Let’s pretend you are traveling in a foreign country, a place where you do not speak the language at all. In your travels, you get separated from your travel buddies and are suddenly being arrested by the local police. Next thing you know, you are in a jail where you cannot speak to anyone and have no clue why you are there. You cannot ask anyone for help or ask why you are being kept there. And you have no idea how long you will be detained or if you will ever get out. How would you act? Would you be yourself? Would you shut down and become non-responsive? Would you act really tough so no one would try to hurt you?
I know for a fact that I would not be myself in this situation. So how can we expect a dog or cat to be themselves when dumped at the shelter? Cats shut down and dogs growl, but this is not their true nature. They are terrified and confused. They can smell the death coming from the back room and heaven knows what the other animals are communicating to them. So how can we expect any animal in this situation to “pass” a behavior test?
Hell, my Monty failed it. Twice. My foster cat, Lady Gray, failed one test and was on the fence with the second test. They said she was incredibly aggressive and unpredictable. Lady Gray literally was purring in my lap 30 minutes after being in my house and has not shown any aggressive behavior since. I’m not saying behavior tests are complete crap, I’m just saying no shelter – and I mean NO shelter – should make life and death decisions based on them.