After viewing episodes of the acclaimed HBO show Game of Thrones, fans have been seeking out and adopting Husky pups in droves, according to a report by the San Francisco Gate. Unfortunately, most are ill-equipped to care for the high-spirited dogs, which are being abandoned at a phenomenal rate.

Game of Thrones, Huskies, abandonment, animal cruelty, animal welfare, popular culture,

Reportedly, a tell-tale sign of Huskies being adopted by fans of the show is that they are oftentimes named after characters. Additionally, a British animal charity reported a 700 percent increase in abandoned Huskies by 2014, while two Bay area husky rescue facilities — Northern California Sled Dog Rescue and Bay Area Siberian Husky Club — reported similar spikes in the dogs’ abandonment.

President of NorSled Angelique Miller said, “These people, they watch these shows and think how cool these dogs are. People can’t even tell the difference between a husky and a wolf because they’re always asking us at adoption fairs if these dogs are wolves — and it’s clearly a husky. They’re just following the trend of what they think is cute.”

Game of Thrones, Huskies, abandonment, animal cruelty, animal welfare, popular culture,

Related: Winter is Coming: 6 Game of Thrones-Inspired Vegetarian Recipes to Brighten Cold Days

It is thought that fans are abandoning the dogs more than any other breed because Huskies’ coats require weekly maintenance, they can’t be left alone with small animals, and they require regular exercise.

As Salon reports, this isn’t the first time popular culture has had a negative impact on animals. After “Finding Nemo” was released, for example, sales of clown fish skyrocketed. At the same time, reports sprang up of children flushing the fish down the toilet so they could be freed to the ocean (a plan promoted in the movie). And, after “Harry Potter” became a success, owls — like the Huskies — were adopted in a frenzy and then abandoned at an astonishing pace.

Game of Thrones, Huskies, abandonment, animal cruelty, animal welfare, popular culture,

The only way to reverse this tragic trend is for consumers to be informed about various animals’ needs. In regard to the Husky-purchasing trend, Game of Thrones fans need to know they are very dissimilar from the wolves featured on the show – and they require a lot of care.

Via Salon, San Francisco Gate

Images via Pixabay, Flickr