General FAQ

Does SFAHS provide public vet services?
No, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is not able to provide public vet services.
Does SFAHS provide public spay/neuter services?
No, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is not able to provide public spay/neuter services. 
Does SFAHS offer microchipping?
Yes. Anyone in the public can come to the SFAHS Adoption Center to have their pet microchipped for just $20. No appointment is necessary to have your pet microchipped.

Every cat and dog that is adopted from the SFAHS is already microchipped.
Does SFAHS spay/neuter every single animal?
It is our goal to have every animal spayed or neutered before leaving the shelter. Currently, thanks to generous donation and our amazing vet staff, 90% of animals that leave the SFAHS are spayed or neutered before being adopted.
Why can't I visit the animals without paperwork?
Our visitation policy went into effect in April of 2016 and we have seen major improvements in behavior and health of the animals that are available for adoption, due to decreased traffic. While you may assume decreased traffic is bad, it actually is better for the animals and those who are interested in adopting to have the ability to better see an animal's personality, making a better match for adoption. Our volunteers help provide daily socialization and interaction with every animal.
Am I obligated to adopt if I fill out pre-screen paperwork?
No, you are not obligated to adopt by filling out the paperwork. We will keep your application active for 30 days from your most recent visit. Should you not find the animal you are looking for in your first visit, you are more than welcome to come back and look again. You will not have to fill out new paperwork if your next visit is within the next 30 days.
I just want to walk dogs or cuddle cats. Can I do that?
If you would like to help socialize the animals, read over the requirements of becoming a volunteer and consider applying! We are always accepting new volunteers.
When did SFAHS change its visitation policy?
Our current visitation policy went into effect April of 2016.
Why did SFAHS change its visitation policy?
It is our mission to provide a safe haven and human voice for all animals in need. This is the only place some of these animals have ever found a warm spot to sleep, food to eat and loving hands to care for them.
We want to be sure they know they are safe and can trust humans.

We are there when they come into the shelter and try to learn as much as we can about them. We treat them as our own pets and love them unconditionally. We are there on their first day, when they may be cowering and unsure of their surroundings. We are there when they finally start to come out of their shell. And we are there to see their wagging tails and purrs when they find forever homes.

Whether they are here 10 minutes or 10 months, we try to show these animals compassion and we do not ever euthanize any animals for space or time concerns.

Our visitation policy is an extension of our attempt to make this a safe haven for the animals in our care. Since we have implemented this policy, our animals are at the front of their cages, ready to spend time with those who are looking to adopt, instead of hiding in the back, overwhelmed by all the faces at their cage during the day.

We have seen no decrease in adoptions due to this policy, but have seen a decrease in animals needing time away to relax from the stress. We've also seen a decrease in sick animals and returns after adoption.
How do you become a volunteer?
1. VOLUNTEER APPLICATION. Volunteer applications can be found at the front desk in the lobby of the SFAHS. You must fill out the application thoughtfully and in its entirety to be considered. You must be at least 16, be able to commit to 4 hours a month for at least 6 months. We do not offer court-ordered or diversion program volunteering.

2. PROCESSING & APPROVAL. Your application will be submitted to the volunteer coordinator for processing and approval. If you are approved, you will be contacted to set up a time to attend a volunteer orientation. If you are not approved, you will be contacted as well.  If you have not heard back about your application after 2-3 weeks, please reach out to our volunteer coordinator.

3. ORIENTATION. After your application has been approved, you will need to attend a volunteer orientation before you are able to start volunteering. This will give you the opportunity to hear more about the shelter, the volunteer program, and expectations, as well as a tour of the facility. You may only attend orientation if your application has been approved.  You will receive your name badge and your volunteer punch-in number at orientation.

4. VOLUNTEER! Welcome to the SFAHS Volunteer Program! If you have any questions while you are volunteering, we are here to answer those for you. Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to staff and ask for help.
How do you become a foster?
1. FOSTER APPLICATION. Foster applications can be found at the front desk in the lobby of the SFAHS. You must fill out the application thoughtfully and in its entirety to be considered.

2. PROCESSING & APPROVAL. Your application will be submitted for processing and approval. If you are approved, you will be contacted. If you are not approved, you will be contacted as well.  If you have not heard back about your application after 2-3 weeks, please reach out. 

3. EMAIL LIST. After your application has been approved, you will be added to our foster email list. We also suggest you join our foster Facebook group, which you will be given the password to once approved. This is where we will reach out when we have a need for fosters. Our biggest need for fosters will be in spring and summer, but also ask for fosters in the fall and winter.
What is SFAHS Kids Club?
Be a part of the fun and learning at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society by becoming a member of our Kids Club! All children ages 5-11 are invited to join. You will get to participate in fun animal activities with our team of staff and volunteers. Regular playdates will be held so that you can meet the shelter’s staff and pets. Learn about animal safety, care and behavior and participate in fun craft projects and games!
How do I become a SFAHS Member?
To become a SFAHS member, please register here.
I want to visit with a school or other group. What do I do?
To schedule a tour or find out more, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (605) 338-4441
Is SFAHS a no-kill shelter?
Yes, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is an open admission shelter. We never euthanize any animals due to time restrictions, space or breed.  Because we are an open admission shelter and do not deny any animals, euthanasia is present at our shelter only to end the suffering of a sick animal or for animals that are declared vicious or unsafe for the public.
I need to surrender my pet. What do I do?
Please call 605-338-4441 to make an appointment.
To make sure we are prepared for your pet's arrival and have the proper space for your pet,
appointments are required for surrendering your pet.
You must be 18 years of age and present a valid photo ID.
If you have multiple animals to surrender, we ask for a maximum of 4 animals to be brought in at one time from a single family.
My pet is missing, what should I do?
Please see our Missing Pets page for steps on what to do. Make sure you fill out a Lost Report here.
What does a stray wait mean?
A stray wait is a hold that is placed on an animal that has come in as a stray animal. The length of the holds are determined by the city you live in, not by the humane society. 
After a stray wait has been completed, if no one has claimed the pet as their own, it is signed over to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society as an adoption candidate. 

A stray wait is NOT how long an animal will be held before being euthanized. The SFAHS is a no-kill shelter and will never euthanize an animal due to time restrictions, breed or length of stay.  If an animal does not meet our criteria for adoption, we may seek other alternatives including but not limited to transfer to another shelter or rescue, behavior modification intervention, and veterinary services. 
Where do I file a lost report?
You can file a lost report online HERE. You may also file a lost report by calling 605-338-4441.
Where do I go to pick up my lost/missing pet?
If you live INSIDE Sioux Falls City Limits, you will need to go to the City Annex building next to the humane society. The building is in the same parking lot as our adoption center. Follow the parking lot to the West. The building says "City Annex" on it. 

If you live OUTSIDE Sioux Falls City Limits, you will need to come to the adoption center first before going to the City Annex building to identify your pet.
I found a stray after the SFAHS was closed. What do I do?
If you have found a stray animal after we have closed for the evening, or before 11am, you may bring them to the SFAHS Night Receiving Area which is just West of our front doors. This is a secure area with kennels and access to food and water. Please fill out the paperwork located in the night receiving area so we can know as much as possible about the animal, making it easier for us to reunite the animal with their rightful owner. 
Why can't SFAHS release any information about pets that have been surrendered?
Every person who chooses to surrender their pets to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society signs a contract agreeing to sign over their legal right to their pet. That pet then becomes the legal property of the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. When that animal is adopted out, they become the legal pet of the person who adopted. Due to privacy laws, we cannot release any information after this contract is signed.
Why can't SFAHS release any information about pets that have been adopted?
When that animal is adopted out, they become the legal pet of the person who adopted. Due to privacy laws, we cannot release any information after this contract is signed. This is also for the confidentiality of the person who adopted the pet. 
Why can't SFAHS post photos on their social media of pets that come in as strays?

Animals that come in from inside the Sioux Falls city limits are the legal property of the Sioux Falls City Animal Control. While they are cared for by the SFAHS staff, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society has no legal ownership of them. Therefore, we cannot take photos and publicize them due to legal conflicts as well as privacy laws.

Animals that come in from outside the Sioux Falls city limits are the legal property of the SFAHS.  We cannot take photos and publicize them due to legal conflicts and privacy laws.

We also do not post photos of strays due to past occurrences of false claiming of pets.


If I found a pet can I keep it/adopt it?
If you are interested in adopting an animal you found, you must first bring it to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society so it can possibly be reunited with its rightful owner. You will be listed as an interested adopter. If no one claims the animal, you may proceed with adoption if your application is approved. Harboring a stray is illegal in the state of South Dakota.
I have an animal emergency who do I contact?

If you are having a veterinary emergency, please contact your personal vet, unless you are a SFAHS foster. Fosters please refer to your emergency numbers listed in your foster packet.  

If you have an animal emergency INSIDE Sioux Falls City limits please call City Animal Control at 605-367-7000.

If you have an animal emergency OUTSIDE Sioux Falls City limits please call SFAHS Humane Officers at 605-254-4058.


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