Stray Dogs in Sochi Get a Second Chance

100 stray dogs from Olympic Park enjoy a reprieve made possible by a billionaire philanthropist, the city of Sochi and various animal-loving volunteers.

After Sochi officials received backlash regarding the practice of euthanizing strays, at least 100 dogs can sleep soundly for the length of the Olympics. 

Read Animal Lover’s Protest Killing of Dogs in Sochi>>

Sochi dogs Povo Dog. Photo by Kenin Liles USA TODAY

Photo by Kevin Lile, USA TODAY Sports

An area has been set aside to build a makeshift shanty town being called PovoDog, a play on the Russian word povodok, meaning leash. Replacing the pest control company that was contracted to remove the dogs, a “dog rescue” golf cart has been seen scouring the Olympic campus delivering dogs to the shelter made up of simple wood dog houses surrounded by wire fences.

Povodog was created with the efforts of three groups — one led by Gontareva Ekaterina, a retiree and animal activist, another by the philanthropic fund of billionaire Oleg Deripaska and another by the local government.

“Some of them lay on the dirt, soaking in sunshine with their eyes closed. A few small puppies nip at each other and roll around in sawdust, while others make eager introductions to visitors, almost begging to be adopted,” reports USA Today. “They perk up and start yapping when Jenya Popov, 25, who has been hired to live in a nearby aluminum shed with just a tiny cot, a stove heater and several bags of dog food, starts stirring around 3:30 p.m., eventually emerging with a large silver bucket.”

Many of the activists are aware that this is a temporary fix and hope to find homes for the dogs in the next three weeks before the games end. However it is unclear just how many of the dogs will have a realistic chance of finding homes.

“Especially now everyone wants a good breed,” caretaker Popov tells USA Today. “We’ve got Shar Pei puppies, well a multibreed of Shar Pei and a stray dog, and some people came to adopt one of them. But when they saw it was a multibreed, they refused.”

The city still needs a real plan for solving the issue. We can only hope that operation Povodog will buy them the time they need to determine the next steps in fixing the over-population problems.

The situation is explained further in this video from the NY Times:

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