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« Breed Descrimination isn't just for city councils | Main | Special Cesar Millan "Inside Puppy Mills" Tonight »

May 08, 2009



Interesting. I'd hate to think a 5-10 minute test *regardless of the qualifications of the person administering it* would determine life or death for a dog. Obviously it's worse if the test is conducted by an unqualified person but even the best qualified behaviorist isn't going to be able to know a dog in 5-10 minutes IMO. I've never done or seen any testing done for shelter pets. But the tests we put puppies through are longer than a few minutes. And of course we have 8 weeks of individual experiences with the pups and years of experience with dogs to toss into the mix so it's not as if the temp test is the major determining factor on placement. To me, a fair evaluation of a shelter dog would include an exam by a qualified person which would be considered along with multiple other factors in determining the dog's ideal match.


Excellent points on cropping and docking even more reason to ban those activities.


Always an interesting topic and one of the loopholes in No Kill that surprises me - I know of a few organizations that claim to be No Kill but routinely execute dogs for relatively minor behavioral issues (A dog that hasn't had regular access to food for months displaying food aggression? Shocking!). Even dogs with some issues deserve a shot at adoption with full disclosure to a person prepared to handle those issues. There are those of us that love the hard cases. :)


There are not loopholes in No Kill - there are however, people flat out lying about being no kill. We have several in KC...they say they're no kill to bring in the $$s. Bottem line, you should be saving at least 90% of the animals coming thru the door to be No Kill - higher for rescues/shelters that get to pick what animals they actually take. I actually don't like people saying they're a "no kill rescue" - yeah, you take in a limited amount of animals and don't kill them.

I'm a no kill rescue - I haven't killed any of the dogs I foster. I don't expect any props for that...just silly. Its not about misleading titles to make people feel good its about SAVING ANIMALS!

And at the end of the day...if one shelter in a community saves 100% of their animals while the shelter down the street is needlessly killing; No Kill has not truly been reached for anyone (most importantly the animals) in that community!


I do want to add we have a couple cities in our Metro area whose completely inept AC (KCK, KCMO) depts are making achieving No Kill a TON harder. And that is in addition to BSL and anti-feral cat laws we have in various cities...

We also have a lot of people doing it right tho!


Brent- thanks for a great job on this post. I agree with other commentors that temperament testing on animals upon admittance to the shelter is an irresponsible practice. I would like to see our local shelters engaging in this practice be exposed. I have found that most people who adopt are not aware that this goes on. People have a right to know when they adopt what shelters are truly NO KILL and what shelters are being creative with this language.


I was a little confused about the comment about cropped ears "always being 'up and forward'" because I have several dogs with cropped ears and they have no trouble at all folding their ears back submissively - or for that matter of holding them in any other position: half mast, sideways, rotated, partially up, fully up, or REALLY up and tight and forward. They are tremendously expressive of all sorts of emotions, and much more easily readable (at least to humans) than the natural floppy Great Dane ear. And they certainly do NOT typically trigger distance-increasing or aggressive posturing from other dogs.

But the next few sentences cleared it up for me, when you mentioned possible reasons for cropping pit bulls. That is a very different crop, very short usually and probably pretty stiff. My Danes have extremely long crops, which would explain the difference.

I love this post!! I volunteer with a bully bread rescue group in st louis and am putting some information together on temp testing etc.
I am anxiously awaiting part 2 (didn't see it anywhere). Please post it soon, as I hopefully want to participate in the large fight bust here and then want to help train the rest of the group.

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