SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society is seeing more animals coming through its doors this year than last year so far.

That’s why the non-profit is returning to a pre-pandemic policy.

“For dogs, we are up significantly. We have not had this many dogs taken in in over ten years,” SFAHS executive director James Oppenheimer said.

An update to the adoption policy could help empty these kennels faster.

People no longer need to make an appointment to adopt an animal.

Pre-screened adopters can now browse the kennels instead of picking out an animal online to meet at the shelter.

“Watching them get adopted, it’s going to be really nice and opening up to the public too and talking to them and being able to finally say that, ‘Yes we’re open. Please come in, please come walk through,’ because that’s been one of the biggest things that people have asked us in the last few years,” SFAHS kennel lead Seth Brick said.

The policy went into effect Monday, and people are already taking advantage of it.

“I knew Monday that I would be able to come in and be able to check them all out,” Prospective adopter Adrianna Elliot said.

“It allows more people to get the dogs when they want to. Since the appointments were all booked this weekend we were like, ‘We would really just like to come now and get a dog.’ Now you can or can’t, which is really great,” prospective adopter Andrew Samuelsen said.

Up to four parties can browse dogs at a time.

The same goes for the cats.

While it’s a balancing act, the end goal is to find more forever homes for these animals.

“We see there’s going to be an increased stress on staff, increased stress on the animals, but an increased volume of adoptions, and we think it will be a net gain,” Oppenheimer said.

Potential adopters still have to be pre-screened.

You can fill it out online or in-person at the shelter.