German Shepherd
Berry, the black German Shepherd that played Padfoot in a Harry Potter movie, has been turned over to an animal shelter in the U.K. Image: Flickr / pictureclara / CC-BY

For animal actors, just like human actors, appearing in a starring role does not necessarily mean they are set for life. For one German Shepherd, a former Harry Potter actor, stardom didn’t prevent him from being dropped off at an animal shelter.

Harry Potter dog homeless

Berry is a 10-year old German Shepherd who played Padfoot in “Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban.” Paul Thompson, a stuntman, owned and managed both Berry and Porridge, a 13-year-old companion for the canine actor. After deciding that he simply no longer had the time to care for the animals, Thompson dropped them off at the German Shepherd Dog Rescue charity. As of right now, neither of the two dogs, who would be best adopted together, have been adopted out to a new home.

The story of Rin Tin Tin

The story of Berry is coming to light at the same time as the story of another famous animal actor is being published. A biography of Rin Tin Tin, the 1920s and 1930s German Shepherd star of film, came out this week. The story is one that covers World War I and the fledgling film industry. When Rin Tin Tin passed away, the story was covered in news breaks and every major magazine. Rin Tin Tin was not the first animal actor, but he was one of the first major animal actor stars.

Animal actors in modern film

The American Humane Association supervises more than 2,000 film and television productions each year to ensure the safety and health of animal actors involved. For many movie producers, animal actors are often found in shelters. Many of the most famous animal actors end up living out their retirement in shelters or homes. Many animal actors who are not famous end up in shelters or living with their former handlers. For Berry the German Shepherd, if no one adopts him, he will live out his retirement at the German Shepherd Dog Rescue, which is a no-kill shelter.

Sources

Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0927/Rin-Tin-Tin-Life-of-canine-star-an-engrossing-tale
American Humane Association: http://www.americanhumane.org/animals/programs/no-animals-were-harmed/
MyFox Detroit: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/dpps/entertainment/%27harry-potter%27-dog-left-homeless-dpgonc-km-20110925_15189188
Fido Friendly: http://archive-blog.fidofriendly.com/hot-topic/animal-actors-where-are-they-now/

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