If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics from Sochi, you may have seen a stray dog or two on the ski slopes or at the opening ceremonies. Stray dogs in Socchi are a common site and the ones you’ve seen have been the lucky ones. What you haven’t seen are the hundreds of dogs that have been inhumanely killed to get them out of the Olympic Village. Some have been shot to death, others have been poisoned. The city of Sochi hired a private company to exterminate the strays the fastest way possible.
Before the Olympics started, the Director General of Pest Control Firm Basya Services said, “A dog ran into the Fischt Stadium, we took it away. God forbid something like this happens at the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country.”
But the city didn’t count on volunteers stepping up and rescuing the strays. With the financial support of dog-loving billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska, volunteers are taking as many of the strays as they can to make shift shelters on the outskirts of the city. Once there, they are sterilized, vaccinated, and available for adoption. The volunteers have high hopes that some of the visitors and maybe even some of the athletes will adopt some of the strays. They might not leave the Olympics with a medal, but their prize might be even greater — a puppy needing a forever home.
In seeing the pictures and videos of the stray dogs, I was very surprised at how healthy these dogs appeared. They look well fed. (Apparently, locals frequently bring their leftovers to the dogs.) They also seem very social and playful with other dogs and affectionate with people. I haven’t seen one that showed any signs of being fearful. After observing them, I wasn’t surprised to learn that many of these strays were the former family pets of people who had homes demolished to prepare for the winter Olympics.
What You Can Do To Help:
- Sign the Care2 Petition addressed to the President of Russia , Vladimir Putin. Less than 600 signatures are still needed to stop the extermination company from inhumanely killing more dogs.
- Adopt a Sochi street dog: The Humane Society International has some helpful information here if you or someone you know can adopt a dog from Sochi
- An article in The Dodo suggested people voice their concern by sending an email to the City of Sochi, asking them to use measures like sterilization and trap-neuter-release programs to control the stray dog populations.
Delivering Calm, Four Paws at a Time!
Receive a FREE DOWNLOAD from the Calm your Canine Companion music series when you sign up for the Through a Dog’s Ear newsletter and/or Lisa’s Blog. Simply click here, enter your email address and a link to the free download will be delivered to your inbox for you and your canine household to enjoy!