By Leah Vanden Bosch
Animal lovers have the opportunity to give the gift of shelter this holiday season, with the Humane Society caring for countless loving, domestic pets in need of a home.
The holiday season is a popular time for pet adoption, but the staff at the Humane Society stresses the importance in the animal’s owner being involved. Laverne Aventi, Sioux Falls Area Humane Society kennel manager, emphasizes the significance in adopting an animal. “We ask that owners please be sure they are ready to adopt. These animals will become a part of your family, but they require a lot of work. This is not a part time job.”
SFAHS front office supervisor Meghan McNeill added, “There might be an adjustment period for both yourselves and the animal as you get used to each other’s habits, quirks and schedules. Animals require a lot of time and dedication, sometimes as much as a child, so we want to make sure our adopting families have the time and patience needed.”
The nation’s most notable animal protection organization takes care in placing their animals in the right home. Its open admission policy provides the shelter with a selection of dogs, cats, rabbits, and other common household pets. Evaluations are done by adoption advisers, helping determine the best fit for a home. Existing household pets are taken into consideration, and adopting families are offered a 24 hour hold to confirm their decision.
Unlike adopting through a breeder or pet store, the animals available at the Humane Society often come spayed or neutered, with vaccinations started and included in the adoption fee.
“We have fantastic pets here that couldn’t be in their previous home for many reasons, very few by a fault of their own,” said Aventi. “Many are already trained, and the consistent interaction they have with the staff ensures you’re finding a loving, life long friend.”
In addition to supporting the Humane Society through adoption, the organization provides the opportunity to volunteer, allowing animal lovers to spend time walking dogs, socializing with cats, and assisting with laundry. The Humane Society requires participants to be 16 years of age or older, asking for a commitment of four hours volunteer time a month.
“Our volunteers are the backbone of the entire society,” emphasized Aventi. “We work with the most amazing and wonderful volunteers anyone could ask for. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”
The work the Humane Society is doing is life changing. As each location houses up to 200 animals at a time, they are saving the lives of thousands of animals each year.
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society and the Humane Society of the Black Hills are hosting a handful of fundraising events throughout December, including pet portraits, pub crawls, annual holiday events and a month-long Giving Tree. For more information on the specific location’s events, visit the SFAHS at sfhumanesociety.com, and the HSBH at hsbh.org.