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 5:12 PM
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.
James Brooke
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.

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by: sharon davila from: United States
February 14, 2014 10:49 PM
I can adopt one of these . I don' t have a lot of money and live in Pennsylvania but I will do what I can to help these dogs. Let me know. I love dogs and would love to do something to help them.

In Response

by: jeffrey begens from: jupiter, florida
February 15, 2014 6:32 PM
I am an attorney (and animal lover) in Florida. I have four rescues. I read a news article about Igor Airapetyan who drove 1000 miles from Moscow to Sochi (20 hours one way) and rescued 11 Sochi dogs in his SUV (He had four dogs of his own). He has made a couple trips since. His Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001380305054&fref=ts&ref=br_tf.

His email and Paypal account are: 406@list.ru (I sent him money). If anyone wants to donate money, this is your guy.

He is a hero to the animal.

He probably will not ask for money but I am asking for him.


by: Shonna from: Grangeville Idaho
February 14, 2014 7:16 PM
I would love to adopt one of these dogs. I do have a conflict with myself knowing there r so many dogs that need help right here. So please let me know what I can do to help


by: Barbara from: Pennsylvania
February 14, 2014 8:07 AM
This is awesome. What we can do when we forget differences .

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