From Game of Thrones to Game of Homes
As fans prepare to mourn the passing of the much-anticipated final season of Game of Thrones, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is hoping the finale of the fantasy drama will mean fewer wolf look-a-like breeds being given up to rescue centres.
Since the series first hit screens, the charity – which finds homes for around 15,000 dogs every year - has seen a huge increase in the number of ‘wolf look-a-likes’ finding themselves at the charity’s 21 rescue centres in need of new homes.
In 2010, a year before the first series aired, just 79 Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Akitas were cared for at Dogs Trust compared to 411 last year – a 420% increase. In comparison, the number of other large breeds finding themselves given up by owners such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Weimaraners has fallen by 22%.
Operations Director, Adam Clowes, says:
“Since the start of Game of Thrones we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of wolf look-a-like dogs, but we urge owners to remember a dog is for life, not just the duration of a TV series.
“They are beautiful, large, powerful dogs and they make loyal companions but as they were originally bred for more physical past-times, such as pulling sledges in cold climates and hunting, they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation every day and not all owners are able to provide that.”
Although ‘wolf look-a-like’ breeds only make up a small percentage of the dogs taken in by Dogs Trust – 1% in 2011 rising to 4% in 2018 – behind each of the statistics is a dog who has found himself without a forever home. At the moment Dogs Trust is looking after 28 Akitas, Malamutes and Huskies.
Mr Clowes adds:
“We love looking after these dogs and owners have done the right thing bringing them to us so we can find them their forever homes. However, with the end of the series, we really hope we see fewer of them coming to us in the future.
“Dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages can bring so much joy to our lives but we would urge everyone to do their research before getting a dog so they don’t risk finding themselves in the heart-breaking position of having to give them up.
“Understanding what a particular dog needs and being confident that you can provide that from the moment they come into your life, gives us all the best chance of having wonderful lifelong relationships with our dogs.”
To find out more about dogs at Dogs Trust waiting for their special someone to give them a forever home, call us on 0300 303 0292.