SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Huskies and German Shepherds are coming to more and more shelters in Sacramento County.
Since 2011, the number of abandoned huskies has soared eight-fold across the country. Animal charities believe it's all because of the hit HBO show "Game of Thrones."
You could call it a case of life imitating art, playing out at the Sacramento County SPCA.
"We have seen an influx in our shelters. And this is actually not just in our community but around the nation," said Marnie Musser, who works at the Sacramento County SPCA.
More and more people are adopting dogs that look like dire wolves from "Game of Thrones." While Huskies and German Shepherds have a more wolf-like appearance, experts say many new pet parents underestimate just how much work is involved in caring for them.
"They can be absolutely delightful pets, but they have to be well-trained and have focus. And they have to have a lot of stimulation and exercise," Musser said.
That's why so many of these dogs are ending up back in shelters. Right now, Sacramento County SPCA has more Huskies and German Shepherds than any other breed.
Animal behavior specialists like Belinda Breen say it's a case of people loving the fantasy without looking into the reality of what owning one of these dogs is like.
"These are dogs who need a lot of help with activities that are going to encourage them to practice being calm," Breen said.
So, before you adopt a dog, experts recommend you do your homework and make sure the breed fits your lifestyle, so your puppy partner lasts longer than an HBO series.
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