The U.S. Olympic team continues to reach out to Sochi stray dogs that have been sentenced to death by the Russian government prior to the Games. Although the authorities have promised to stop the killing spree and build shelters for the animals, American athletes were among the first to support this cause and even adopt some of the innocent souls that wander around the city of Sochi. The problem with Sochi stray dogs has captured the attention of the whole world, although some voices utter that homeless animals can be found in every country and that this is just a fad.
The first person in the U.S. Olympic team to reach out to Sochi stray dogs was Gus Kenworthy, a 22-year-old who won a silver medal in men’s slopestyle skiing, but whose trip back home was delayed by four bundles of joy and their mother, a stray family he found near the media center at the base of the mountain nearby the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park. Although the champion was supposed to return to the United States on Monday, he is still busy with the paperwork that needs to be done in order to take the Sochi stray dogs with him.
Pop star Miley Cyrus was among the people who reacted via Twitter to Kenworthy’s gesture of adopting the four puppies and their mother.
Another person from the U.S. Olympic team who decided to reach out to Sochi stray dogs and adopt is Amanda Bird, former athlete and current U.S. press officer for bobsled/ skeleton. After seeing an article in The New York Times, she contacted a shelter in Sochi and tried to rescue as many dogs as she can. According to Bird, the representatives from the shelters have been “wonderful to work with,” and she decided to adopt an older dog, because people usually choose to take home puppies.
“We’ll name her Sochi,” Bird said of her husband’s positive reaction to adopting a dog from Russia.
After Kenworthy and Bird, other athletes from the U.S. Olympic team decided to reach out to Sochi stray dogs. Hockey goaltender Ryan Miller tweeted a picture with a dog sleeping on front of the hotel where he is staying and called it “the hotel mascot,” and hockey players David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk also uploaded a photo petting and hugging stray dogs. Backes even told USA Today that street dogs are friendly and smart and they “perhaps have had a tough life and had to find ways to get food and shelter and water and all that good stuff.”
U.S. snowboard cross racer Lindsey Jacobellis also used Twitter to announce that she adopted a canine friend and many more other athletes showed support to the initiative of adopting Sochi stray dogs.
Humane Society International has made a to-do list for all those who want to adopt a stray dog from Sochi. First, people should know that the costs for transport range between $150 and $2,000 or more, depending on accommodation and airline. Americans must visit the Centers for Disease Control website in order to find out the details regarding paperwork and vaccinations and then contact the country’s embassy in Russia to for information regarding pet transportation requirements.
Visiting a licensed veterinarian while still in Russia is essential in order to obtain a health exam. Finally, people who wish to adopt animals from foreign countries must contact the airline in order to book a spot for the pet.
Plenty of people have shown interest towards Sochi stray dogs, but the U.S. Olympic team has reached out to the animals and decided to adopt some of them.
By Gabriela Motroc