Pet Guardianship Program

At the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society, we know that pets are not merely animal companions; they are members of the family. Provisions for your pets should be included in your will or living trust, just like you would if you were to appoint a guardian to take care of your children.

We know that it is not always possible to make private arrangements with family members or friends to care for your pets, and we want you to know that you may designate, through your will or trust, that your animals be entrusted to the care of the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society.

Because of the generous support of donors, like you, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society does not euthanize healthy or treatable animals. We take great pride in placing every adoptable animal left in our care. With every pet, the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society considers what is best for the animals. Animals surrendered to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society are evaluated based on health, temperament, and personality. If the animal meets the criteria for adoption or we are able to treat health issues or address behavior concerns, the animal will be placed for adoption and there is no time limit. If an animal does not meet our criteria for adoption, we may seek other alternatives including but not limited to transfer to another shelter, behavior modification intervention, and veterinary services. If a safe and humane solution can’t be reached, the animal may be humanely euthanized. We offer you our promise that we will do the very best we can to care for your pets as if they were our own.

How to Enroll
  1. Have an estate planning attorney draw up a will or trust for you. Provide your attorney with the information on this page. A brochure can be provided upon request as well. We also can provide a list of attorneys who are certified specialists in estate planning for your convenience. 
  2. Have your attorney name family members or friends to take your animals upon your permanent incapacity or passing. If none are available, you may list the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society.
  3. The following is a sample provision for a will or trust concerning a pet: I give any pet(s) that I may own at the time of my death to (family member or friend name). If he/she is unable to provide for my pet(s), I give my pet(s) to (family member or friend name). If he/she is unable to provide for my pet(s), I give my pet(s) to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. I authorize the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society to evaluate my pet(s) and determine in its exclusive judgment whether the animal is in a condition to be healthy and treatable. I authorize the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society to place my pet(s) in a loving home.
  4. If you are so willing and able, name the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society as a beneficiary of your will, trust, life insurance or retirement accounts in any amount and provide a copy of the pertinent pages to the Executive Director. A legacy gift ensures the future for all homeless pets.
  5. Create a pet biography of each of your animals. The information you supply will help the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society provide your pet(s) with the best possible new home. Keep this information updated as your pet grows older. Keep a copy of this biography with your will and trust and inform your executor or trustee of the program.

Restrictions

Please note that this program is for dogs, cat and small animals only, and is limited to four animals per family. More may be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
For questions, please contact our Executive Director.


Charitable Status

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society meets the requirements of Section 2055(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, and further is a tax-exempt organization pursuant to Section 501(c)(3). All contributions to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.