The staggering success of Game of Thrones has led to an alarming trend in the pet world.
GOT fans, coveting the HBO show’s direwolves, have been buying the closest animal they can find to the striking fictional canines: Huskies. This demand has led to an increase in the irresponsible breeding of this dog.
Worse yet, many of those who are buying these direwolf look-alikes are doing so on a whim and with little research. As a result, these devoted fans are dumping their newly bought huskies on the streets and in shelters after quickly figuring out how much work and responsibility a real-world dog can be.
In response, Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on the hit show, has teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to speak out against this dangerous trend. The long-time vegetarian, animal lover and dog dad recently released a statement urging his fans not to rush into pet ownership and to always adopt, not buy, when looking to add a furry member to their family.
“Please, to all of Game of Thrones‘ many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves’ huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies,” Dinklage said in a statement to PETA. “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.”
This is not the first time entertainment success has spelled problems for adoptable pets. According to PETA, the popularity of Legally Blonde, 101 Dalmatians and Men in Black has lead to similar surges in sales of a movie’s featured breed, followed by an alarming number of abandonments.