Dogs in Sochi: How to Help

Dogs

There is a striking story reported by the Washington Post and Associated Press about how many people have helped the stray dogs living in Sochi escape near death. Unfortunately, not all dogs have been saved and many have already been killed.  It has been described the common place for a Russian dog to be that equal to  a toy; the animal can easily be thrown into the streets after the creature serves its purpose.

Many people wish to know how they can help the dogs in Sochi.  Luckily for them, opportunities are available to take part in the activism.  One can sign an online petition at Change.org, and people on their way or already in Sochi, can actually adopt a dog from one of three different shelters.  These shelters can be found at Humane Society International’s website. Kelly O’Meara, Humane Society International director for companion animals, states that the dogs must be taken to a vet for vaccination and proof of good health within 10 days of departure.

The story began with a man named Alexei, who is one of many animal activists currently around Sochi, Russia attempting to collect the strays and bring them to people willing, and able, to care for them.  One activist named Airapetyan is said to have traveled 1,000 kilometers to deliver the stray dogs to breeders and people who want to help. Some allege the cause of the problem is at the root of the Olympic ceremony.

The construction in the city of Sochi has been constant and aggressive, with many businesses such as hotels and restaurants being created and modified to hold the large number of visitors expected. The massive Fisht Olympic Stadium was a project that took an enormous amount of resources to construct.  It has been designed to hold a little over 40,000 people.  Made specifically for winter Olympic and Paralympics sports, the stadium was officially open in 2013 costing $779 million, while other sources claim more.

Dogs

The construction in Sochi has been reported so reckless and overrun in cost, projects were rushed and left incomplete.  Faulty doors (and lack thereof), faulty door knobs, toilets that do not flush, and tiny uncomfortable beds are all problems even the Olympic athletes have to contend with Sochi accommodations. Simon Rosner tweeted, “on the way to the media center. The street is not quite ready yet.”

Denver Post claims the deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Kozak, indicated cameras were monitoring bathrooms in Sochi buildings.  In addition to the stadium construction, a large stretch of road was paved connecting the coast of Sochi with the area of Krasnaya Polyana. The road is quoted at $200 million per kilometer by the Wall Street Journal, and the road is almost 25 miles long.  The construction is reported to be the biggest contributor to the current problem because the workers have been reportedly feeding the animals until project completion, where in turn, the dogs are left in the streets.  Luckily, Russian natives know how to help the Sochi dogs through this crisis.  Thousands of strays have already been rounded up and taken to shelters and private homes.

Many people say Sochi was not the right place to hold the Olympics this year. If the Olympics were held in a location that did not require so much construction and spending, some claim it would have been a better experience; one with less problems.  The Economist reports 50 percent of Russian citizens believe the overrun cost of the Olympics is due to political corruption.

On the Change.org petition, an explanation for the current dog situation is described.  Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov publicly stated, for every dead dog 800 rubles will be rewarded.  This massacre was a government sponsored event which would have spent thousands upon thousands of rubles to take care of a situation animal activists are doing for free. If someone wants to know how to help the threatened dog population in Sochi, it starts with a plane ticket and ends with a new, furry addition to the family.

Editorial By Lindsey Alexander

Sources:

Humane Society International
#Sochi Problems
Change.org
Washington Post
The Economist

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