SCRAPS Statement on Behavioral Assessments 

Spokane County and its Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) are committed to ensuring the highest standards of care and ethical treatment of animals at SCRAPS, while also protecting public safety. SCRAPS is the only Animal Protection Service charged with enforcing laws around animal control in our community.  

Due to SCRAPS’ charge as an Animal Protection Service, it routinely encounters and impounds dogs that bite or attack a person or another animal without provocation, are aggressive, physically threatening, or have severe behavioral concerns.  

In rare cases, after certification by a licensed veterinarian or behavioral specialist on staff, impounded dogs deemed to be an untreatable threat and thus a public safety risk may need to be humanely euthanized. To be clear, SCRAPS does not euthanize animals due to capacity issues.  Humane euthanasia is only employed as a last resort. SCRAPS has an above 93% placement rate for the animals in its care. 

When at capacity, SCRAPS does have to turn away strays who are not injured, sick, or dangerous. In those instances, we work to employ a community sheltering model, where we ask the finder to help care for the animal. 

SCRAPS recently enlisted the expertise of a nationally recognized group from the Shelter Playgroup Alliance, to train them on their Canine Assessment of Risk for Shelters (CARS) tool. CARS is the only published structured tool that supports risk assessment and is in accordance with our contractually obligated Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) guidelines. 

The purpose of having the CARS group visit was to review SCRAPS’ practices and procedures, train and educate our staff, including conducting behavioral assessments on dogs who may be an untreatable threat. There have been some members in the community who have expressed interest in seeing the results of the behavioral assessments performed. We have included a link to those assessments below. 

SCRAPS’ decisions are based on holistic data collection, including a comprehensive, individualized medical/behavioral case analysis. The CARS tool simply provides additional data that helps inform the SCRAPS team’s decisions about a dog’s pathway after it arrives at SCRAPS. 

Our primary focus remains animal welfare, public safety, enforcement, and compliance with all applicable laws. We remain committed to transparency and accountability in our decision-making and operations. SCRAPS is open to the public Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturday. We welcome anyone wishing to adopt an animal or wishing to see our policies in action to visit us.