The "SAFER" test as currently conducted at our city animal shelters attempts to "predict" a dog's behavior in a home according to the way the animal "reacts" to various stressors performed on him or her when newly arriving in the unnatural environment of an overcrowded, municipal shelter. These include pinching the dog's feet and sides, forced engagement in so-called "tag" game (which can frighten some dogs not familiar with the activity), shoving a plastic hand in the dog's face while the animal attempts to eat and a forced, unnatural encounter with another ("tester") dog.
One of the reasons cited by the ASPCA for yesterday's destruction of Oreo, (the young, horribly abused Pitbull thrown from a rooftop last January) was that she charged when the plastic hand was dangled in front of her face.
In a show of incredible arrogance and callousness, the ASPCA refused to allow Oreo, to go to Pets Alive (which offered to take Oreo and keep her for life if "unadoptable") -- or any of the other reputable and potential rescue opportunities.
If the ASPCA had some bone to pick with Pets Alive, one needs to ask if they attempted to contact Best Friends in Utah ("Dogtown") that ONLY takes medical or behavior cases from other shelters or even Cesar Millan?
The ASPCA's seeming lack of empathy for Oreo -- a dog who in her short life, never knew a happy day -- is also something to be seriously questioned.
Not only was this dog beaten and thrown off a roof by her former "owner," but then had to undergo painful surgeries, daily stress and long term confinement in a cage at the ASPCA.
Where was the concern for this dog's SUFFERING over most of her life? Did the ASPCA seriously expect Oreo to act like Lassie or to pass her SAFER tests with flying colors under these extremely adverse and unnatural circumstances?
Where was the ASPCA's appreciation and concern for all the thousands of dollars in donations that were sent for this dog's care and ultimate placement? Would hard working people generously donate to an organization that apparently decided to kill Oreo months ago? What was the point in putting Oreo through so much oppression and suffering only to kill her in the end?
Indeed, the ASPCA merely completed (slowly and torturously) the "job" that Henderson (Oreo's psychotic owner) started.
And while Henderson will most likely walk free after a ("community service?") slap on the wrist, it is his victim who is, instead, labeled, "aggressive," unworthy to be in society and ultimately executed.
Something is wrong in that picture.
The ASPCA needs to held accountable for this one.
It is not just the blood of Oreo on the ASPCA's hands, it is the blood of untold thousands.of animals -- Especially when once considers the ASPCA's abysmal record of killing when running Animal Control in New York City, as well as its development of so-called "SAFER" ("temperament") tests (now used to condemn thousands of dogs) and finally, its blatant lies in promising a "No Kill" New York City. --PCA