Our offices here at The Prophet were flooded with owls this morning when staff arrived to begin their day after an announcement was made by the Governors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The staff of Hogwarts and the Governors have apparently been working on expanding several school policies to be more inclusive, such as pet policies and dormitory assignments. The announcement sent to parents via owl post late yesterday afternoon stated there were several other policies updated and even some new policies that will be announced in the coming months after final adjustments have been made.
The owls we received from parents of Hogwarts students seem to have a common thought: that these policies will be more trouble than they are worth. Changing dormitory assignments is an easy adjustment as it is described by the Governors. Students will no longer stay in the same room their full seven years in the castle, but instead, there will be specific rooms for each grade level. Our source from the last Governors meeting stated the dorm rooms will offer different amenities than the standard dorm rooms’ four-poster beds and wardrobes.
Each dorm room will still have these basic items for each student, but as students progress through school, their personal storage space in the dormitories will be expanded. Bathrooms will also be larger and have more features for each ascending grade level. While we received a few complaints about the changes to the dorms, the main cord of discontent was in regards to the pet policy.
The official standard, when it came to pets in the castle, was that students would be allowed either a cat, an owl or a toad. Yet, many students ended up with more than one pet during their time at school, or with an animal that is not on the approved list, such as a ferret or a rat. Several of our staff members even stated that during their years at school, several students had dogs or exotic pets, such as snakes, lizards, and turtles. There were even reported cases of students having magical plants as pets in their dormitories.
These students were occasionally reprimanded, but during our investigations, it was discovered that cases of actual punishments were rarely ever filed within student disciplinary records. While the motivation behind the amendments to the pet policy have yet to be discovered, logic can be found in the frustration being displayed by many parents over the recent changes.
Per the official announcement, students will be allowed to have no more than 2 pets at the same time during their magical education. Students will have to send in a form registering their animals, and each animal will be required to have a tag, either on the animal itself or on the animal’s cage/tank. While dogs are still not on the official approved list of pets allowed in the castle, exotic pets have been given the all clear, as long as they are properly maintained. Free roaming animals, such as cats, will have to be spayed/neutered in order to stay in the castle. Students are discouraged from allowing their animals to venture out of the dormitory and common room areas.
It is suggested that identification cuffs are used for owls and other birds (a recent addition to the approved animals list) being kept as pets. Cats will need to have tags on their collars. All animals must be transported in cages, baskets, tanks or crates during arrival to and departure from school grounds, including breaks for Christmas and Easter holidays. Eeylops Owl Emporium of Diagon Alley and the Magical Menagerie have both already placed orders to aid students in the proper identification and care of their familiar companions and will have these items available for special pricing to all Hogwarts students before the start of the new term.
Any student found to have a pet that has not been properly registered with the school, or an animal that is not on the approved list will face disciplinary action and possibly have their animal removed from the school. Have the Governors added to the workload of the schools administration and staff with these new policies? How do you feel that they will affect the school as a whole? We want to know! Send us your owls today!