Dog lovers the world over will still hear the piteous howls coming from the safe-only-for-the-moment Sochi mutts in the “shantytown of doghouses” calling for adoption
Sochi’s Slaughter of Dogs
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Hundreds of stray dogs facing Sochi slaughter before the Winter Games are smarter by half than Putin’s pencil-pushing bureaucrats. In staving off starvation, hundreds of their kind figured out how the complex Moscow subway system works—and ride it daily in and out of the suburbs.
Just like commuters who travel the tubes with their briefcases each morning, Moscow dogs clamber onto the cars to travel to the city center, where it is easier to find more food.
The marvel is that they travel back to where they live each evening!
“They do not just go to the subway station, they actually board the trains,” said Biology professor Andrew Poyarkov. (rupor.org.) “They seem to have learnt how long they need to stay on the train to leave at the right station.
“Sometimes they fall asleep and miss their stop. Then they get off and take another train back to the centre,” Prof Poyarkov said.
In the most expensive Olympics in all of history, the Russian administration issued an order to animal volunteers through their hired exterminators: “Either you take all the dogs from the Olympic Village or we will shoot them.” (New York Times, Feb. 5, 2014).
“A dog shelter backed by a Russian billionaire is engaged in a frantic last-ditch effort to save hundreds of strays facing a death sentence before the Winter Olympics begin here.
“Already, hundreds of animals have been killed, with the local authorities apparently wanting the stray dogs cleared from the streets before Friday’s opening ceremony.”
Animal rescue volunteers report that he stray dogs in Sochi have been shot with poisoned darts, then tossed into waiting trucks at the rate of about 300 dogs a month since October. The darts used to shoot the strays are laced with a chemical that causes them to suffocate.
A rescue effort on behalf of a charity called Volnoe Delo (which translates roughly to Good Will) is being financed by Oleg V. Deripaska, a Russian billionaire.
Deripaska’s financing includes a “dog rescue” golf cart now scouring the Olympic campus picking up the animals and delivering them to a makeshift dog shelter, which in reality is “an outdoor shantytown of doghouses” on a hill on the outskirts of Sochi.
At the time of this writing, some 80 strays were sheltered at the shantytown doghouse.
Tragically, it was years of preparation for the Winter Games that drew the dogs to the Olympic Village site in the first place.
Many of the Sochi 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 Olympic venues.
Putin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov acknowledged in a radio interview on Wednesday that Sochi was struggling with stray dogs.
“It is true that there are stray dogs in Sochi, more stray dogs than in other cities,” he said. “The explanation is quite simple. When a big construction project is underway, dogs and puppies always appear whom the builders feed. Now the builders have left, but unfortunately, the dogs remain.”
Not so simple is the explanation why the Putin administration never initiated more human animal control policies, including spaying and neutering, which would have gone a long way in preventing the Sochi slaughter.
Nor is there much compassion from the International Olympic Committee, whose spokesman Mark Adams told reporters Wednesday that no healthy dogs found on the grounds of the Olympics were being destroyed.
“It would be absolutely wrong to say that any healthy dog will be destroyed,” he said.
The cries of journalists, Olympic athletes and fans complaining about brown water, bugs and failing toilets in their expensive hotels will soon be replaced by gold, silver and bronze medal winner reports. But dog lovers the world over will still hear the piteous howls coming from the safe-only-for-the-moment Sochi mutts in the “shantytown of doghouses” calling for adoption.