We have some pretty negative and frustrating Game of Thrones news, but it has nothing to do with the plot, the cast or the script. Ever since the popular fantasy/drama HBO series premiered in 2011, there has been a spike in people buying wolf-like dog breeds like Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes. Unfortunately, these same people decide to abandon them in shelters when they realize just how much work it is owning a dog.
The reason for the wolf-inspired adoptions and purchases is because the breeds resemble the Stark family's pet direwolves in the series, which are twice the size of regular wolves and fiercely loyal to their owners because of their magical bonds. Only, unlike the Stark siblings, these owners are abandoning their Grey Winds, Ghosts and Nymerias in shelters across the San Francisco Bay Area.
In a new article on sfist, Angelique Miller, president of the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue, discussed the growing problem resulting in her seeing 45 new dogs per month, which has doubled from the normal. Here is what she said about the disturbing trend:
"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."
She also said that in the past there have been spikes in dig adoptions connected to movie releases like Snow Dogs and Eight Below, but the major influence on people's pet purchases is now Game of Thrones - with dogs being abandoned because they require a lot of attention - mainly large amounts of exercising and grooming.
Huskies are also not the easiest dogs to take care of. They are sled-dogs bred with high amounts of energy in order to pull heavy loads through the snow. On top of being extremely high energy, the dogs also have a thick double coat that one find coating their couches, rugs and furniture if they don't maintain the dog's coat. Regardless of how big a Game of Thrones fan someone is, they should not adapt or purchase one of these dogs unless they're sure they can handle all of the responsibilities. There are approximately 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats in shelters nationwide, and it doesn't help adding to that number when people purchase pets without doing any research - thinking they'll be just like the Stark direwolves.
Game of Thrones continues with ‘The Spoils of War’ next Sunday @9pm on HBO.