Apply To Adopt


Anticipation. Excitement. And the feeling that comes from knowing you’re doing the right thing. They are all part of the adoption process.

Second chances happen every day at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. We help find homes for thousands of animals each year and there are no time or space limits for animals in our adoption program. We are dedicated to finding a lifelong home for every adoptable animal. We strive to provide a facilitative adoption process and create successful matches for adopters and the animals in our care.

By filling out the below adopter profiles for pre-screening, you are in no way obligated to adopt.
After your profiles have been emailed or turned into the front office, you will meet with an adopter counselor for approximately 10-15 minutes.
This is to help match up animals that you are looking at to who we have available that would be a good fit!
You will be able to access the adoption floor kennels after the profile review has been completed and approved.

See CURBSIDE ADOPTION on how to adopt during this time and for an application.

Adoption Policies
These policies are set forth by the SFAHS Board of Directors. If you have any questions, please contact our executive director.

 Potential Adopters…

  • Must be 18
  • Must provide a valid photo ID
  • Must provide proof of address (i.e. utility bill)
  • Landlord/Property Management Phone Number – We must speak with the landlord directly and cannot accept any brochures or paperwork about pet policies.
  • Must bring resident dogs to the shelter for staff-led dog introductions before any dog adoptions can be processed.
  • Can keep an approved pre-screened application on file for up to 30 days. If you are still looking after 30 days, give SFAHS a call to extend your application expiration date. 
  • Must have all resident animals in the home up-to-date on rabies vaccinations.
  • Must have all resident animals fixed, no matter the species you are looking to adopt.
  • May not adopt animals for another person.
  • Must spend a minimum of 20 minutes with an animal before any adoption will be processed. The 20 minutes must be completed before we stop adoptions for the evening (30 minutes before the closing hours listed).
  • Will be asked to leave the humane society property if they harass, threaten or harm any of the animals or staff.


  • Pre-screens all potential adopters before they have access to the adoption kennel rooms. SFAHS does not have open visitation. For more on this policy see this blog post.
  • Does not place holds or accept deposits to hold animals. The only exception is if a dog is waiting to complete a dog introduction the same day.
  • Adopts animals on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as it is a good match.
  • Completes all adoptions same day, so be prepared to take your new animal home with you the day you adopt.
  • Will only deny an application for a justified reason. If you feel your application was wrongly denied, you are more than welcome to contact our front office manager or executive director to discuss your application.
  • Has the right to refuse any adoption.

 If you fill out an application but don't find a new best friend that day, that's ok! We will keep your approved application on file for up to 30 days.

Adoption Process
Adoption can be an intimidating thing! Here is what will happen when you visit the SFAHS Adoption Center! You can expect to spend 60-90 minutes at the shelter minimum from arrival through adoption, especially on weekends and weekdays after 5pm, which are peak times at the shelter. 
  1. Arrival:  Adopters can view adoptable pets online or at the shelter after the pre-screen application has been completed. If you are planning on adopting, please bring a photo id and a completed adopter pre-screen. Dog adopters should also plan on introducing prospective pets to all family members, people, and dogs (the cats can stay at home). The SFAHS does not have open visitation.
  2. Pre-Screening: You will meet with an Adoption Counselor to get to know the pets you are considering adopting. If you are uncertain or having difficulty choosing a pet, our Adoption Counselors can make suggestions based on your application as to which kind of animal you may want to add to your home. 
    What to bring with you:
     - a photo ID with current address.
    - Proof of current address (ie. utility bill) if your ID isn't your current address
    - Renters,  please bring contact information for your landlord. We confirm their pet policies via phone.
        Brochures or lease papers will not be accepted. 
  3. Visiting the Animals:  Each kennel has a card that includes basic info and a little about them. A minimum of 20 minutes is the required get-to-know-you time. Keep in mind, we stop all adoptions 30 minutes before the listed closing hours. You must have spent the required 20 minutes with an animal before this. 
  4. Adopt: If you adopt are wanting to adopt a dog and have a resident dog, you will be required to do a staff-led dog intro at the shelter before the adoption will be completed. Once you have selected a pet, if it is a good match for both you and the animal, we will complete the adoption paperwork, provide a counseling session catered to your pet’s and family’s needs, and provide you with your new pet’s information. You can also find starter kits and fun things to purchase for your new pet in our retail area. Then you'll head home with your new pet the same day!
Didn't find a pet this time? No worries. Your approved application stays on file for 30 days from your last visit or call to the shelter. This means each time you stop within the next 30 days, you will not have to fill out paperwork again. Your application will be extended for another 30 days. If you aren't able to make it into the shelter but are still looking, just give us a call and we will keep your application active for another 30 days.

Dog Adoption Fees

Dog Adoption Fees Include:
  • Vaccinations: DA2PP & IntraNasal Bordatella
  • DeWorming with Strongid or Panacur
  • Nail Trim
  • Some Adoptions may include Rabies Vaccinations
  • Microchipping with National Registration
  • Flea Treatment with Frontline
  • Most Dogs Will Already be Spayed or Neutered
  • Free Owner Pet Guide and Coupons
  • Seven Day Medical Exchange Policy
  • Free General Health Exam at one of 87 participating Vet Offices in SD, IA, and MN
  • 30 Days FREE Shelter Care Pet Insurance (available only if you have an email address)

Cat Adoption Costs

Cat Adoption Fees Include:
  • Vaccinations: FVRCP
  • FeLV and FIV Screening
  • DeWorming with Strongid or Panacur
  • Nail Trim
  • Some Adoptions may include Rabies Vaccinations
  • Earmite & Flea Treatment with Revolution
  • Microchipping with National Registration
  • Most Cats Will Already Be Spayed or Neutered
  • Free Owner Pet Guide and Coupons
  • Seven Day Medical Exchange Policy
  • Free General Health Exam at one of 87 participating Vet Offices in SD, IA, and MN
  • 30 Days FREE Shelter Care Pet Insurance (available only if you have an email address)
  • Pet Carrier to get your furry friend home

Adoption Fees 
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society’s adoption fees are based on an animal’s species, age, breed, temperament, and physical condition. Some animals are more desired by adopting families: small breed dogs and puppies, purebred dogs and puppies, some purebred cats and kittens, etc. These animals may be designated as ambassador pets and their higher adoption fee will help to provide quality care for all the other animals at the SFAHS.

Adoption Programs

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society has several adoption programs designed to encourage successful matches.

Senior Pets Adoptions
Our senior pets program encourages the adoption of older companions by reducing the adoption fee of animals that are 6 years or older. Older pets make instant companions, most are already house-trained, and have grown out of pestering adolescent behaviors.

Benchwarmer Adoptions
Our Benchwarmer program is for animals that have been up for adoption for more than 60 days.  Their adoption fees are reduced after the 60 days. 

Bonded Buddies Adoptions 
Bonded Buddies Adoptions are for those animals that come to the shelter and are dependent on each other for emotional support. The adoption fees for these animals are one adoption fee for both animals. If a pair is bonded, they will be marked as such on the website and on their kennel.

Kitten Litter Mates Adoptions
If a family has chosen to take home two kittens from the same litter, one adoption fee of one of the kittens is reduced by 50%. Kittens must be of the same gender or already spayed/neutered. Adopting a pair of kittens is great not only because adopters save two lives instead of one, but because:

  • Some cats rely on and have formed lasting bonds with their housemate
  • Kittens are active and become bored (and troublesome) quickly; a fellow kitten gives them a constant playmate