Choosing what kind of dog to adopt can present a challenge. Many will do extensive research on breeds based on family dynamics and household needs.
Which is why, in 2017, the organization got more than a little creative with the way they presented their dogs that were up for adoption.
“We have to get people to think about what they really want in a dog, what really fits with their lives — instead of having them just walk in and say, ‘I want a golden retriever puppy,'” the executive director of the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, Stephen Bardy, told the Orlando Sentinel at the time.
There’s no denying golden retrievers and certain other breeds are quite popular but other dogs deserve a fighting chance too, don’t they?
Enter the world of “Pawgwarts ” — a fun program the Pet Alliance decided to initiate in the hopes that potential pet parents would see dogs that are normally overlooked with new eyes.
Playing on the Hogwarts houses from “Harry Potter,” at “Pawgwarts” you can learn about dogs based on their personalities rather than their looks.
Forget hogwash terms like “muggle-born” and “pure-blood” — Potter fans can choose their new pup from one of four respective “doghouses” — “Slobberin,” “Ravenpaw,” “Gryffindog” and, my personal favorite, “Hufflefluff.”
“To encourage people to adopt based on personality, we are highlighting their individual personalities which are aligned to behaviors most prominent for their ‘doghouse,'” the Pet Alliance website states.
“Our team created a series of activities to allow a dog to be assigned by personality. Each dog house has assigned core traits that are listed for adopters.”
Maybe you long for a smart dog, in which case a “Ravenpaw” will be your best bet. Or perhaps you’re more of a cuddler and “Hufflefluff” will be the pet for you.
Of course, those who are a bit more adventurous may turn to “Gryffindog” for their new best friend. And if it’s ambition you’re after, you know it had better be “Slobberin.”
“You may be curious as to why we have introduced our ‘doghouses,'” the website says. “It is simple. Scientific research has proven that visual identification of dog breeds is incorrect more than 70% of the time. We joined many progressive shelters around the country and removed breed labels from our shelters.”
In just one month’s time, the program saw a significant 15% increase in adoptions with more than 100,000 people having taken the “Pet Alliance Pawgwarts Quiz” within that time frame.
“The idea for Pawgwarts came about from the need for people to see our dogs, based on their behavior and personality, rather than appearance,” Pet Alliance shared with Love What Matters.
“With 1,800 dogs surrendered based on breed-related restrictions, we want to transform the way people view a dog, when thinking about adoption. To do that, we’ve launched a three step process.”
“We hope that people will be inspired to create programs such as the Pet Apartment Registry or Pawgwarts to help end breed discrimination and get more dogs into loving, forever homes,” the post continued.
And two years later the program is still going strong.
“We have continued to utilize Pawgwarts since its inception in October 2017,” Bardy told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal. “It has been a wonderful manner to showcase our [dogs’] personalities. We have maintained a consistently high adoption rate.”
What house might your potential pet belong in? You won’t find a “sorting hat” on these dogs and they won’t be able to produce a “patronus,” but you may just find your new best friend in the halls of “Pawgwarts.”
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