Game of Thrones star Jerome Flynn has urged the show’s fans to stop buying huskies because of their resemblance to direwolves.
Introduced in the first ever episode of HBO’s hit fantasy series, the intelligent and powerful wolves appear on the seal for House Stark.
A group of specially trained Northern Inuit dogs, which are crossbred relatives of Siberian huskies, portray the animals on the epic show.
The actor, who has appeared as the Lannisters’ bodyguard Bronn since 2011, advised viewers not to “give into [the] temptation” of buying a husky without undertaking careful research beforehand.
“If you’re a fan of [Game of Thrones], you’re also likely to be a fan of the direwolves. Sadly, their popularity has sparked an alarming trend,” he said.
“More and more huskies are being bred and bought because of their resemblance to direwolves. I’m here today to urge you not to give into this temptation.
“While people may have good intentions, acquiring dogs on a whim has dire consequences.
“With shelters already bursting at the seams with homeless animals, some of these huskies – like so many other wonderful dogs – will have to be euthanised because there are simply too many of them and too few homes.”
Flynn’s fellow Thrones star Peter Dinklage previously fronted a similar campaign for PETA.
Earlier this week, Dogs Trust reported a 420 per cent rise in abandoned “wolf lookalike” dogs.
In 2010, before the show’s first season aired, the canine charity cared for 79 Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies and akitas.
That number rose to 411 in 2018, Dogs Trust reported.
Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner revealed in 2013 that her family had adopted the Northern Inuit dog who played her character Sansa Stark’s direwolf in the show’s first season.
“Growing up I always wanted a dog, but my parents never wanted one. We kind of fell in love with my character’s direwolf, Lady, on set,” she told the Coventry Telegraph.
“We knew Lady died and they wanted to re-home her. My mum persuaded them to let us adopt her.”