Assess-a-Pet™Asses-a-Pet™, Sue's nationally known temperament test, offers shelters a set of procedures and responses in which to understand the behavior and future success for each dog in a home. Asses-a-Pet™ identifies congenial, family pets in animal shelters so that animal shelters will become the best places anyone can find their new dog.

People coming to an animal shelter are looking to adopt a safe, affectionate companion. Assess-a-Pet™ aims to keep adopters and their communities safer by matching families with safe pets that create permanent, loving relationships. A ripple effect is created by each successful adoption, and then the shelter gains a reputation of being the best place anyone can go find their next great dog.

Ultimately, the goal of making sure that no behaviorally adoptable dog will be euthanized in a shelter because he runs out of time, space, or money can be achieved.

Shelters can be stressful places for dogs The kennel environment serves an efficient function for housing large numbers of dogs for short periods of time, but functions as a veritable torture chamber for large numbers of dogs for long periods of time - which is happening in shelters all over the country.

Through temperament testing, shelter staff and volunteers can accommodate a dog's training and behavioral needs while the dogs are in their care. This means more humane animal sheltering and this means the dogs have a better chance for adoption since they appear to the public (because they are) more relaxed, happy, and calm while waiting for a chance to be adopted.

Assess-a-Pet™ helps keep shelter workers, who generally have little or no information about the dogs in their care, safer. Assess-a-Pet™ can help shelters meet the individual behavioral needs of dogs amidst the stress of the kennel environment, identify aggressive dogs BEFORE they prove themselves aggressive in someone's home, and help create compatible and lasting matches between shelter dogs and their families.


How it Works

  Assess-a-Pet™ is a method by which a shelter dog's temperament can be evaluated. The gentle, humane, 15 minute evaluation process takes specialized training to implement effectively. The method was developed over two decades of hands-on animal shelter work and dog behavior analysis, including experience in making decisions on safety, adoptability and euthanasia, matching dogs with new families, and surveying owners after "returns" for aggression in the new home.

The test has been honed and polished since 1993 at Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption; every exercise in the test, every nuance, has a purpose developed by hundreds of video taped hours of evaluating dogs, completing adoptions, and following up over the course of years.


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