TV shows don't always influence people in the best of ways and while Game of Thrones has inspired a lot of great medieval fantasy-themed parties and cosplays, the popular fantasy epic has also started a trend of Siberian husky abandonment.
In the series, the Stark children get to raise a litter of direwolves, a close to mythical species of wolf that grows to massive proportions, and it's been inspiring viewers to start purchasing wolfish dog breeds like Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies. Unfortunately, these same people also abandon their doggos after finding out that raising a pet actually takes a lot of work.
Speaking with Sfist, Northern California Sled Dog Rescue President Angelique Miller discusses this alarming new issue where she sees 45 abandoned dogs every month because of Game of Thrones – twice the number the agency usually receives.
"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."
Movie releases like Eight Below and Snow Dog have created upticks in the number of abandoned dogs before, however according to Miller one of the biggest influences has been Game of Thrones. Her office isn't the only one that's noticed the upticks, so has the San Francisco Animal Care & Control as well as the Bay Area Siberian Husky Club (BASH).
Game of Thrones is a great series, but tv viewers certainly have to learn how to make more responsible decisions. It's terrible to think that huskies are being abandoned left and right just because people think it's cool to have "direwolves" at home.
Game of Thrones season 7 airs every Sunday at 9 am on HBO.