A century-old safe haven

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A nonprofit in KELOLAND is celebrating a major milestone this month. 

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is marking its centennial with a week full of activities. 

The Humane Society was founded in 1910, but it became an organization in 1919, according to its website. 

Today, you’ll find the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society on the east side of the city on Benson Road. 

It opened there in the early 2000s. 

But before that, the shelter had been located at a few different spots over the years, the most recent one being near the penitentiary. 

Longtime volunteer Marti Fraser started working with the shelter before it moved to Benson Road. 

“It was chaos a lot, but it was still very rewarding. There was still a lot of work to do I think. And it was great, but we needed to move on,” Volunteer Marti Fraser said. 

And she took her passion with her. 

To this day, she’s still chipping in. 

“You like animals and you want to do something and be around them and involved with them,” Fraser 

Longtime volunteer and board member emeritus Lori Fossen has watched the changes too. 

“If I could’ve had a flash forward when I was a volunteer back when I started to what we have now I don’t think I would’ve believed it. It’s a completely different situation. It’s like night and day. This building is a miracle compared to what we had,” Volunteer and Board Member Emeritus Lori Fossen said. 

And more growth is planned. 

“We do need more space. Now that we’re doing spay and neuter–we’re fixing all the animals before they go out, so we do need more space here for the animals and the surgery program,” Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Executive Director Baade said. 

Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Executive Director Kori Baade hopes to launch a capital campaign for an expansion and remodel before the end of the year. 

“Obviously our city’s growing and the counties are growing leaps and bounds and we have to be able to prepare for those families that have more pets,” Baade said. 

Baade has been leading the shelter for 11 years.

But she’s seen the pictures dating back decades. 

“You look at them and you just wonder. You see the animal cages and see how much they’ve changed, just the caring of the animals has changed so much,” Baade said. 

And yet, some things stay the same. 

“The one thing that has stayed constant I think is how wonderful the people in this community are. That is something that I just have awe at because we can’t do this without them,” Baade said. 

There’s no telling what the next 100 years will bring, but Baade is sure of one thing. 

“Animals deserve to be housed in a place like this and I think there always has to be a place for them. Someone has to speak for them because they can’t speak for themselves,” Baade said. 

That’s why dedicated volunteers, including Fossen and Fraser, will be around as long as they can to help animals who need a forever home. 

“There needs to be an organization like the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society that’s going to step up and say, ‘Hey, that’s fine. Bring them. We’ll take them. You don’t have to give us an explanation. You don’t have to give us money. We’re here.’ And I think that’s important. That’s essential,” Fraser said. 

The centennial celebration starts on June 23rd and runs through the 30th. 

There are all sorts of activities planned including a micro chip clinic and a movie night. 

“Most of them are inexpensive or free to participate in, which was kind of the goal. Obviously we’re needing to fundraise as a nonprofit and that’s a huge part of what we do, but wanting to celebrate a hundred years and the community that has supported us for a hundred years,” Sioux Falls Area Humane Society Speical Events Coordinator Allison Kolander-Wyant said. 

You can look for updates on the celebration on the shelter’s website and Facebook page

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