"Game of Thrones" fans are immersing themselves in the exciting seventh season, but their love of the fantasy world is having unforeseen consequences.
The "direwolves" that serve as the Stark family's faithful companions may not have any actual lines in the show, but that doesn't stop them from being beloved characters. They play important roles on TV, and they're also one of the biggest reasons why the number of abandoned Huskies has dramatically increased in the last few years. The worsening situation has spurred action from another show favorite, Tyrion Lannister himself.
Hoping to have a direwolf of their own, fans of the show are going out and buying Huskies because of their physical similarities to their favorite canine characters. They're giving them names like Ghost, Summer, and Nymeria and posting pictures of their prized pups to social media.
Some of these dogs are welcomed into great homes, but too many end up homeless and abandoned after their ill-prepared owners realize taking care of a real-life Husky isn't the same as watching a direwolf on TV.
Peter Dinklage wants Game of Thrones fans to STOP buying huskies.
It's a problem that shelters have been battling since the show first became popular in 2011, and the human stars of the show are speaking out. If you've made it to the new season, you know Peter Dinklage's character is usually a source for sound advice, and he's teamed up with PETA to share his real-life wisdom with fans.
"Please, to all of 'Game of Thrones' many wonderful fans, we understand that due to the direwolves huge popularity, many folks are going out and buying huskies."
Dinklage goes on to explain how buying a Husky from a breeder without first researching the breed has multiple side effects. Huskies are high-maintenance dogs that require regular exercise, training, and attention. They're not recommended for inexperienced dog owners, but many people don't realize this until it's too late. They struggle to provide for the dog and many are eventually dumped at shelters.
"Thor - Quick Odin look at that really hawt dog! Odin- Where? Where is she? Thor- she's run off now, if you weren't so...
As emotional animals, being abandoned can seriously affect a dog's trust in humans and overall behavior. They struggle to overcome being sent to a shelter, and shelters attempt to care for them with limited funds and resources. With abandoned "direwolves" filling up kennels, less resources are available to other homeless animals waiting to be adopted.
Dinklage wants his fans to stop and think before they purchase a dog they're not ready for from a breeder. He encourages everyone to "always, always adopt from a shelter," and only after accepting the fact that owning a dog is a substantial responsibility.
You can take Dinklage's advice and help your local shelter find homes for all their abandoned animals by choosing to adopt and not shop for your next furry family member.
Are you a fan of direwolves? Let us know in the comments below.
WATCH NOW: Huskies Are Being Abandoned Because of Game of Thrones