‘...bred to pull a sledge for 12 hours’

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Spalding’s nearest dog shelter has found that growing numbers of people are buying dogs that look like wolves – then dumping them because they’re so demanding to keep as a pet.

The fashion for huskies, malamutes and Akitas, attributed to the popularity of the Twilight films featuring shape-shifting werewolf Jacob Black, has landed Jerry Green Dog Rescue at Algarkirk with a new kind of stray to find homes for – and a problem when it comes to ‘walkies’.

Shelter manager Jo Hickson said: “We’ve got two huskie-type dogs at the moment and I’m sure more will be coming our way.

“People see them and they’re so beautiful, like little wolves, they don’t realise what hard work they are.

“Our two – one of which has been reserved already – aren’t happy sitting at home all day because they were bred for pulling sledges, running over the snow for 12 hours at a stretch.

“People have found they can’t be left in the garden, they’re likely to be over the fence and gone.

“We have more than 60 dogs of all breeds to care for an d we make sure the two huskies get as much exercise as we can organise with volunteer dog walkers, but it’s never enough.

“We’ve resorted to giving them mental stimulation, like a cardboard box to chew up or a ball to play with.

“As long as people are able to keep them busy and active, they make lovely pets.”

The Jerry Green Dog Rescue Centre at Algarkirk is one of five in the UK and its experience with huskies has been mirrored by other charities.

The Dogs Trust has had 100 huskies, 35 Akitas and 16 malamutes handed in this year.