News / Europe

Russians, Americans Use Internet to Save Sochi’s Stray Dogs

Russians and Americans Use Internet to Save Sochi’s Stray Dogsi
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February 14, 2014
Visitors arriving in Sochi for the Winter Olympics have noticed something odd. Dozens of stray dogs wandering through the city. James Brooke reports from Sochi on what’s up.
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— Stray dogs are a common sight in Sochi, the Winter Olympics host city.
 
They are everywhere - begging for food at outdoor restaurants and foraging for food in back yards.
 
Who let the dogs out?
 
In recent weeks, an army of 100,000 construction workers went home, but they left behind hundreds of pets and guard dogs.
 
Nadezhda Maiboroda, who runs PovoDog, a new dog shelter here, said, “All Olympic projects are finished. Builders have gone home. But the dogs [are] still there.
 
"Really, we have [a] mild climate; for [a] dog to live on the street [is] not a big problem because food is everywhere,” she said of Sochi, a semi-tropical city.
 
Animal defenders complain that Sochi became the stage for dognapping. In October, the city signed a contract with a company to capture and kill 2,000 stray animals.
 
“The way the city decided is not helpful - some private company taking dogs from the streets, when there is actually no place to take them. So they just euthanize them,” said Maiboroda.
 
Fighting back through the Internet, Sochi animal lovers organized car ferries, taking dozens of stray dogs to safety with families in other parts of Russia.
 
Maiboroda built a dog shelter outside Sochi
 
Then, Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire dog lover, stepped in to rebuild and fund the shelter. It now houses over 100 dogs.
 
Sochi’s PovoDog shelter's new Facebook page - asking users, “Do you want to adopt a dog?” - is getting heavy traffic.
 
Through the Internet, dozens of international adoption requests have come in - 90 percent from the United States.
 
One American Olympic athlete in Sochi, slopestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy, tweeted two photos of Sochi dogs he plans to bring home to friends in Colorado.
 
At last count, the photo of Kenworthy holding four puppies had been re-tweeted 4,000 times.
 
Through the Internet, Russians and Americans are pitching in to save the stray dogs of Sochi.

James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

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by: animal lover from: Maryland
February 18, 2014 11:20 PM
Join Facebook page - Olympic Athletes: Bring home more than a medal, Save Sochi Dogs https://www.facebook.com/pages/Olympic-Athletes-Bring-Home-More-Than-A-Medal-Save-Sochi-Dogs/285659381588718


by: Kenneth from: Idaho
February 18, 2014 12:44 PM
My first thought is Good for them. They have a heart and love animals. Beyond that, What about the animals in shelters in the United States? shelters euthanize around 2.7 million animals per year. Why can't they save some of those animals????

Next, when a soldier bonds with an animal while serving our country over seas they have to leave the pet behind. They are told that the pet needs vaccines and will not be allowed into the US. For heavens sake, these soldiers served our country and sacrificed their lives and yet they are told no. The Olympians did not put their lives on the line and they can bring animals back to this country? What is the difference, MEDIA! I would rather see a soldier be able to have his war buddy stay with him than an Olympian be a media darling and "save" these animals.


by: Radamila from: Camp Verde, AZ
February 18, 2014 2:39 AM
USA Olympic Team our Heroes! They win anyway... with kindness and love to all these homeless animals in Sochi!
BRABO to YOU, Great Humans!
It doesn't matter where do you save and help animals... we are Humans and we all live on one Planet where God created All These Bright and Beautiful...


by: debbie from: USA
February 18, 2014 12:21 AM
If you have been inspired by these wonderful stories of dogs being rescued in Russia you don't have to go far to be a hero yourself. Anyone reading this that can't make it to Russia, please adopt a dog that is homeless here! Before it's killed here! (Yes, it's called euthanizing but they are still killed because no one takes them home.) Anyone interested in adopting a dog that needs a loving home that CAN'T MAKE IT TO RUSSIA can follow the information below to be the same kind of hero we are seeing from those visiting Russia to an animal right in your own city: petfinder.com, adoptapet.com, rescueme.org and humanesociety.org just to name a few. It's worth it and you won't regret it.


by: rosemarie from: usa
February 17, 2014 6:07 PM
I live in SC there are lots of stray dogs here. You don't have to go to Russia. Save the money. When I lived in NY there were stray dogs. When I lived in TX there were stray dogs. When I lived in CO there were stray dogs. When I lived in FL there were stray dogs. When I lived in VA there were stray dogs. Yes! I was in the military. You don't have to go to Sochi. Adopt good old American stray dogs.


by: Jake from: USA
February 17, 2014 9:06 AM
People in America need to stop making such a big deal about stray dogs in Russia, there's hundreds of thousands of homeless PEOPLE here in the U.S. that could use more help.

In Response

by: steelydave37 from: NYC
February 23, 2014 3:44 PM
People make their own choices 99% of the time. Show me one innocent dog who ASKED to be homeless & starving. So sick of stupid comments like yours. YOU go help the losers in the street. I'll stick to helping animals, the only homeless that actually DESERVE help

In Response

by: pple from: arizonausa
February 17, 2014 2:08 PM
Most homeless make being homelesss a lifestyle...they have choices....animals dont.


by: Mia from: USA
February 17, 2014 12:01 AM
After dogs get saved who will campaign for sterilization??


by: Netta Pearl
February 16, 2014 2:20 AM
you can send the dogs to Canada too


by: Sandra from: alaska
February 15, 2014 4:55 PM
I love dogs and have two of my own. I spend many hours fostering dogs until they found a new home. I understand how difficult it would be to not do something for these dogs, but bringing them back to the USA is not the answer. We have so many of our own dogs that get euthanized because they can get adopted, please rethink what you are doing.


by: James Brooke from: Russia
February 15, 2014 12:52 AM
Dear Readers:
Here are contacts for adopting stray dogs from Russia.
Good luck!
Jim/Sochi
ПовоДог (“Povodog”) Private Shelter: Website for its parent charity: http://volnoe-delo.ru/en/ | Contact information: i. Ekaterina Svetlichnaya: (0117)4957284954 (EkaterinaIS@hq.basel.ruor info@volnoe-delo.ru) | Location: Baranovka district, Krasnodar Region, Russia
Check also their Facebook site.
2) Povodog’s neighbor: Добромир (“Dobromir”) Municipal Shelter: Contact information: i. Shelter Director Anna Urievna Vichkareva, office phone: (0117)8622682005 or (0117)8622680278 ii. General Director of the charity Liudmila Albertovna Sknarina. | Location: Shelter: Baranovka district, Krasnodar Region, Russia; Office: 13 Abrikosovskaya street, Krasnodar Region, Russia.
3) Помощь бездомным животным г. Сочи (Help for Homeless animals in Sochi) Private Shelter: Websites (English language site coming soon!): i.https://www.facebook.com/groups/dogsochi/ ii. http://vk.com/club_sochianimals | Contact information: i. Vlada Provotorova: (0117)9882330615 (vladislava24@mail.ru) ii. Dina Filipova: (0117)89186001766 (dinafilippova@gmail.com) iii. Lina Masunova: (0117)9649446644 | Locations: i. Adler district, Krasnodar Region, Russia ii. Baranovka district, Krasnodar Region, Russia

To bring dogs back to the states, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for vaccination and quarantine regulations.

In Response

by: James Brooke from: Russia
February 23, 2014 12:12 AM
Mike -- All dogs that leave Russia are vaccinated against rabies and other diseases.
In terms of long term solution, animal care providers are seeking to get funds for a spaying program.
Kenworthy, the American snowboarder, staying on in Sochi an extra week in order so that the five dogs - mother and four puppies -- that he is bringing to Colorado will have the proper shots, health checks, and travel papers.

In Response

by: mike t. from: delaware
February 22, 2014 7:30 PM
Bad news to adopt these dogs, because they will bring parasites that will have an impact on the dogs here and make them very sick and more prone to early death.

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