Washington, DC, dog shelter to offer Sochi strays for adoption

WASHINGTON Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:50pm EDT

One of the ten dogs transported from Sochi, Russia is brought into the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) in Washington March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

One of the ten dogs transported from Sochi, Russia is brought into the Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) in Washington March 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ten dogs from Sochi, Russia have arrived at a Washington, D.C., animal shelter where they will be offered for adoption after the round up of thousands of strays garnered international attention in the lead up to February's Olympic Games.

Russian officials began the catching the dogs roaming the Black Sea resort city ahead of the opening of the games, leading to charges that the animals were being killed.

The dogs arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League in a white Humane Society van on Thursday afternoon.

"For us, these dogs are wonderful ambassadors for the street-dog issue that exists around the world," said Kelly O'Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for Humane Society International, an advocacy group that partnered with a shelter in Sochi to bring the animals to Washington.

Since February the 10 dogs have been cared for by PovoDog, a privately financed Sochi animal shelter that vaccinated and prepared them for the two-day trip to Washington. The Russian airline Aeroflot provided free airfare to the strays, said O'Meara, explaining that the journey would have otherwise cost an average of $2,000 per dog.

"We're very excited. They look like nice dogs and will make great family members," said Bob Ramin, the shelter's chief executive officer. He said the strays should be ready for adoption in about 12 days.

The Humane Society International wrote a letter of protest to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the games to protest the killing of stray dogs, thought the International Olympic Committee denied that any healthy dogs had been euthanized.

A handful of Olympic athletes and spectators have personally transported stray dogs from Sochi to the United States, but the dogs in Washington are the only Sochi dogs currently available for open adoption in the country.

O'Meara said she is hopeful that Humane Society International can bring more strays in the future, noting that Aeroflot has promised to transport up to 100 dogs for free.

(Editing by Scott Malone; Editing by Alden Bentley)

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Comments (2)
ProEto wrote:
Another example of the hypocrisy of American media. We bring 10-20 from Sochi to make a political point while hundreds of thousands of American dogs and cats are being killed every year in shelters. Russia doesn’t even have this advanced animal disposal system. They tried to clean up the streets of Sochi to make it look nicer for foreigners… In Russia and many other countries cats and dogs often live on the streets for years as part of the habitat. It would make more sense if other countries start rescuing American cats and dogs from those shelters…

Mar 29, 2014 9:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
stambo2001 wrote:
Ah, I’ll repost what they deleted.
Why doesn’t the author of this article do a story on the hundreds if not thousands of pet dogs our military forces kill while on night patrols in places like Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s a bit more interesting than this obvious propaganda piece. As has been noted in deleted comments there are hundreds of thousands of stray dogs right here in North America.

Mar 29, 2014 11:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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