According to PETA, animal rescue centers in the U.K. have reported a 420 percent increase in the number of homeless huskies
As the premiere of Game of Thrones‘ final season nears, one of the HBO show’s actors is speaking out about a unique issue that has arisen from GOT‘s success.
In a new People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) campaign, Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn in Game of Thrones, asks fans of the show to stop buying husky dogs in an effort to get their own direwolves.
In GOT, direwolves are large wolves beloved for protecting the Stark children. Direwolves also happen to a lot like huskies. According to Flynn and PETA, there has been a spike in the number of huskies abandoned or surrendered to shelters, and experts believe many of these discarded dogs are coming from Thrones fans who bought huskies on impulse because of the breed’s similarities to direwolves, and then later found they were unprepared to care for the canines.
“While people may have good intentions, acquiring dogs on a whim has dire consequences,” Flynn says in the campaign’s video. “Animal shelters around the world are reporting a surge in the number of abandoned huskies because the casual acquirer, drawn to the dog’s appearance, failed to take into consideration the amount of time, patience, and money required to care for these animals properly.”
Animal rescue centers in the U.K. have reported a 420 percent increase in the number of homeless huskies, while Los Angeles county shelters have seen the number of huskies in the shelter system triple since 2013, PETA reports.
Flynn also has a message for those who are prepared to welcome a pet into their lives.
“If you have carefully considered bringing a four-legged companion into your family, you can save a life by adopting a dog — or preferably two so they can keep each other company — from your local animal shelter,” the actor says.
The man behind Bronn isn’t the only one to raise awareness about this issue, his costar Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister on Game of Thrones, also spoke about the increase in abandoned direwolf-like dogs in 2017.
“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.”
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 certain animals being bought on impulse and then abandoned in large numbers.