By: Heather Lang

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A Florida animal shelter has started using magic to find their adoptable dogs good homes.

Yep, that’s right, magic! So, if you’re a Harry Potter fan looking to welcome a dog into your home, then you might want to Apparate over to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

There, you can find your Hogwarts house match.

On their blog, the shelter says they are no longer using breed labels to identify their dogs; instead, using a unique method, they want potential adopters to pick out their pup based on its personality.

The shelter says: “Scientific research has proven that visual identification of dog breeds is incorrect more than 70 percent of the time.”

Two years ago, the Arizona Animal Welfare League did the same thing, according to

Studies show that dog breeds with negative connotations spend more time in shelters waiting for an adopter than dog breeds with more positive reputations. BarkPost says a study by Arizona State University shows adoptable dogs labeled as “’pit bulls’ spent nearly three times as long in a shelter as dogs labeled” differently, for example Labs and Boxers.

“Preconceived notions” can be quite the deterrent, says BarkPost, in spite of a dog’s actual personality and characteristics.

So, instead of “Pit Bull” or “Bulldog” or “Sharpei” or “Beagle,” or any mix of those and more, many shelters around the country have started using other methods of labeling their adoptable dogs.

That brings us back to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando and what this all has to do with Harry Potter. They are using the beloved boy wizard and his world-famous school to try to “Obliviate” all those preconceived notions about dogs and their breeds in a new way.

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando has starting sorting their dogs into the Hogwarts’ houses made famous in the Harry Potter books. But, for those unfamiliar, Harry and his friends (and enemies) attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the school, the students are sorted into one of four houses upon arrival for their first of seven years at school.

There’s Salazar Slytherin’s house – students known for their ambitious and cunning minds, Rowena Ravenclaw’s house prizes wit and intelligence, Helga Hufflepuff’s house accepts students who are friendly and loyal, and finally Harry’s own house – the house of Godric Gryffindor wants students who are brave and determined.

So, at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, a dog that shows intelligence by learning a new trick quickly will go into Ravenclaw. A happy dog that shows friendliness and affection goes to Hufflepuff, a pup not intimidated by new situations has the bravery of a Gryffindor, and dogs cunning enough to figure out agility obstacles possess the qualities of a Slytherin. And so on and so forth.

Using this method, potential pet owners can pick a dog based on personality attributes and specific qualities, rather than judge a dog on some preconception that may not describe them at all.

But if you don’t live in the Orlando area, the shelter has a Pawgwarts quiz posted on their website, so, if you already have a pooch, you can figure out which house they’d belong in.

Check it out at this link.

No Sorting Hat required!

Stay tuned animal lovers for more Furry Tails! You can follow me on Twitter at @HeatherLang24