DON’T buy pets on a whim after being inspired by television, is the message from a Pembrokeshire star of Game of Thrones.

Ahead of the upcoming final season of the HBO series, star Jerome Flynn, who lives in St Davids has appeared in a new campaign urging fans not to buy huskies or any other animal on impulse.

In recent years, there has been a spike in the number of huskies being abandoned or handed over to shelters, which experts attribute to increased demand for the breed because of its physical similarities to the show's direwolves.

"While people may have good intentions, acquiring dogs on a whim has dire consequences," said Jerome.

"Animal shelters around the world are reporting a surge in the number of abandoned huskies because the casual acquirer, drawn to the dog's appearance, failed to take into consideration the amount of time, patience, and money required to care for these animals properly," he added.

For those who do have the resources to take care of an animal for life, Flynn has one request: "If you have carefully considered bringing a four-legged companion into your family, you can save a life by adopting a dog – or preferably two so they can keep each other company – from your local animal shelter."

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Every year, hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats end up in animal shelters across the UK, and many have to be euthanised simply because there aren't enough good homes for them.

The campaign Jerome is backing is run by PETA, which encourages would-be guardians to adopt animals and never buy them from breeders or pet shops, which contribute to the overpopulation crisis.

According to the animal rights activists group, since Game of Thrones premiered in 2011 animal-rescue centres in the UK have reportedly seen a 420 per cent increase in the number of huskies needing rehoming.

Blue Cross, a charity that rehomes companion animals, reports that the number of abandoned or unwanted wolf-like dogs, including huskies, has been steadily rising over the past few years.

HBO’s Game of Thrones returns for its eighth series on Sunday, April 14, with millions of fans around the world set to defy local times, either staying up beyond bedtime or rising very early to watch it live.