Hedwig was plenty cute in the Harry Potter movies — but that doesn't mean you should keep your own snowy owl at home.
"I've just read a very disturbing story about owls kept as pets. Much like making Horcruxes, this practise belongs in fiction. Please don't," Rowling tweeted.
The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in the U.K. has a list of reasons why you don't want to keep an owl at home.
"Beautiful, majestic, and as awe-inspiring as they may be, in captivity they can be noisy, smelly and dirty and will need a lot of your time, care and attention," the sanctuary explains in its website. "They require a regular, specialist diet, and, in our opinion, to be kept properly, they need a large, purpose-built aviary, which can be expensive to build and maintain."
There's also the fact that owls are natural predators, the sanctuary points out. That means they could be dangerous animals to have around other pets as well as children.
This isn't the first time Rowling has spoken out against keeping owls as pets.
"If anybody has been influenced by my books to think an owl would be happiest shut in a small cage and kept in a house, I would like to take this opportunity to say as forcefully as I can, 'you are wrong,'" the author said in 2012. "The owls in Harry Potter books were never intended to portray the true behavior or preference of real owls. If your owl-mania seeks concrete expression, why not sponsor an owl at a bird sanctuary, where you can visit and know that you have secured him or her a happy, healthy life."
In 2012, U.K. owl sanctuaries saw an uptick in abandoned pet owls. At the time, sanctuary workers told U.K. news outlets that it was likely because Harry Potter fans wanted their own owls without realizing the level of commitment necessary to care for the animals.
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