BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) — A Bay Area animal shelter is seeing a spike in Siberian Huskies being returned that may have to do with the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.”
Most who visit the Peninsula Humane Society shelter in Burlingame do so because they love animals. But lately some have come here for love of a television show.
“Game of Thrones” is the wildly popular HBO fantasy series about warring families in a dark medieval world. One of the clans maintains a pack of huge vicious wolves known as “dire wolves.”
Unfortunately, now, life is trying to imitate art.
“People are wanting to adopt dogs that look like these dire wolves, and huskies tend to have a wolf-like appearance to them,” said Buffy Martin Tarbox of the Peninsula Humane Society.
The shelter has seen a surge in Siberian Huskies; twice as many from January as the past three years. They had three of the dogs just this weekend.
It’s known as the “Dalmatian effect,” when people want animals simply because they see them on TV or the movies.
“It’s a fantasy. People like the fantasy without looking into what the reality of owning one of these dogs is like,” said Patty LaCava, a member of the Bay Area Siberian Husky Club.
LaCava says the animals may have a cool wolf-like appearance, but they can be a handful for owners.
“They are very high-energy. And they’re not super trainable because they get very bored with training,” explained LaCava.
It takes commitment to own a Husky. That’s why so many are ending up in shelters as owners become frustrated with the demanding breed.
But many who come in to adopt a pet based on a craze don’t think about the commitment they are making.
“This is a match for life, not just for a short term,” said Martin Tarbox.
It’s a sad reminder that the pets will still be here, even after people move on to the next hot show.