For Immediate Release:
16 August 2017
Direwolf Look-Alikes Being Bought on a Whim, Dumped When Novelty Wears Off
Sydney — Fans across the country can’t get enough of Game of Thrones, but the show has sparked an alarming trend—an increased demand for huskies because of their physical similarities to direwolves. Adoring viewers are buying the dogs from pet stores and breeders (often naming them after their favorite characters), then—after realising how much work and commitment are required to care for them—dumping them at shelters already bursting at the seams with homeless dogs. Now, series star Peter Dinklage is teaming up with PETA US to remind fans that dogs should be acquired only as family members and need to be looked after for a lifetime, and he’s urging those who are serious about expanding their family to adopt, never buy.
“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 says. “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.”
Breed-specific rescue groups around the world, including in Australia have seen an increase in the number of Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes being bred, and often abandoned, in recent years.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that this isn’t the first time that a popular TV show or movie has led to an increased demand for the animals seen on screen. 101 Dalmatians, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Legally Blonde, and Men in Black all caused massive spikes in sales of the featured dog breeds, and many of these dogs were later abandoned at shelters by their ill-prepared guardians.
More than 200,000 dogs are euthanised in Australian shelters every year because there simply aren’t enough homes for them. PETA encourages everyone to adopt and never buy from breeders or pet stores, which contribute to the overpopulation crisis.
Dinklage, a longtime vegetarian who previously teamed up with PETA US for a video about the meat industry, joins a long list of celebrities who have joined the group to promote kindness to animals, including Nick Cave, Andy Serkis, Sia and Game of Thrones co–star Lena Headey.
For more information on the animal-homelessness crisis, please visit PETA.org.au.