In a new PETA video, British actor Jerome Flynn is asking fans not to give in to the temptation of getting a “direwolf” of their own. The popularity of this fictional animal has sparked an alarming trend—more and more huskies are being bred and bought simply because of their resemblance to direwolves.
“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,” says Flynn.
According to reports, the number of all impounded dogs in Riverside County, California, who were huskies or husky mixes jumped from 351, or 1.7 percent, in 2013 to a staggering 1,027—or nearly 7 percent—just five years later.
Flynn isn’t the first Westerosi to call out this harmful trend. Game of Thrones star and animal rights champion Peter Dinklage sounded the alarm when news hit that some shelters were seeing a huge increase in abandoned huskies because of the “Game of Thrones factor.” He also reminded fans to be prepared for a full-time commitment when adding a canine companion to their family. “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,” Dinklage said in a statement.
Flynn’s empathy for animals doesn’t end with dogs. A proud vegan, he’s also worked with PETA to raise awareness of the violence that animals endure at the hands of the meat and dairy industries. “If we’re true to our own values, can we really justify inflicting all this suffering and violence on these emotionally sensitive, smart individuals just for a fleeting moment of taste?” he asks in a video that promotes vegan eating.
How Can You Help Huskies and Other Animal Companions?
Every year in the U.S., more than 6 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter shelters—and roughly half end up euthanized, many because there are simply too many animals and not enough appropriate adoptive homes. You can help save lives by committing to never breeding or buying animals. Instead, always adopt animals and spay or neuter them.