Personal Comment: The above article represents almost all that is wrong in present day animal adoptions.
Not only does the unwarranted and unearned sense of "entitlement" result in huge numbers of unqualified people demanding animals from shelters and rescue groups, but often those demands come with the expectation that the adopted animals should be "perfect" in both health and behavior. If not, then there is the option and threat to sue.
As detailed endlessly in this blog, all cats and dogs, when suddenly uprooted from one environment to another need time to adjust and learn to trust.
Granted, some animals adapt and adjust quicker than others, depending on the age, socialization status and past experiences.
But, for those cats and dogs who react or even scratch or bite when pushed too far, too soon, there should not be the option to sue the adoption organization.
Animals are not computers that we can "program" to act perfectly in every situation.
Nor, are they chemicals that we can "test" in a contained environment.
Even when sending dogs to special trainers or behaviorists for weeks or even months, that is not guarantee or predictor on how the same animals will behave when suddenly shifting to a new place with new people and new "energy."
In effort to try and avoid frivolous lawsuits like the one described in the article, many shelters and rescues now conduct so-called "Behavior Tests" mostly on dogs. But, how a dog behaves in the structured, controlled, but stressful environment of a shelter and how that same dog behaves in the unstructured, less controlled, less stressed environment of a home are often two different things. -- The same is true for cats.
Shelter dogs who fail to pass the so-called, "Temperament Tests" are usually destroyed as they are considered a possible "liability." This despite great profiles from former owners or even rave reviews from shelter volunteers and dog walkers.
Over the years, we have rescued perhaps hundreds of dogs who failed one part or another of the "behavior tests." In almost all cases, the behavior in the eventual adoptive home did not match the negative behavioral rating from the shelter. Many times adopters of these dogs have expressed disbelief and disdain that the dog could have been so wrongly "evaluated" in the shelter.
By contrast, there have been a few times when a dog with a good behavioral evaluation at the shelter later displayed problematic or even aggressive behavior (mostly towards other dogs).
In other words, the Behavior Tests conducted in shelters are mostly useless -- except from the standpoint of (hopefully) sparing the shelter (or rescue group) the misery and stress of later having to deal with unjustified lawsuits.
Instead of seeking more and better ways to "predict" or "mold" animal behavior, (and punishing by death, those animals who don't measure up to near perfection), animal organizations need to drum the message home to the public and the press that animal adoption is NOT a predictable science, but rather, an unpredictable action that entails some risk on the part of the adopter.
Just as every man or woman who enters the professional fields of shelter work, veterinary medicine, animal grooming or rescue has to realize and assume that there will be times when animals may bite or scratch, so too, must any adopter of a cat or dog assume the responsibility of risk.
The lawsuit described in the article, if successful, could have a devastating impact on offsite animal adoptions either in pet supply stores or other public locations.
It only takes one nut to make things miserable for everyone else.
On the other hand, animal organizations never should have misled the public into thinking animal adoptions are without risk in the first place.
They are not now and never will be. -- PCA