Fans of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” will be well versed in the Stark clan’s direwolves and may have noticed their similarities to huskies – well most of them are reportedly played by that breed, of course. At least one animal shelter in the Bay Area has noticed the increase in the number of huskies being handed in and knows exactly when those surrendered dogs were originally bought, due to their unusual names.

Animal rescue receives huskies with ‘Game of Thrones’ names

According to Randee McQueen of Bay Area Siberian Husky Club, they recently noticed that, first of all, people are tending to get their pets microchipped.

As reported by SFGate, this means that when the huskies are surrendered to the rescue group, they have the dog’s age and also their name.

McQueen doesn’t actually watch “Game of Thrones,” but did notice that all the huskies they were receiving had really funny names. However, another staff member soon put him right saying all those weird and wonderful names came from the HBO series “Game of Thrones.” So far they have had almost all the names from the show, including Ghost, Grey Wind, Lady, Nymeria and Summer.

Surrendered huskies double in number since ‘Game of Thrones’

McQueen’s shelter is not alone in receiving an unusual number of huskies, however, as the Northern California Sled Dog Rescue (NorSled) has also had double the number of dogs handed in over recent years and again they believe it relates to the dire-wolves in “Game of Thrones.”

The similar look of the animals has led people to purchase the attractive dogs, but why are so many giving them up?

Angelique Miller, the president of NorSled, said the number of huskies being surrendered to shelters is becoming a huge problem. She said fans watch the show and think the dogs are “cool” and head out and buy one because they look cute. The huskies have the same wolfish look as the dire-wolves and they just can’t resist them.

She said in the past they would average maybe 20 huskies surrendered a month, but these days it’s more like 45 and up and they don’t have the facilities for so many dogs and have to foster them out.

Novice husky owners can’t cope with the animals

According to a report by KRON, one of the main problems with huskies is that they need plenty of exercise, requiring preferably up to seven to 10 miles of walking each day. They are also not rated well for their compatibility with new dog owners. Patty LaCava of Bay Area Siberian Husky Club told KRON Siberian huskies are not strictly house pets as they were bred to pull sleds, often for hundreds of miles. She also mentioned huskies don’t really bark, although they do tend to “talk a lot.”