Dogs & Laws

To Prepare for Olympics, Sochi Traps, Kills Thousands of Stray Dogs

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A Stray Dog Sits In Front Of The New Olympic Village In Sochi, Russia. Photo Credit Alicia Kendig, Twitter.
A stray dog sits in front of the new Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia. Photo credit Alicia Kendig, Twitter.

Despite public opposition and outrage from animal rights activists, Sochi, Russia has quietly hired an independent company to take care of the city’s overwhelming stray dog problem – using any means necessary – in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics.

According to multiple reports, the government sought bids from “dog hunters” who could carry out the job to “dispose of” the city’s about 2,000 stray dogs between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. each day, offering 1.7 million Rubles (or, roughly $48,000).

The owner of Basia Services Extermination Company, the company hired to handle the problem, Alexei Sorokin, told ABC News in defense of his company’s actions, “let’s call things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash.” (Clearly, we’re not dealing with a dog lover here.)

Sorokin explained that his company was hired as a “public service,” to protect residents and visitors to Sochi. “I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs,” he said.

Sorokin’s company uses poison and traps to eliminate the thousands of stray dogs roaming the city, but denies allegations of animal abuse.

Several reporters covering the Winter Olympic preparations in Sochi Tweeted photos of dogs in the city:

Stray puppy dogs have an automatic accreditation in the Sochi Olympic village pic.twitter.com/VGpQ0oK82W

— Alicia Kendig (@Sport_NutriLish) January 30, 2014

Another reported seeing multiple stray dogs outside his hotel and described the dogs as gentle:

Four stray dogs outside my hotel in #Sochi. Even some police are sympathetic and occasionally feed. Very gentle. pic.twitter.com/wOxb2lUBrm

— Andrew Chang (@AndrewChangCBC) February 1, 2014

While the homeless dog population in Sochi is clearly a real problem for the city, advocates propose that killing off and disposing of the current stray dogs will only temporarily fix the problem.

“Russia, in general, has irresponsible dog owners who, when they get bored of their home pet experiment, kick them out on the street,” Sorokin explained to ABC News. “So parks are dumping grounds for unwanted dogs. We end up with many stray dogs who pose a threat to population.”

Perhaps the city’s funds would be better spent on spay and neuter programs that prevent the problem from redeveloping in the near future and on educating dog owners on proper care of their pets.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Avatar Of Andrew

    Andrew

    says:

    This is a terrible problem no doubt, but it is not worth not participating in the Olympics. I agree that it is impossible for the Olympics to be “above politics” in this day and age but we should still try to not use them as a political ploy. One thing people seem to be forgetting in light of this terrible abuse (I am a dog lover and can’t imagine moving somewhere I couldn’t take my cocker spaniel with me, but then again I don’t live under Putin’s presidency) is that not participating in these games and not watching or listening to these games hurts OUR ATHLETES more than Russia. No matter what Russia is going to get television, tourism, and other money for hosting the Olympics. Some of these athletes only get to shine every four years. I know I watch the X Games winter games every year so I get to see the snowboarders and skiers most of the time. However, think about the curlers, lugers, bobsledders, skeleton riders, ski jumpers, and the rest of our 230 athletes that only get to shine on an Olympic stage. I understand everyone’s reasoning for saying boycott the games, but I will be watching and cheering on those Americans who worked their asses off for four years to get there and compete. The Olympics are about being proud of your nation and supporting them. Yes, there are problems in every country that should be brought to light but the Olympic Games should not be boycotted to prove a point. The hosting country already has it’s money…you’re only hurting the athletes who trained to go compete.

  2. Avatar Of Chris

    chris

    says:

    In a way, the US is boycotting the Olympics…did you see the opening ceremonies that were televised on the 7th, THEY SUCKED! That’s right. Ever since the Olympics were taken from the ABC television affiliates and have gone to those NBC television channels the coverage has SUCKED. And this one was the worst. When I was younger Olympic coverage was 20/7 (given our local news affiliates some Tele time). You turned on channel 7 and all you saw was some sort of Olympic games coverage from Jim McKay. Bob Costas sucks. Everything about the Olympics sucks….just wait until Summer 2016…you think Russia is bad wait until they go to Rio…it’s BAD there NOW. The Olympics are just another way countries can “justify” spending an outrageously HUGE amount of money on CRAP THEY DON’T NEED, instead of spending that money on it’s citizens and in Russia’s case, abandoned dogs. And who foots that bill….the people who live in that country…NOT THE GOVERNMENT NOR THEIR STUPID PRESIDENT’S (That’s right WE HAVE ONE TOO – and yes I can say that because I actually live in the state that the ASS came from when he got elected the first time.)
    The Olympics have become a huge joke in the last decade and are just getting worse. The treatment towards human populations as well as animals is deplorable and the only one’s to stop it is us, the general public. Governments and politicians only care about themselves and their egos. Those are the “people” that should be humanely euthanized for the betterment of ALL societies concerned, NOT the helpless, abandoned animals.

    live IN the state the idiot came from so I know exactly what an ass he was BEFORE he got elected the FIRST TIME!)

  3. Avatar Of Abi Sinclair

    Abi Sinclair

    says:

    What do people suggest they do with all of these strays if they don’t have the means to house or rehome them? It’s more humane to put them down, what quality of life do they have as strays?

    • Avatar Of Andrew

      Andrew

      says:

      Alive is almost always better than dead. And most of the animals pictures have been taken of seem to be well off.

  4. Avatar Of Susan

    Susan

    says:

    Another instance of defenseless animals paying the price for human ignorance. Thousands of dogs? Obviously this is not a new problem!! How did it get to be this way?!? This disgusts me on so many levels. I will not be buying products or watching the network etc. that is endorsing the Olympics. I suggest anyone outraged do the same. One voice can be a million if you stand behind your convictions..

  5. Avatar Of Lisa

    lisa

    says:

    SMH…Stupid country. How can have let this get this bad? Horrible host country that hasn’t even finished the accommodations for the guest. Its like a 3rd world country. I could careless about these Olympics..

  6. Avatar Of Carole Keys

    CAROLE KEYS

    says:

    WELL I GUESS IF THEY HAVE TOO MANY PEOPLE ON THE STREET, THEY WILL SHOOT THEM TOO.

  7. Avatar Of Addison

    addison

    says:

    unequal human rights…mass genocide…geez Russia who taught you how to host the Olympics? Germany

  8. Avatar Of Addison

    addison

    says:

    look guys.. It’s Russia. Did you really expect anything less. Look at the state of their government, look at their leader. Hell, they can barely supply enough clean water for the athletes.

  9. Avatar Of Lea

    Lea

    says:

    This is very sad, but I agree with whoever mentioned the orphans above. We didn’t need *this* reason to be outraged. What has been done to innocent children, human beings, is far worse. Families who have met these children and fell in love with them are now shut off from finalizing their adoptions. A good friends’ two kids are stuck over there with medical issues that will never be addressed, because of Putin. How they treat animals is just the tip of the iceberg.

  10. Avatar Of Deb

    Deb

    says:

    SHAME ON YOU RUSSIA! You had “7” years at the very least to educate/assist pet owners with spay & neuter programs & to try to find homes for these stray dogs. Before the Olympics started. But instead YOU chose to “MASS KILL THEM” “to protect residents and visitors to Sochi” so the people could walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs”. So much for the Olympic spirit of unity & peace. No thanks, Sochi.

  11. Avatar Of J Singh

    J singh

    says:

    Hope man destroys himself..he has no right to live!

  12. when Olympics were here in los angeles we cleared out the unseemly homeless, we just didn’t kill them.

  13. Avatar Of Cindy.

    Cindy.

    says:

    It is sad sad !what is happening! all over our world!so much sadness !..when are we going to learn, that by killing .. will not help! anything!!The Bible states Man will destroy himself! that is what he is doing with our water, our animals!our children! in the last days its says also!in Revaluations! Mother will be against son. daughter Will be against farther!its all coming true very fast!the only thing is to get ,God back in,America! we have left him out!its never to late to turn our country back to God!i am so sad what they have done but someday they will pay!! for what they do they get away from man but not from God!

  14. Avatar Of Pia Møller pia møller says:

    shit country. not the first time they have done this…. ukraine was the same…. thay burned dogs and cats alive to clean up the streets. the only way this ever stops is if people boycutt it!´and i can assure you on that it will be boycutt´ed in my house!

  15. Avatar Of Lisa Hardy

    Lisa Hardy

    says:

    If we excluded every country that has terrible pet overpopulation policies from hosting the Olympics, few, if any, countries would be eligible, including our own. The US still euthanizes 2-3 million homeless pets every year and not always humanely. Ever hear of a gas chamber? Yep, they are legal in some US states. Or how about the thousands of wild horses that our government has rounded up to placate the ranchers and the horses ended up at a slaughterhouse.

    My heart breaks for the Sochi dogs but America’s animal welfare policies aren’t perfect either.

  16. Avatar Of Lalitha Ddr

    Lalitha Ddr

    says:

    Atrocious act by insane authorities ! Cruelty at peaks

  17. Avatar Of Ashley

    Ashley

    says:

    I am a big fan of the Olympic Winter Games, however, after everything I have heard regarding the treatment on animals (specifically dogs) I will NEVER watch or support another Olympic event.

  18. Avatar Of Jackie Blaurock

    Jackie Blaurock

    says:

    They have captured two wild killer whales, to put into a small concrete tank to be viewed by visitors . Clearly this country doesn’t have what it takes to host the winter games

  19. Avatar Of A. Hogel

    A. Hogel

    says:

    People can be as outraged as you want to be over this but here is a fact. Every single day in the U.S. there is 5x as many as this being euthanized because of irresponsible owners. Neglected, abused, tortured, maimed and abandoned animals by the thousands on a daily basis roaming city streets and filling up shelters that have no room for them. How about spay/neuter programs here? Oh that’s right we already have them and yet we still euthanize millions of animals each year. Perhaps we need to look inside our own boundaries before we spout off about what goes on in other countries. What goes on at home is a far bigger tragedy than what is happening there.

  20. Avatar Of Haru Husky

    Haru Husky

    says:

    What’s said that while all this his happening our Olympic teams are over here taking their pictures with huskies. And in Russia their killing dogs. Also Russia has the one gentleman that ran away from the US. So yeah I would boycott or tell Russia to STOP and all the dogs that are caught brought to the us for better lives.

  21. Avatar Of Nyno Wallace

    Nyno Wallace

    says:

    I say lets boycott the Olympics!!!!!!

  22. I am now making a commitment to place flyers around and begin talking to folks about BOYCOTTING the Olympics!!!!! This is inhumane and we all should begin to stop animal cruelty everywhere in the world!!!!! As for the company…..pray for disaster and a quick loss of revenue …close them down!!!! Basia Services Extermination needs to be put out of business!!!! Only wish our athletes were informed of this and decide not to attend!!!!!! Pass this on to your local media!!!!! and to your humane societies!!!!!!! For the love of the animals and God’s sake!!!! DO SOMETHING EVERYONE!!!! I will!!!!

  23. Avatar Of Cheryl

    Cheryl

    says:

    If the US does not boycott the Olympics for this pathetic bull shit that they are doing to these animals then I will gladly not watch it. It’s not enough that 9 million animals get euthanized each year in America but now we have these asses killing dogs for nothing. How about catch them and find them homes. You rule everything else that goes on in your stupid country but you cant get your homeless dog situation under control. How about keep people from breeding them, or adopting more then one or catch them and fix them so they wont breed anymore.

  24. Avatar Of Merryl Merryl says:

    Someone should trap and poison Putin and that biological trash Sorokin!
    They are both bastards.
    We should have boycotted Russia anyway…the whole country is corrupt and cruel!

  25. Avatar Of L. Rose

    L. Rose

    says:

    Killing innocent homeless animals, they didn’t put themselves on the street incompetent owners did. What’s next,the homeless population, are they going to poison, trap and kill all of them too to clean up their city for the games?!!!

  26. Avatar Of Linda Clausnitzer

    Linda Clausnitzer

    says:

    I too will be boycotting the Olympics by not watching!! Such cruelty to these poor animals !!

  27. Avatar Of Regina Golden

    Regina Golden

    says:

    Russia is a barbaric, backward country….everyone knows that….why are the Olympic games there?? Dogs being murdered for the Olympics….a disgrace to the United States…Eff the games…

  28. Avatar Of Deb

    Deb

    says:

    These poor babies.. It is not their fault that they are homeless. If only that country was more compassionate and would have a Spay Neuter program and also do something to find these dogs homes..
    As far as I am concerned (after hearing about this cruelty) I will NOT BE WATCHING the Olympics! I wish that the U.S. would boycott the games. Bless these poor dogs and cats.

  29. Avatar Of Dd dd says:

    This is just horrible and it should not be happening…
    We need to help this poor babies it is not there fault that there owners left them out on the street to die it is so sad! We would not do that here in America so maybe they just need us to help out in the future… I love dogs and this just makes me so sad and mad…

  30. Avatar Of Mitzi

    mitzi

    says:

    Are you kidding me? Have none of you seen the orphanages in countries like this? Google it. Children are left in baby beds 24 hrs a day for years. There is no love or affection given to them because they have no value. And the huge outcry is about dogs? Do you know how many dogs and cats are euthanized every day in the US because of the exact same reason it is being done in Russia? Where is the outcry for them? We are huge hypocrites if we boycott the Olympics and do nothing to protect animals from abuse and death in our own backyard. Also, the Olympics is not about honoring great athletes. It is about putting political and cultural differences aside to celebrate something positive in an effort to improve relations and prompte peace. To boycott the Olympics because the countries envolved have different values than ours is to completely miss the point. I am against killing these animals and wish the authorities could have sought homes for them but they didn’t. Maybe we could send them a message that ifthey have similar issues in the future we would be happy to help them deal with it in a more positive way as well as help them come up with ways to avoid the problem in the first place. That’s what caring neighbors would do.

  31. Avatar Of Mary

    Mary

    says:

    The Russian Olympics sucks on so many levels. Between their attitudes toward gays and now the extermination of stray dogs (which I am not equating), I wouldn’t attend if someone paid my airfare and bought my tickets.

  32. Avatar Of Tammy Harris

    tammy harris

    says:

    can you say spay and neuter in Russia,, do they know what it is,, or just don’t care apparently,, what a country.

  33. Avatar Of Chris Chris says:

    For those of you going crazy at the Russians, you might want to consider the FACT that 5,500 shelter dogs are killed in the USA every single day.

    That is:

    38,500 dogs killed every week
    154,000 every month
    2007500 every year

    mnn.com/family/pets/stories/artist-paints-5500-shelter-dogs-the-number-killed-in-the-us-each-day

    • Avatar Of A. Hogel

      A. Hogel

      says:

      Exactly! All because even Americans refuse to take care of pets the way they should be. Is it a tragedy these animals are being treated like this in Russia? Of course it is, but it happens every single day in the good old U.S.A. People beating, torturing, killing and abandoning dogs and cats. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    • Avatar Of Leslie

      leslie

      says:

      Thank you Chris. I am against the murdering of these dogs in Russia but us Americans are doing the same thing every day. It’s just not publicized like this story is. It all goes back to uneducated and irresponsible owners.

    • Avatar Of Addison

      addison

      says:

      You are a communist

  34. Avatar Of Carol Hutchison

    Carol Hutchison

    says:

    One thing for sure, I won’t be watching the Olympics this year.

  35. Avatar Of Jennifer Sanford

    Jennifer Sanford

    says:

    Maybe they (the government) should let people(tourist)
    adopt the dogs.They should have used the money to fund a spay and neuter program .

  36. Avatar Of Marty Weintraub

    Marty Weintraub

    says:

    Russia has some nerve killing helpless animals. All the animals want is someone
    to love them the way we want to be loved.
    I will not watch the Olympics on TV. Fuck the Russian Pricks who did this.
    May you all rot in HELL.

  37. Avatar Of Chris Geise

    Chris Geise

    says:

    I won’t be watching the. There has to be a better way.

  38. Avatar Of Carol Dorsett

    Carol Dorsett

    says:

    Boycott the Olympics until they agree to help the stray dogs not kill them! Loss of money always talks.

  39. Avatar Of Irene

    Irene

    says:

    Biological trash?! How dare they!!!! They should take away the Olympics. This is wrong. Why hasn’t any organization done anything about this. These are innocent animals. Someone please stop this. Don’t they have a heart?!?!!! This is wrong. This is WRONG!!!

  40. Avatar Of Renee

    Renee

    says:

    clearly we need to take the Olympics out of that place! if they are going to do “inhumane” things to get the games there then they don’t deserve it. put the games somewhere else! everyone should not watch it in protest, it’s all about the ratings so if they don’t get the ratings, they’ll figure it out! these “people” are obviously disgusting, heartless, and immoral. can’t wait for them to figure out that god loves his dogs and they have to answer for it.

  41. Avatar Of Chuchiputch

    chuchiputch

    says:

    I am afraid dog and cats are now considered a vermin, and something has to be done. But when you have governments world wide that refuse to bring in laws to deal with this problem, then these blessed creatures will have to pay, and pay in an evil murderous way. In Khon Kean Thailand I saw hundreds and hundreds of street dogs, tiny pure bred dogs no longer puppies so thrown out in the street, dying dogs dragging themselves along, dogs with broken limbs, huge cancerous tumors hanging off, and they have a fantastic FREE animals clinic, spaying free, medicines free, but to these people they are rubbish why waste your time. Something WORLD WIDE has to be done. In another country they go around beating the dogs to death in the streets, in Greece they poison them and beat them to death, drown them, bury them alive, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!!

  42. Avatar Of Tammy

    Tammy

    says:

    I agree with you all, I will not be watching the Olympics this year either. And that’s a shame because we watch to support our countries. But, after reading this, I just can’t bring myself to even do that. OHHHHH GRRRRR

  43. Avatar Of Tammy

    Tammy

    says:

    Perhaps all the dogs should be taken out of Russia and given to people who would love to care for and love them, which is what they deserve. They never asked to be put with a family that is irresponsible and unloving. And, perhaps these people need to learn exactly how that feels, to be put out of a house where they thought they belonged.

    And the Government should be held responsible for such despicable behavior as in animal cruelty. They should cancel the Olympics or return to a place they have been help before instead of in Russia. I bet that would get their attention.

    F***ing people need to be shot. Makes my blood boil.

  44. Avatar Of Alice Morgan

    Alice Morgan

    says:

    I was looking forward to the winter games, but, I will not be watching them this year.
    Hope everyone enjoys themselves while these poor animal are being murdered on the streets.
    That whole situation has just turned my stomach.

  45. Avatar Of Deborah Younce

    Deborah younce

    says:

    I am going to boycott the winter olympics hands down

  46. Avatar Of Jen

    jen

    says:

    may these people rot in hell. how can a person just kill a dog because he is homeless like the dog asked god oh yeah when I come to earth can you make me homeless these people suck

  47. Avatar Of Tracy

    tracy

    says:

    We should not hold the olympic there- PLAIN & SIMPLE!
    If they are not up-to-date to their animal control – then I am pretty sure their facility & surrounding areas must be archaic dealth traps!
    I cant believe that they are MURDERING 1000’s of animals instead of a more humane alternative!

    • Avatar Of Cheri Swain

      Cheri Swain

      says:

      Amen!!! I usually always look forward to the winter games… Not this one. This makes me sick!! Shame in Russia!!!!!’

  48. Avatar Of Deltarose

    Deltarose

    says:

    Alexei Sorokin, “let’s call things by their real name. You are are biological trash.”

  49. Avatar Of Wendy

    Wendy

    says:

    Murdering bastards,plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why not go around killing stray kids walking the streets. You should hang your bloody heads in shame you sickening parasites!!!!!!!!!!I would never go to your country,even if I was paid. It is bad enough seeing the hundreds of posts from other countries about killing innocent animals.

  50. Avatar Of Dorie Dorie says:

    I can’t believe what I just read! That is cruel and they should be ashamed! United States should be too if they support it just so they can play stupid games! How does this look to killing innocent dogs, when the whole point of these games is to honor great athletes from different regions of the world! Then to find out animals were killed so they could preform! There has to be a better way to deal with it! Instead of killing them capture them find their owners make them pay a fine plus mandatory neutering then maybe they will think twice before they get one and not taking care of them!

  51. Avatar Of Sherry Smith

    Sherry Smith

    says:

    Just based on the fact that all those dogs were murdered I would absolutely not attend the Olympics in Russia or any other place that was so cold and callous. SHAME ON RUSSIA!!!

    • Well we all participated in the Chinese olympics and they have a wonderful reputation for human rights! They eat dogs there! The Olympics are supposed to be above all this sort of thing! Non political or it used to be! I don’t think the olympics should be held in any country that has any cause for concern with the rest of the world, but I don’t somehow think that it would stop cuelty or abuse in these nations!

      • Avatar Of Barry M Mccarthy

        Barry M McCarthy

        says:

        Hi Ann Marie (hey maybe we are related, my Great Grandfather John McCarthy arrived from Ireland to Victoria, Australia in the late 1800’s) I am an Australian living in Vietnam and I read your comments with great interest. Interestingly enough I have been in contact with ‘Soi’ a group of amazing people in Thailand that rescue and repatriate 100’s of dogs that are bound for the meat markets (many in Hanoi North Vietnam) and their skins are used for Gloves and or Drum Kits!!!!. Refer the following if you want to follow these wonderful good Samaritans:
        soidog.org/en/newsletter-sign-up/past-newsletters/26-12-2013/magic1000gg.html. I contacted them as I also wish to start a similar Dog/Cat Rescue here and lobby the VN Govt against the Prevention of Cruelty to all Animals.
        Hope you enjoy the info I sent you and I would love to hear back from you on not only the plight of Dogs but also the origins of your family.

        Kindest Regards

        Barry M McCarthy
        (F/B Barry M McCarthy)

    • Avatar Of Frank Stein

      Frank STein

      says:

      Shame on all of the particpate nations because russia do it for them only for the big business of EOC!!! Boykott theese games!! no tv no radio nothing

  52. Avatar Of Teri Brown Teri Brown says:

    What is wrong with this culture? We have too much animal abuse in the U.S. but we also have advocates who fight for humane treatment and laws that punish abusers. Studies show that people who abuse animals (abandonment is abuse) practice criminal behavior including abuse on vulnerable humans.

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