POPULAR fantasy TV show A Game of Thrones is being blamed for a flood of abandoned huskies after their enthusiastic new owners suddenly realise the extent of exercise the working dogs need.
Nine husky pups are currently seeking new homes after being taken in by a North Yorkshire animal shelter - which has attributed the popularity of the dogs to the US show which features a large wolf-like animal called a direwolf.
The pups' pregnant mother was kicked out of her home after her owners no longer wanted her. However, Blue Cross in Topcliffe, Thirsk, have now found suitable homes for all nine - but are warning potential owners to think carefully.
The charity's staff said there has been a 700 per cent increase in the number of huskies and similar dogs in the last five years due to the popularity of such dramas as A Game of Thrones and Twilight Saga which feature wolf-like animals.
Sophia Khan from Blue Cross said: “These shows glamorise the animals as huskies look a little like wolves.
“Huskies have now made the most-unwanted top ten for the first time. People don’t realise they need to be looked after properly and that they are bred as working dogs in cold countries.”
Tala, the husky who gave birth at the Thirsk centre, is mother to nine cute pups which are now six weeks old.
She was found abandoned in the Thirsk area by a warden and was taken to the centre three weeks before she gave birth to seven bitch and two dog puppies.
In the last year the centre has taken an average of two wolf-like breeds a month, including Siberian huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and Northern Inuits.
Caroline Thompson, deputy manager at Blue Cross in Thirsk said: “Huskies and other similar breeds are working dogs and they need lots of mental and physical stimulation.
“Ideally they need a good couple of hours exercise every day and experienced owners who have plenty of time to spend with them.
“Sadly, the reason we’re now seeing so many of these breeds being given up is because so many people get them without doing enough research into the kind of care they need.”