Preparing to Adopt

We are so excited that you are ready for a new family member!  Please read the entirety of this page to make your adoption process smooth  &  easy! 

To Get Started: Fill out our Application to get Pre-screened! 
You must fill out our adoption application to become Pre-screened . You can either fill one out online , or stop in the SFAHS shelter for a walk-in paper application.  You must be pre-screened before visiting the animals at the Shelter . You can browse our available animals online without filling out an application. 

To make sure you are prepared for the pre-screening process, make sure you bring the following with you:
  • A photo ID showing your birth date (you must be 18 to adopt).
  • A piece of mail as proof of address. This can be a utility bill or other bill that shows your name and the address you currently live at. Personal mail cannot be considered as proof.
  • If you rent, bring your landlord's information.
    • If you live with parents, bring your parent's information.
    • If you live in school housing, bring the housing director's information
    • If you live in a mobile home park, bring your lot manager's information
We cannot accept brochures or lease copies that list pet policies; we must speak with the landlord /director/lot manager directly. 

Once Pre-Screened, you will be able to visit some of our available animals:
We highly recommend filling out your application online and getting set up with an appointment to make your adoption experience as smooth as possible. 
  • SFAHS prefers appointments to meet the animals , but will take walk-ins when able.    Walk-ins still need to be pre-screened before visiting animals. Pre-screening may not be able to be completed same-day if  we are fully booked with appointments or if there is an influx of applications
  •  You will be able to visit the animals that are a good match for your family! SFAHS adoption counselors will help match you. You can browse our available animals online, as long as it is a good match, you can meet those available animals during your appointment time. 
  • SFAHS asks that you spend at least 20 minutes meeting an animal.  This way the animal has a chance to get to know you! 
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.

Met an animal you want to make part of your family? 
  • As long as it is a good match you will be able to adopt the same day! Please let your Adoption Counselor know that you are ready. Your Counselor will get together the adoption paperwork and finalize the adoption! 
  • Keep in mind that if you have dogs at home we require a  staff-led dog introductions, done at the shelter,  before any dog adoptions can be processed.

Enjoy your new family member! 
If for any reason the adoption doesn't work out, it is required that the animal be returned to SFAHS. Give us a call for questions or concerns! 


Adoption is a really big and greatly rewarding experience. Second chances happen every day at the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. We want all adopters and their new pets to have a great adoption experience, and create successful matches for adopters and the animals in our care.

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.