Update: Game of Thrones' star Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in the series, has spoken out about the increasing number of huskies being abandoned at shelters. Dinklage has partnered with PETA and is urging fans stop buying huskies just for their resemblance to direwolves. Here is his official statement on the matter:
“Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters, but shelters are also reporting that many of these huskies are being abandoned — as often happens when dogs are bought on impulse, without understanding their needs.”
“Please, please, if you’re going to bring a dog into your family, make sure that you’re prepared for such a tremendous responsibility and remember to always, always, adopt from a shelter.”
Watching the fates of the Starks' furry companions unfold on screen is disheartening enough, but hearing the #direwolf fascination has had a negative effect on the well-being of pets is truly devastating. It turns out many Game of Thrones fans view the wolves more like cool accessories than companions, which has led to an increase in buying wolf-like dog breeds and then promptly abandoning them at shelters.
A report coming out from the San Francisco Bay Area has revealed that the monthly intake of dogs at shelters has greatly increased - many of which are Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes, which closely resemble wolf breeds. Angelique Miller, president of Northern California Sled Dog Rescue, recently spoke about the adverse effect Game of Thrones is having on dogs:
"These people, they watch these shows and think how cool these dogs are. People can't even tell the difference between a husky and a wolf because they're always asking us at adoption fairs if these dogs are wolves — and it's clearly a husky. They're just following the trend of what they think is cute."
And if you want further proof that Game of Thrones is directly to blame, just look at the names of dogs being dropped off at the Bay Area Siberian Husky Club - #Nymeria, Ghost, Grey Wind, Summer, Lady - all names used for the show's direwolves.
Unfortunately, this is not the first reported rise in dog abandonment inspired by the show. An uptick in wolf-like breeds being dumped hit Britain a few years ago when Game of Thrones initially premiered. Similar events also occurred with husky breeds after the releases of Eight Below and Snow Dogs.
Huskies are bred as sled-dogs, so they are extremely active and require extra grooming because of their thick coats of fur. Like with any dog breed, potential owners should do massive amounts of research before committing to taking care of an animal. Rather than following a trend based on a TV show, these dogs need loving homes for the long-term. This is certainly not the kind of news we would like to hear regarding one of our favorite shows, but hopefully the trend slows down and the abandoned pups find suitable owners.
What do you think about this awful situation? Tell us in the comments below!