ANIMAL welfare groups have blamed the popularity of hit TV show Game of Thrones on the increased number of abandoned breeds of wolf-type dogs.
Stubbington Ark says it has seen an increase in the last 18 months, in particular with Siberian huskies.
These dogs have become the latest fashion item, due to the appearance of them in Sky TV’s multi-award winning drama (pictured) as well as the teen vampire franchise, Twilight.
But people are finding their temperament is not like other dogs, and are unaware of the difficulties in looking after them, leading to more wolf breeds being put into kennels.
Bobbie Ferguson, 40, a painter-decorator, from Titchfield Common, owns six Siberian huskies and has witnessed first-hand how people struggle to deal with these dogs’ behaviour.
Miss Ferguson, who is a volunteer worker at the Stubbington Ark, tried her hand at breeding the pups but found people were taking an interest in the dogs for the wrong reasons.
She said: ’I think a lot of younger people are looking at things like Twilight where people turn into wolves and on Game of Thrones where these animals are seen as loyal, beautiful partners and they just want a wolf breed for their aesthetics.
‘People were phoning me up asking purely what colour was the dog’s eyes nothing else, it just showed that they wanted the dog just for the look of them rather than a companion.
‘You need to have a lot of patience as they aren’t like other dogs, they are very intelligent, have different dietary requirements to other dogs, but they are lovely dogs and are very friendly.’
Stubbington Ark said while it didn’t have any official figures for the number of abandoned wolf-type dogs, it has seen an anecdotal increase in the past 18 months.
The Siberian Husky Welfare Association, formed in 2007, would receive an average of five calls a day, but now it gets around 30. From 2002 there were 985 wolf-type dogs in registered kennels nationally, but last year the number reached 1,940.
Miss Ferguson said: ‘If anyone is thinking about getting a husky I would certainly say read up about them first, learn about their behaviour, as they will be a great companion if you are prepared to take the time to love them and they will love you back.’