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This weekend sees the first instalment of season eight – the finale series – of fantasy drama Game of Thrones, but whilst fans mourn the loss of their favourite show, one dog charity hopes to see a decline in the number of wolf-like dogs needing homes.

It may have been almost a decade since episode one hit our screens, but dog charities are still experiencing a surge in the number of husky-types and other wolf look-alikes needing new homes after their popularly rose due to the programme’s canine characters.

The direwolves given to each of the Stark children in series one, led to many owners jumping at the chance of owning their own without doing any thorough research. The result was often devasting for the dogs who would then end up in rescue as their needs were not being met.

In 2010, a year before the first series aired, Dogs Trust saw just 79 Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies and Akitas through its doors compared to 411 last year – a 420% increase. In comparison, the number of other large breeds finding themselves without a forever home such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Weimaraners has fallen by 22%.

Harley is pictured getting ready for a walk with team member Kat Wimbles.
Harley is pictured getting ready for a walk with team member Kat Wimbles.

Dogs Trust Leeds is currently looking for a home for 18-month-old Siberian Husky, Harley.

Amanda Sands, Manager at Dogs Trust Leeds, says, “Since the start of Game of Thrones we have seen a huge increase in the popularity of wolf look-alike dogs.

“They are beautiful, large, powerful dogs and they make loyal companions but as they were originally bred for more physical past-times, such as pulling sledges in cold climates and hunting, they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation every day and not all owners are able to provide that.

“Owners, like Harley’s, have done the right thing bringing them to us and we love looking after Harley but of course what we really want is for him to find his forever home.”

Dogs Trust Leeds say Harley is looking for an adult only home with patient owners who are around most of the time as he doesn’t like to be left home alone, and he would prefer to be walked in quieter areas. He is a lively, clever boy who likes to keep busy both physically and mentally so his owners need to be happy to continue his training and make sure he has an active lifestyle with them.

Harley is a very active boy and loves to get out and about
Harley is a very active boy and loves to get out and about

Amanda adds, “Dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages can bring so much joy to our lives but we would urge anyone to do their research before getting a dog so they don’t risk finding themselves in the heartbreaking position of having to give them up.

“We have been looking after Harley for over a year now and our staff have a great bond with him but we would love him to find his ideal home soon.”

Harley is looking for a home where he is the only dog. If you think you could provide Harley with his forever home, please call Dogs Trust Leeds on 0113 5324335 or visit the rehoming centre at Woodlands Farm, York Road, Leeds, LS15 4NL.

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