Arctic Dog Breeds Growing In Demand Through Popular Culture, Then Abandoned

  • 03/08/2017
siberian-husky.jpgWith Arctic dog breeds gaining popularity through Game of Thrones and the movie Snow Dogs, many people are finding their new pets are more difficult to manage than they first realised, and abandon them.

But according to Janelle Wyatt, dogs really are the best people. Specifically, Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.

You would have to really love the breeds to take care of over 70 of them at the one time.

From a secluded rural property near the central coast of NSW, she runs the High Tails Lodge. It is here where she and a small team of fellow animal lovers take care of rescue dogs for the not-for-profit Alaskan Malamute Rehoming Aid Australia (AMRAA).

"They're just a special breed of their own," explains Mrs Wyatt.

"I live my life for them."

After leaving her corporate job of over 20 years, Mrs Wyatt was happy to dedicate her life to looking after these abandoned arctic breeds, describing herself as "the crazy arctic lady".

When her first Malamute died many years ago, she found another dog online who needed to be rehomed, instead of going to a breeder. This is where she met the founder of AMRAA and knew it was an organisation she wanted to be a part of.

Most the dogs the charity is trying to rehome come from the pounds, but they have also taken on dogs from people who privately surrender them.

"There are too many people breeding them out there and selling them off to get the money. And then people watch 'Snow Dogs' and think it would be awesome to get that [breed of] dog," Mrs Wyatt says.

"They don't realise they need a lot of activity, they moult a lot, and they're high maintenance. Unless you put the training into them, they can actually get a little bit out of control as well."

Having many dogs to rehome doesn't mean she is willing to give the dogs to whoever wants to take them.

"If someone wants to adopt, we're very, very fussy," Mrs Wyatt says.

"If someone turns up and asks for a dog, I'll ask them what their lifestyle is like if they've got kids and all that sort of thing. And then we will choose the right one for them.

"Because they need to go to their forever home from here."

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Comments (1)

Said this on 12/08/2017 At 07:28 pm

I can remember when the same thing happened with Dalmations after the Disney movie. Luckily these kinds of trends seem to be short lived. It is such a shame that dogs have to get caught up in this though. I am so glad for groups like the AMRAA that you mention in this article. Their work is important and inspiring. Thanks for this post which will definitely help to raise awareness about this important issue. 

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