogs with higher age comfort levels may have food or toy guarding issues.

As with all pets, children should be supervised while with pets, and we cannot guarantee the temperament of any animal.
DOG FRIENDLINESS
Likes Dogs
This pet may enjoy the company of dogs and generally displays friendly, outgoing behavior when introduced to a dog.
Tolerant
This pet might have avoided the dog or just didn’t engage, but didn’t show inappropriate behavior toward a dog in the past.
Selective
This pet’s behavior depends on the dog. Just like most of us, he/she doesn’t like everyone and may or may not warm up to the resident dog.
Prefers People
Pets in this category prefer people to dogs. They don’t react well when dogs come up in their faces, but they’re ok if the dog is just walking by. These pets likely prefer to be the only dog/have no dogs in the house.
No Dogs
This pet has not enjoyed or been comfortable around dogs it has been around in the past or does not play well with others. This pet cannot live with a dog and should not be included in dog playgroups or visits to a dog park.
Unknown
We do not have information on the history of this pet and how they were around dogs in the past or if they have ever lived with or met a dog.
If the pet you are looking at says "Only Small Dogs", "Only Large Dogs",  "Only Male Dogs", or "Only Female Dogs" this may be because of a previous living situation.  If you have any questions, please ask our front office staff.

CAT FRIENDLINESS
Likes Cats
This pet may enjoy the company of cats and generally displays friendly, outgoing behavior when introduced to a cat.

Tolerant
This pet might have avoided the cat or just didn’t engage, but didn’t show inappropriate behavior toward a cat in the past.
Selective
This pet’s behavior depends on the cat. Just like most of us, he/she doesn’t like everyone and may or may not warm up to the resident cat.
Prefers People
Pets in this category prefer people to cats. They don’t react well when cats come up in their faces, but they’re ok if the cat is just walking by. These pets likely prefer to be the only cat/have no cats in the house.
No Cats
This pet has not enjoyed or been comfortable around cats it has been around in the past or does not play well with others. This pet cannot live with a cat.
Unknown
We do not have information on the history of this pet and how they were around cats in the past or if they have ever lived with or met a cat.

STRANGER COMFORT LEVEL
Reserved
Pets who are reserved tend to be a little hesitant with unfamiliar people. Reserved pets are loving but require patience and will need a little time to warm up to anyone new, like visitors to your home.

Bashful
A bashful pet is a bit conflicted—shy but still seeking tender loving care. Bashful pets want attention; they’re just a little scared to ask for it, and as a result, may be a bit timid around strangers.
Neighborly
These pets have time for a quick hello for almost anyone, but they don’t demand attention. Neighborly pets can be easily distracted by their environment.
Outgoing
Outgoing pets are friendly and love attention. They seek and maintain human interaction.
Loves Everyone
This pet has never met a person he/she didn’t like and will likely approach ANYONE enthusiastically, quickly, and voluntarily.
 

PLAYFULNESS
Now and Then
This pet may want to play at your house, but during his/her behavior evaluation he/she did not play.  If you initiate playtime, this pet may not mind playing along for short periods of time.

Moderate
This pet loves to play for moderate periods of time, either on his/her own or with you. So make sure you have a few toys around the house to keep you and him/her entertained.
Party Animal
Party Animals are always looking for a toy or human to play with. This pet will initiate play and will require daily playtime. Party Animals may also seek inappropriate “entertainment” if they don’t feel like they are receiving enough playtime.

FENCE REQUIREMENT
Not Required
This dog hasn't shown any signs of being an escape artist at the shelter and may stick to the yard once they are familiar with their territory. This doesn't mean they won't wander if given the opportunity, so please make sure outdoor time is supervised. Placing your dog on a tie-out/tether is another option, but not a replacement for supervision outdoors.
Required
This dog may be proven to be an escape artist and having a secure fence will help keep this dog from wandering or roaming while keeping them safe. This dog may also not like other animals, so this keeps them from experiencing stress by seeing or interacting with other animals in their home environment.

EXERCISE LEVEL NEEDED
Coach Potato
Dogs who are Couch Potatoes prefer a soft bed or a cuddle over a long walk. If you're looking for a dog who has minimal exercise needs, this is your dog!

Low-Key
These dogs are content being with you for daily activities. They will also enjoy occasional playtime.
Moderate
These dogs enjoy moderate exercise a few times a week. So if you're looking for a dog who wouldn't mind an occasional jog around the block, then this is your type of dog.
Daily
Daily dogs are usually high energy. They would do best in a home that can provide them active and involved physical exercise every day.
Marathoner
These dogs have the energy to burn; Marathoners require daily exercise, and lots of it, to keep them physically and mentally healthy. If you're looking for a dog who wants to run the extra mile, then a Marathoner is the perfect dog for you.
 

TRAINING KNOWLEDGE
New to Training
To our knowledge, this dog has had no previous obedience training.
Needs Work
Dogs who need work may already know something, like “sit,” and these dogs are willing to learn more. If you’re looking for a dog who is off to a good start but could benefit from additional obedience classes, this is your kind of dog.
Basic Skills Known
These dogs already have a few “tricks” up their paws, and they like learning new skills. These dogs would enjoy taking additional training classes to keep their minds active.
High Achiever
These dogs want to impress because they know the basics plus a few more, and are excited to learn.

LEASH MANNERS
New to Leashes
This dog is on the go and is willing and able to pull you along if you can’t keep up. We also strongly encourage training classes to make sure this dog doesn’t end up walking you.

Needs Work
This dog will pull often while on a leash and will require additional training to help with the pulling. We may even suggest the proper collar, harness, or gentle leader use with this dog.
Pulls Sometimes
When this dog is on a leash he/she may stop and smell the roses (even if you don’t want to) but will be back at your side once the investigation is over.
Almost Never Pulls
This dog appears to have some leash training and will generally walk well on a leash.
Great Walking Companion
This dog walks well on a leash and generally does not pull. He/she takes his cues from you. If you’re looking for a great walking companion, then this is the dog for you!
Harness  or Gentle Leader Suggested
You may see this suggested alongside Needs Work as a training tool to help with any pulling this dog may do on the leash.

GROOMING
Low Maintenance
Short coat pets that require basic, minimal grooming, including a brushing, an occasional bath and nail trim.

Average Maintenance
May have a medium to long coat that will require a minimum of a weekly brushing, as well as the basic grooming of an occasional bath and nail trim.
High Maintenance
Pet with a longer coat, coarse or dense coat, or easily matted coat that will require professional grooming every 6-8 weeks, along with a minimum of a weekly brushing, and basic grooming and nail trims.

EXPERIENCE LEVEL 
Good for First Time Owner
An outgoing animal that has not shown any behavioral concerns while at the shelter or in their reported history. They would make a good starter pet for those who are new to pet ownership. 
Good for Experienced Owner
This pet may have existing behavioral or medical concerns or need a more involved owner to help them with their training needs. This pet is better for those who have previously owned a pet and may have a better idea of the commitment and resources this pet may need.
Breed Knowledge Preferred
This breed may have special needs or need a more involved owner based on the behavior traits or medical factors that are common to that specific breed. Those interested in this type of pet must have researched this breed and be able to answer basic questions. You must be aware there may be potential future costs because of breed-specific factors.
Breed Experience Required
This breed may have special needs or need a more involved owner based on the behavior traits or medical factors that are common to that specific breed. Those interested in this type of pet must have previously owned this breed or similar breed, and be able to answer basic questions. You must be aware there may be potential future costs because of breed-specific factors.