"Game of Thrones" is such a cultural phenomenon that the HBO series' impact is even being seen in animal shelters, much to the dismay of star Peter Dinklage.
The actor, known for his role as Tyrion Lannister, has teamed up with PETA after seeing the number of huskies in animal shelters rise sharply since the show's premiere, both in parts of the United States and the United Kingdom. It turns out many fans have been buying huskies because they look like the show's direwolves, only to realize how much work it is to own a dog and then give them up. In response, Dinklage is reminding "Game of Thrones" fans that buying a pet is a huge commitment -- one that shouldn't be made on a whim -- and that adoption is an alternative to buying.
"Not only does this hurt all the deserving homeless dogs waiting for a chance at a good home in shelters," Dinklage said in a statement, "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."
The actor was strong in his urging. "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," he added.
We get the impulse -- direwolves are smart, loyal, and adorable -- but Dinklage is right that people should consider more than just those three factors. If you're truly serious about getting one of these look-alike huskies, it sounds like a shelter is a great place to get one.