PETA Says, ‘For the Love of Peter Dinklage, Stop Buying Huskies’

Published by Zachary Toliver.
3 min read

PETA and animal shelters are issuing this plea: For the love of Peter Dinklage, stop buying huskies on a whim.

In Riverside County, California, employees of the Department of Animal Services have noticed a startling uptick in the number of abandoned huskies at animal shelters, and they believe that the popularity of HBO’s sensational Game of Thrones may be the culprit.

Game of Thrones star and PETA friend Peter Dinklage has teamed up with us to remind potential guardians to be prepared to care for dogs for a lifetime when expanding the family and 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.”

Game of Thrones fans are abandoning huskies

Fans of the show know that direwolves—who are based on an extinct breed of North American wolf—play a pivotal role in the story. These characters resemble Siberian huskies physically, and shelter employees think that this is fueling the increase in the number of huskies abandoned at shelters.

“We really do believe the series has caused our husky spike,” said Animal Services Chief Jaclyn Schart in a Department of Animal Services news release. “It’s the same trend shelters experienced with ‘101 Dalmatians’ or ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua.’ Popular culture drives up interest in certain breeds.”

Huskies are the most returned breed at Riverside County shelters.

Many people may not know the level of care that huskies require. They need a lot of activity, can be highly vocal, and are notorious escape artists. They also require consistent grooming.

According to reports, the number of all impounded dogs in Riverside County who were husky or husky mixes jumped from 351, or 1.7 percent, in 2013 to a staggering 1,027—nearly 7 percent—this year.

A new season of Game of Thrones is set to premiere in April.

What You Can Do

There’s no excuse for bringing more puppies into the world. More than 6 million animals end up homeless every year, and half of them must be euthanized because there simply aren’t enough good homes for them.

Always adopt, and tell everyone you know to do the same. Local shelters and resources like Petfinder have all kinds of dogs of every age and temperament. Visit them often to find the perfect companion for your family—just make sure that you’re ready to be a caring guardian before making one of the most important decisions of your life.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind

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