Game Of Thrones Linked To Unwanted Huskies
An animal charity has said Game Of Thrones could be responsible for a four-fold increase in the number of wolf-like breeds of dog being abandoned.
Blue Cross said the fantasy television series and films like Twilight have spawned a trend for having huskies and other large dogs as pets.
But many people soon realise they are unable to look after the animals properly or struggle with the cost.
Game Of Thrones features animals called direwolves, which are meant to be a close relative of a wolf, but resemble huskies.
The character Jon Snow has a loyal albino direwolf called Ghost in the hugely popular show.
The charity said the number of husky-type breeds given up, including Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes, rose 420% from 2008 to 2013.
Blue Cross said the types of pets being abandoned at its rehoming centres often mirror celebrity trends.
Mandy Jones, head of rehoming, said: "Sadly, the 'have-it-now' attitude of today's consumer society seems to be the same whether you are buying a handbag or a dog.
"Copying your favourite celebrity's hairstyle is one thing, but we really urge people to put a lot more thought into getting a new pet - we see so many animals given up because their owners didn't realise how much time and effort it takes to care for them."
Other breeds seen as fashionable include the French bulldog and small "handbag" dogs such as chihuahuas and pomeranians which were made popular by celebrities such as Paris Hilton.
Game Of Thrones season 4 begins on Sky Atlantic HD on April 7.
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