Florida Animal Shelter Ditches Breed Labels, Opting For Hogwarts Sorting Instead

An animal shelter in Orlando, Florida, has decided to stop labeling dogs by breed, opting instead to use a sorting system based off of the popular Harry Potter series.

In the Harry Potter stories, students attending the Howarts School of Magic are placed into various houses within the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry through the magic of the Sorting Hat. The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando decided to embrace the concept of the Sorting Hat for homeless dogs at their own facility – a system of sorting pups into certain “Pawgwart” houses based upon their behavior and personalities rather than their breed.

The shelter explained the thought process behind this novel (and fun!) concept:

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. To encourage people to adopt based on personality, we decided to highlight their individual behaviors and personalities.

According to the shelter, their “crack team of wizards and a few muggles” is able to sort dogs by personality by administering a test of sorts (a series of activities) to reveal where the dogs should be placed.

The shelter provided examples of how the sorting works:

A dog who takes to learning obedience cues or quickly figures out a puzzle has the KNOWLEDGE of a Ravenclaw. A small dog who has the determination to climb the agility A-Frame possesses the AMBITION of Slytherin house. Our affectionate happy-to-know-you dogs embody the FRIENDLINESS of a Hufflepuff and a dog who embraces change and new things has the BRAVERY known to all Gryffindors.

Curious which house of “Pawgwarts” your own dog might fit in? Take the shelter’s quiz! (Click here)

Find the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando on Facebook here.

(Images via Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando)

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at Examiner.com for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.