Hogwarts for animals: Harry Potter shelter sorts rescue dogs into school houses

JK Rowling: Expert on reaction to Harry Potter getting published

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Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, based in Florida, USA, decided to recreate the famous Sorting Hat scene from the books and film series calling it ‘Pawgarts’. Volunteers at the shelter decide which dogs aged six months and older, best suit the characteristics described by author J.K. Rowling.

The idea is to help match potential pet adopters with what characteristics they would like in their ideal four-legged friend rather than their breed.

Dogs who are considered brave, daring and show courage and chivalry are placed into ‘Gryffindogs’, named after the main character’s house, Gryffindor.

Meanwhile ‘Hufflefluff’, or Hufflepuff to Harry Potter fans, is for pups who show that they are patient, loyal, hardworking and dedicated.

‘Ravenpaw’ otherwise known as Ravenclaw, welcomes those who have smart, creative and witty traits.

Finally, ‘Slobberin’, where Harry’s school nemesis Draco Malfoy is sorted into Slytherin, is for dogs who are leaders, ambitious, cunning and resourceful.

Several photos of rescue dogs waiting for their forever homes who have had their Hogwarts house determined have been shared, sporting their wizard scarves.

Although the fun idea has proven to be a success in drawing up requests from people wanting to visit the animal shelter, it still carries a serious message.

Executive of Pet Alliance Orlando Stephen Bardy who came up with the initiative, told Cosmopolitan UK: “We felt strongly that the way children were sorted in the novels upon entering Hogwarts would be the perfect complement to our canine friends.

“We want people to start choosing companion dogs based on their lifestyles. Do they run marathons or binge watch Netflix? Is theirs a quiet home or a bustling one?

“And what do they see themselves doing with their new dog? From there we can find them their match.”

Breed discrimination has become more of a primary reason why some people give their dogs up or even abandon them based on their looks.

The shelter is on a mission to help change perspectives of canines that often receive a bad reputation such as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Rottweilers.

Since launching the Potter-themed idea, several other animal charities and rescue homes have also embraced the Sorting Hat ceremony to showcase their fluffy residents.

Dog adoptions in the UK have seen a sharp increase following the start of lockdown in March 2020.

Watford was recently named as the area with the highest number of online searches and visits to animal rescue websites.

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