[ View the story "Athletes help stray dogs in Sochi" on Storify] Athletes help stray dogs in Sochi For the past few years as skiers and snowboarders would walk around the Rosa Khutor ski resort, they would walk past stray dogs. It's been the same for the construction sites that are now the coastal cluster of sporting venues in Sochi.
KevinNewmanLive· Tue, Feb 18 2014 12:25:52
The mass killing of stray dogs is not, and never will be the answer http://t.co/FPryhGU4ug #sochi #SochiProblems http://t.co/n61IcfBYWRWSPA Australia
For the past few years as skiers and snowboarders would walk around the Rosa Khutor ski resort, they would walk past stray dogs. It's been the same for the construction sites that are now the coastal cluster of sporting venues in Sochi. Thousands of them lived amide the mud and rubble begging for food. Last year, officials announced a plan to kill 2,000 of the stray dogs. They said the reason was "to keep the tourists and Olympic visitors safe."
The Latest Photos Of Sochi’s Friendly Strays http://t.co/mbGMWqkSeJ #SochiStrays http://t.co/4Jqvg9SJAMThe Dodo
Alexei Sorokin, director general of pest control firm Basya Services, told The Associated Press his company was hired to exterminate the animals and said the dogs have caused numerous problems, including "biting children." Officials were concerned about a stray walking into the stadium during opening ceremonies. One wondered in ahead of the ceremony and officials chased him away.
NOW: How to adopt one of those stray dogs in #Sochi http://t.co/CLhRFVSpDe - @ABC #Olympics2014 http://t.co/60kCxciNDPNewsBreaker
The SPCA was not happy and neither were many others across Russia and the world. The killings were cancelled. However, a company was hired to continue "cleaning the city," and every night they set traps and killed animals. The government eventually considered building a shelter and strangely hired the same company that was in charge of killing the dogs to run it.
U.S. athletes trying to help thousands of #SochiStrays: http://t.co/WHjAbrK8si. @jeffmetcalfe @corinavanek http://t.co/h9gawtkN2412News
Volunteers from animal rights groups in Sochi have been trying to help the dogs, getting them fed, cleaned, vaccinated, sterilized and into new homes.
's Peter Ackman
at the end of January that in a year and a half they saved more than 800 animals, but for every animal they saved, 10 more are killed. Now athletes and other at the Games are doing their part. American slopestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy first tweeted out pictures of him with a stray dog a week ago.
Oh my glob, look who I just found! :) #sochistrays http://t.co/ne66y7jN6ZGus Kenworthy
It got the attention of pop star Miley Cyrus.
4 reasons to follow @guskenworthy (❤️ melts into 1,001 pieces) http://t.co/gOLxEIuIl8Miley Ray Cyrus
Now he is pushing back his return to the U.S. to adopt a family of stray puppies and their mother. He found them at the base of the mountain near the Extreme Park. Kenworthy is currently working on the paperwork.
Hungry little guys :) http://t.co/ejiu3IAKJWGus Kenworthy
So adorable! Olympian @GusKenworthy took me to visit the puppies he's trying to adopt. Watch: http://t.co/OGL7HV9OqY http://t.co/NvXBtZ6m54Rachel Nichols
Other athletes are also getting involved. U.S. hockey goalie Ryan Miller tweeted this of a stray dog calling it the hotel mascot.
Family hotel mascot! Couple stray dogs have been cleaned up and adopted by players. http://t.co/uRXTlGALKIRyan Miller
U.S. hockey players David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk are also posing with dogs.
Meet Sochi Jack and Sochi Junior with @dbackes42 and @shattdeuces during the @Sochi2014 with @USOlympic. http://t.co/FFOW3t2hlRAthletes For Animals
"They kind of were portrayed a little big as rabid animals that were dangerous," says Backes in a
USA Today article
. "I don't know if anyone's seen that out of those animals. I think you've seen a lot of friendly, smart street dogs that have perhaps have had a tough life and had to find ways to get food and shelter and water and all that good stuff."
@dbackes42 with Zeus, a big friendly senior Rottweiler available for adoption @5_Acres #adopt #spay/neuter http://t.co/zfWJOEYH7FAthletes For Animals
U.S. snowboard cross racer Lindsey Jacobellis also tweeted this lucky dog "scored a one-way ticket to the USA."
Speaking of #SochiStrays, @LindsJacobellis is leaving with one of her own. http://t.co/stgOxwJHML / http://t.co/BQNz3uIIg6Sporting News
Stray dogs of #Sochi2014 capture hearts of U.S. athletes http://t.co/eNSQgsoESh Our @RobSchumacher1 and #SochiStrays http://t.co/N45oCP6rzLMichael Meister
Another gorgeous stray today, I want to adopt this one #SochiStrays #Sochi2014 #azcphotos #SochiSMG #OlympicsOn12 http://t.co/mwmflh99CtRob Schumacher
People are pointing out that while a lot of attention is being paid to stray dogs in Sochi, there are millions of animals in shelters in North America and many of them are euthanized.
Approx 5 to 7 million companion animals enter U.S shelters every year, approximately 3 to 4 million are euthanized. But I wanna #Sochi dog!Trevor Robb