Preparing to Adopt

Adoption is a really big commitment, that is greatly rewarding. Second chances happen every day at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. We help find homes for thousands of animals each year, thanks to help for adopters and donors! We want all adopters and their new pets to have a great adoption experience. Please consider these factors before adopting.

Other Household Members

  • Other members of your household should meet the pet you are considering before adoption, and approve of you bringing a new pet home. You should also consider:
  • Allergies
  • Fear or discomfort associated with animals
  • Expectations in sharing pet care responsibilities
Landlord approval
If you rent your apartment, townhome or single family home, you will need to check with your landlord before adopting to be sure you are allowed to have a pet and can afford any required pet deposits. Ask your landlord about any breed or size restrictions for pets as well. Pets are sometimes returned because of lease restrictions and/or landlord disapproval. This can be an expensive lesson as adoption fees are non-refundable. Plus, being returned to the shelter can be a stressful experience for the animal. 
The adoption counselors will need the contact information for your landlord that matches information we may already have for them and need to speak with them before you are able to complete an adoption. Bringing in a brochure or lease agreement does not suffice.


Consider the initial and on-going costs of a new pet. These costs may include:
  • Adoption Fees
  • Food
  • Grooming
  • Obedience Training
  • Pet Supplies
  • Licensing
  • Veterinary Care. These costs can easily amount to $400 or more within the first few weeks of adoption.
  • Any Boarding
Other Pets
SFAHS recommends you do not immediately expose your existing pets to a new pet in the home. Consider how you will manage an isolation period and be sure that all existing pets are up-to-date on vaccinations and other routine health care before bringing a new pet home.
If you adopt a dog and have a dog, you will be required to do a dog introduction, led by SFAHS staff, at the shelter before the adoption will be completed. Any other pet introductions will be done by you in your own home. View suggestions here on positive pet-to-pet introductions.
Not all pets are instant friends and may require temporary or intermittent separation to ensure a smooth transition. Some pets are happy to share their home within a week or two, others may take a month or longer to adjust. Consider this commitment before bringing home a new pet, as we see too often returns come in within a day or two, because they were not getting along with the other pet. It will take time.

Time Commitment
All dogs and cats making the transition into a new home will need time to adjust to a new family and may require housetraining and behavior training to correct any issues. If you aren't prepared to invest time into teaching your new pet appropriate behavior and helping the animal adjust, you should not adopt a pet. Positive reinforcement-based training is recommended, and you can see suggestions here on how to use this in your home. Dogs and cats may live 12 to 15 years or more, and providing them with basic needs, medical care, and loving attention is important until the very end. Your thoughtful consideration, preparation, and commitment will help ensure a happy home for your new pet. 

Pet Supplies
Before bringing your dog, cat or critter home, make sure you have the supplies to properly care for the newest member of your household. From toys and leashes to treats and litter pans, our retail area has merchandise available for purchase.