Russian authorities stated that the stray dogs present a danger to the 200,000+ people who will be arriving to the remote region of Sochi for the Olympic Games. What they are doing to clear the streets of these pups is inhumane. Hundreds of dogs are being poisoned every day to lower the overpopulation. It was intended that all the stray dogs would be eliminated –permanently.
The revelation that Russian organizers were killing the pooches sparked international outcry. Upon hearing of this, a Russian billionaire, Oleg Deripaska decided to take a stand and attempt to rescue as many of these pups as possible. Deripaska stepped in to try to save the stray dogs by setting up a charity and providing much needed provisions and medical help.
Deripaska is proving that every dog can have its day.
Deripaska, who has built a $8.5 billion fortune from aluminum, donated $15,000 to start a shelter on land provided by the local government and pledged $50,000 or so to keep it running for a year. All dogs brought to the PovoDog shelter get medical care and vaccinations. Upon last count, the shelter housed 80 dogs, including 12 puppies.
A “dog rescue” golf cart is now searching the Olympic campus, picking up the animals and delivering them to the shelter. It is being called PovoDog, a play on the Russian word povodok, which means leash.
Local animal rights workers say many of the strays were pets, or the offspring of pets, abandoned by families whose homes with yards were demolished over the past few years to make way for the Olympic venues and who were compensated with new apartments in taller buildings, where keeping a pet is often not allowed.
Russia is implementing new policies.
Russia has never made a priority of pushing responsible animal control policies, including spaying and neutering, which would have helped avoid the current problems. Officials said that they will start a prevention and educational program to curb this problem.
Spared execution for the foreseeable future the lively canines at the PovoDog shelter barked in a loud chorus as the sun set on the preparations for the winter Olympics.
Many scampered around and nipped at each other playfully and tiny puppies squeaked and squawked. Workers said the puppies were likely to find homes faster than the older dogs. All the dogs will be restored to health and offered for adoption to local residents as well as Olympic fans.
I hope they all find good forever homes.