Safer Assessment

SAFER Aggression Assessment

Halifax Humane Society utilizes the ASPCA SAFER® Program. This program is an aggression assessment designed to assess the probability of future aggression in dogs age six months and older. SAFER uses researched items that elicit responses that are predictive of future behavior. SAFER is intended to be one tool used to help identify the risk of future aggression and the individual behavioral support needed before adoption for each dog in a shelter.

SAFER's Benefits to Staff, Dogs, and Adopters

Shelters that employ the SAFER Aggression Assessment or other research-based behavior assessments report fewer aggression complaints, more adoptions, and better client interactions. Adoption counselors can more accurately communicate with adopters about what they should expect, and how to best manage a dog in their home.

Aggression Assessment is a Shelter Best Practice

A standardized scientific tool, such as the SAFER Assessment, enables shelters to back up their "gut feelings" about the dogs they place for adoption. The SAFER Assessment helps shelters:

Identify dogs that have the highest probability to be a safe choice for first-time dog adopters or families with small children or with other dogs

Determine which dogs will flourish when given some behavior modification for the behavior issues identified by the assessment

Follow a consistent assessment procedure when determining which dogs are most likely to be a danger to staff, volunteers, potential adopters, and the community at large

About the SAFER Assessment

ASPCA SAFER is a seven-item aggression assessment for dogs. SAFER is designed to assess the probability of future aggression in dogs age six months and older. The assessment uses researched items that elicit responses that are predictive of future behavior. SAFER is intended to be one tool used to help identify the risk of future aggression and the individual behavioral support needed before adoption for each dog in a shelter.


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