Humane Law Enforcement


The Humane Officer Department at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society plays a critical role in addressing cruelty to animals in our community. 
The SFAHS Humane Officers work specifically in the communities that surround the Sioux Falls area. Any humane enforcement or need within the Sioux Falls city limits are handled by Sioux Falls City Animal Control.

Our Humane Law Enforcement Officers serve counties that surround Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Officers also assist authorities in other areas as requested. Officers respond to concerns about reported animal cruelty, as well as cases referred by other law enforcement agencies.
Our officers usually spend several hours a day out in the field, responding to calls. Their main daily task is to respond to potential situations of animals cruelty and educate the public on how to provide responsible care for their pets.

Issues our officers investigate include:
  • Domestic animals lacking necessary food, water or shelter as required by law.
  • Animal fighting and hoarding.
  • Physical abuse or chronic neglect.
  • Illegal shooting, trapping, poisoning, abandonment or torture or any domestic animal.
  • Denial of necessary medical attention.
  • Potential injury from tangled leashes, ropes or chains.
  • Animals left in unattended vehicles and subject to conditions that could adversely affect the animal's health or welfare.
  • Pet stores, petting zoos, boarding kennels, dog kennels, and other facilities that are not meeting the minimum standards of care as required by law.
  • Enforce animal ordinances in the surrounding communities.
  • Assist local law enforcement with animal-related problems.

It is required by law that the following must be provided for an animal:
  • Clean water
  • Proper food
  • Adequate shelter
  • Necessary medical care
Signs of animal abuse and neglect
  • Lack of grooming, such as overgrown nails or matted fur.
  • Bruises and scarring on the skin.
  • Basic needs are not met, such as lack of food, water, shelter or vet care.
  • Being kept in unsanitary conditions or extreme temperatures.
  • Malnourished or dehydrated appearance where bones are visible through fur.

We need your help to keep the animals in our communities safe.  The proper evidence and witnesses are required to successfully build a case for seizure and/or prosecution. The following information must be provided to officers.
  • Name, exact address and contact information of the animals' owner, if known
  • A brief but specific account of the facts and circumstances involved. Please do not report anything that is rumored or that you haven't actually seen happen.
  • Your name and daytime phone number. We may need to follow up with you to get more specific details. You may remain anonymous and citizen reports of abuse and neglect are kept confidential, but we will still need your contact information.

If you suspect an animal is being abused or neglected, please contact the proper animal officers: 
For livestock concerns, such as horses, cows, goats, pigs, etc., please contact the Animal Industry Board at 605-773-3321.
 605-367-7000 for Minnehaha County and McCook County,
605-764-5651  for Lincoln County and Turner County  
SFAHS Does not have jurisdiction inside Sioux Falls City Limits, you must report through your local law enforcement agency

To submit an online report for outside Sioux Falls City Limits click here: Report Animal Cruelty