Berry, the 10-year-old black German Shepherd that played Padfoot in the “Harry Potter” movies, is up for adoption, and the requests are streaming in, many from the U.S.
His owner, stuntman and trainer Paul Thompson, gave Berry to England’s German Shepherd Rescue in July along with a white 13-year-old German Shepherd named Porridge. The two dogs, who grew up together, must be adopted as a pair.
“[Berry] was given up for rescue because the gentleman couldn’t afford to keep him anymore and his companion,” said Jane O’Brien, who fields inquiries for German Shepherd Rescue. The two dogs were immediately put into a safe foster home but now need a permanent place to live.
On the organization’s website, Berry’s bio reads: “My Dad contacted German Shepherd Dog Rescue because he realized he didn’t have the time to look after us properly anymore. His work takes him away from home an awful lot and whilst his friends and family tried to help look after us, we weren’t getting the walks or brushes we were used to.”
“They’re very classy animals,” O’Brien said of Berry and his pal Porridge. “Very quiet, well-behaved.”
Ever since the U.K.’s Sunday Express first publicized the dogs’ plight, O’Brien said, “Berry has been offered so many homes it’s unbelievable.”
Lizzy Brown, one of the organization’s dog coordinators, estimates at least 100 people have offered to take the dogs so far, many of them from the United States.
But it’s more likely this pair will find a home in the U.K.
“At their age we wouldn’t consider shipping them overseas,” Brown said.
Both pooches have a condition called chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy, or CDRM, which makes it difficult for them to walk, but “Berry’s not nearly as bad,” said Brown. “He just needs to build his muscle up and lose some weight.”
O’Brien anticipates even more adoption offers on Monday after Berry and Porridge appear on the Alan Titchmarsh Show, a British daytime talk show.
“We will obviously vet every home that comes in, and hopefully, we will find a good home,” she said.
German Shepherd Rescue currently has 400 unpaid volunteers throughout the U.K., and at least 150 dogs looking for loving homes. Those interested in adopting can visit the website and fill out an adoption form.
For Berry, Porridge and all the German Shepherds available for adoption, there are a few criteria that must be met before the rescue agency approves the dog’s new family:
- The dogs may not live with children under 7 years old
- No apartments
- The dogs should not be in any situation where they are left for more than four hours on their own, because the breed is subject to anxiety
“People perceive [German Shepherds] to be quite vicious,” O’Brien said, but when they’re barking, “they’re often talking to you, telling what they want, thinking you understand them.”