Harry Potter Canine Padfoot Needs New Home


Remember the dog called Padfoot from the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?  He was the animagus — animal form — of the Sirius Black character, played by Gary Oldman.

Berry’s Story

The 10-year-old German shepherd that played Padfoot is named Shadowberry — Berry for short — and he is now homeless.  His former guardian, Paul Thompson, a stuntman and animal trainer contacted German Shepherd Dog Rescue (GSDR) when he realized his now extended work hours away from home were not allowing Berry and his canine sibling Porridge enough time for proper care.  Even with the help of friends and family, they were not able to get all the walks and brushings they required.

“I found myself spending a lot of time away from home,” Thompson said in The Sunday Express. “The dogs needed more attention than I could give. It was a difficult decision to make but one I had to accept was best for the dogs.”

Both Berry and Porridge — a German shepherd mix — are currently in a wonderful foster home with a loving foster mom and dad who are adorning them with attention. They also have two foster canine siblings and a cat to play with.

Berry wrote a first person, err… first dog account of his situation that is posted on the GSDR website.  It is quite charming; you will enjoy reading it!

There is a challenge with Berry being adopted.  He must be adopted together with his “best mate” Porridge.  Porridge has lived 13 years on earth and all 10 of Berry’s years have been with Porridge.

“Berry would probably be fine going into a home with other dogs as company but poor Porridge would be devastated to lose Berry,” Lizzy Brown, Area Co-Coordinator for GSDR told me in an email.  “His role is being Berry’s carer and protector.”


Photo credit: Brian Hewitt used with permission of GSDR

Photo of Berry (left) and Porridge by Brian Hewitt and used with permission of GSDR

About GSDR

GSDR is a U.K. based registered charity that has re-homed German shepherd dogs throughout England and Wales for the past 10 years.  Run with the help of numerous dedicated volunteers who give their time and money, GSDR is dedicated to the breed.

Brown also told me that GSDR will be weeding out prospective adoptive homes if the only reason they are interested in Berry and Porridge is because of their celebrity.  Porridge was a show business dog as well.  He played in less well-known venues like The Bill and the TV adaptation of Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth.  As with many aging human actors, roles are sparse for geriatric canines.

Brown tells me, “Their adoption is not the most important thing. Their welfare is and they have a place at their foster home forever if required.”

GSDR reports Berry and Porridge have been under their care since July 30 of this year.  They have adapted to their foster home, foster parents and siblings quite well. “Porridge is very wobbly bless him and is happy with a small potter a couple of times a day,” says Brown. “Berry however seems to have found a new zest for life and is trying to keep up with the foster home’s other two dogs when out walking.”

She also says they exhibit absolutely no behavior problems and they get along with “everything and everyone they meet.”  Brown says “They are absolutely fine and settled” in their new foster home.  “Berry especially loves the foster home’s other 2 dogs and cat and Porridge spends a lot of time looking after them all giving them morning face licks.”

It is good to know Berry and Porridge are with a reputable rescue group in a loving foster home.  GSDR is committed to finding the best forever home for them and will be thoroughly investigating each and every application.

The dedication of so many rescue groups throughout the world has certainly saved many lives that would have otherwise been put down for being homeless.  If you are considering — now or in the future — bringing a pet into your household, please check out the many rescue groups in your local area.  Just Google!

Have a look at GSDR’s other dogs up for adoption.


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Judith Howard
Judith Howard4 years ago

What beautiful dogs. They must never be separated and deserve to find loving guardians who will keep these 2 best friends together.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

"He played in less well-known venues like The Bill..."

No, "The Bill" is a very well known TV-show for most Europeans. But probably not for average Americans. Check it out at: www.thebill.com and learn something new.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin4 years ago

There are probably plenty of people willing to adopt these two adorable dogs, but I understand the need for GSDR to be careful in their decision. Those two dogs, Berry and Porridge, are really beautiful together! Thanks GSDR for all you do!

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S.4 years ago

Can't believe noone in England will take in these two beautiful shepards. If I were in England and had a yard for them to play in, I would certainly adopt them (unless they are charging a huge adoption fee). Almost identical black and white German Shepards: I'll say it again, I just can't believe noone in the entire country is willing to adopt such a cool pair.

Anna Borsey
Anna Borsey4 years ago

Heartbreaking. I have just read the write-up on the GSDR web site.

A great pity that the former human guardian did not invest the money he got by "hiring out" poor Berry as a canine actor seven or eight years ago.

The two dogs are obviously devoted to one another.

Sadly I am unable to adopt even one dog, let alone two, for various reasons I need not go into here.

Nia M.
Nia M.4 years ago

Make sure the dogs get good homes, they will adapt. But really, "I'm away from home alot..."

Carolina Amena
Carolina Amena4 years ago

I couldn´t live one day away from my children ( I don´t like the word pet). This is really sad. I hope they can stay together.

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Sorry, Stephanie, but that situation you've descibed is borderline animal abuse. Yes, I'd feel safer if my neighbor had large "pits" caged rather than free roaming, but that's not the point. Dogs need room to exercise and be just DOGS, breed not important. I am not a fan of "pitbulls" but they are still dogs and need room to run and just be dogs. That sounds cruel to me.

I guess I'm also wondering what the relevancy is to this topic? The owner of the dogs in this discussion, albeing a supposed "trainer" is coming across as treating them as property, vs. living animals with emotional needs. He shouldn't have ever taken them on as personal "property" in the first place.

Stephanie M.
Stephanie M.4 years ago

My next door neighbor keeps two large pits in a fairly small cage all day and I believe most of the night. I am not going to say anything because I feel safer with them caged being that I have three dogs and need no more vet bills. Just saying that folks do a lot of awful things to their animals including leaving them to starve to death because their house is foreclosed etc.
At least this man is looking for a good home and not leaving them to starve to death.

Ashley Cox
Ashley Cox4 years ago

thank you