There's A Harry Potter Themed Animal Shelter Called "Pawgwarts" And It's Better Than Any Hogwarts
The final Harry Potter book was released in 2007, but cultural fascination and appreciation of all things Potter forges strongly ahead. And what's possibly the only thing in the world better than Harry Potter? That's right: DOGS! Those two subjects are adorably combined at a Harry Potter themed animal shelter, called, wonderfully, Pawgwarts Shelter. Bringing some magic to these pets' lives is not only entertaining, but tremendously valuable to the animals.
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando came up with the idea for Pawgwarts in order to boost pet adoption. In the United States alone, 3.3 million dogs are placed in shelters every year, and despite the disturbingly high rates of homeless animals, 34% of all dog-buyers still purchase from breeders. The Pet Alliance knew they had to do something to help get the pooches in their care adopted. That's when staff members came up with the idea of sorting dogs in Harry Potter houses, just as Harry and his classmates were sorted when they arrived at Hogwarts. The results have not only generated publicity, they've generated a spike in adoption rates.
It Encourages Adoptions Based On Personality
This is Bambi in #Orlando! She was sorted as a #Gryffindor, which is pretty obvious by her daring wardrobe choice.... #HarryPotter #Hogwarts pic.twitter.com/0JyeFkIQTj— Pet Alliance Orlando (@petallianceGO) September 30, 2017
All too often, potential dog owners decide whether to adopt based almost entirely on a dog's looks. Sometimes, a prospective owner will get hung up on breed, buying into old stereotypes about certain dogs behaving in certain ways.
None of this is good for the dogs because, like people, they shouldn't be judged by their looks. By sorting dogs into houses, Pawgwarts puts the focus on the personality of the individual animal, giving future dog owners who visit the shelter a solid idea of the dog's character, temperament, and likes/dislikes.
The Houses Are The Same As They Are In Harry Potter
.@petallianceGO is sorting pets into #Pawgwarts houses. Griffindogs, raise your wands #HarryPotter #Hogwarts pic.twitter.com/m0I6ZpSCrA— FANDOM (@getFANDOM) November 5, 2017
Pawgwarts has based their houses on the ones featured in the Harry Potter books: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. They assign major personality traits to each of the four houses. Knowledge is a Ravenclaw trait, ambition a Slytherin one, courage is all Gryffindor, and friendliness gets you into Hufflepuff.
"We decided to show them for their individual behaviors and personalities," Pet Alliance explains.
All Dogs Are Sorted
This makes me want to say "Accio canis!" #Pawgwarts @WGXAnews #HarryPotter https://t.co/Z8NxedLLN4— Katie Thurber (@KatieWGXA) November 3, 2017
Every canine adoptee that enters Pet Alliance is sorted and given a house designation. "Our goal is to end breed discrimination and promote responsible ownership," said Stephen O'Neal, marketing manager for Pet Alliance. And it seems to be having an effect: their approach has started a national conversation about selecting a dog based on personality rather than breed.
There Is A System To Determine House Designation
It's time for our weekly #PR roundup ft. advent calendars from @Poundland, @petallianceGO's #Pawgwarts and @CAH saving America by @Kerry_Mcgreene https://t.co/qZWvnweuDb pic.twitter.com/l0B7eb1enQ— Branded3 (@Branded_3) November 17, 2017
Despite the fun and frivolity of sorting shelter dogs by Harry Potter house, there is a system in place to make sure the right dogs go to the right house. An assessment is conducted to gauge the dog's nature and behavior. Staff and volunteers also observe the dogs during daily interactions and play groups. By the time Pet Alliance has arrived at a designation, they have a pretty good idea of who the dog is and what they can offer a potential pet parent.
The Dogs Get Banners For Their Kennels
#Pawgwarts?https://t.co/iz3FmwWDEK@LevineonScene pic.twitter.com/t5B6o9Y3qz— 106.1 BLI (@1061BLI) October 25, 2017
Once the staff does the sorting and a dog is assigned a house, the pooch is given a banner with its house name that is then displayed in its kennel. This way, anyone who walks by the kennel can see right away not only what house the dog is in, but what their personality is like. It cuts through any preconceived notions or hesitations a prospective dog owner might have, and it helps gets the pups some attention and interest.
The Venture Was Announced In The Daily Prophet (Of Course)
We've introduced a new way to showcase our personable shelter dogs- inspired by #HarryPotter & #Hogwarts! https://t.co/d8PPX4DEEC pic.twitter.com/2MfeeAQHsh— Pet Alliance Orlando (@petallianceGO) September 29, 2017
Pet Alliance Orlando announced their exciting new sorting process in true Harry Potter fashion: with a full-page spread in the Daily Prophet.