Target: Sochi Olympic organizers
Goal: Condemn Sochi for killing countless stray dogs
In Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic games, stray dogs have roamed the street throughout the Olympic construction. Recently, however, organizers contracted people to get rid of the dogs before the public arrived in Sochi.
Alexei Sorokin, director general of pest control firm Basya Services, recently told a reporter that his company had a contract to exterminate the animals throughout the Olympics. Sorokin described his company as being involved in the “catching and disposing” of dogs. He had no comment about whether this involved killing the dogs, or what he would do with their bodies if it did. He described the animals as “ biological trash” and said that Sochi has “an epidemic of rabies”. He called his job a public service.
Animal activist Dina Filippova said city authorities are using the Olympics as an excuse to cover an ongoing practice. According to her, the city has been actively culling the strays for quite some time. “It is not humane,” she said. “There is a humane way of solving the problem of stray dogs which is used in Europe and the United States and even in some countries of the former Soviet Union — that is a mass sterilization which eventually leads to no stray dogs on the streets.” She says that over 300 dogs a month are killed.
Sergei Krivonosov, a lawmaker from the Krasnodar region, where Sochi is located, supported the dog culling last year. He said taking the dogs off the street was Russia’s “responsibility to the international community and that their elimination is the quickest way to solve this problem.” He did acknowledge that the cull is “not the most humane way” of dealing with the problem and that authorities should encourage dog shelters.
Activists say there is no evidence that a shelter has been built, but city hall said in a statement on its website that it had recently opened a dog shelter for 100 dogs. One can only hope that this is true, and Russia will start treating the stray dogs with more respect. Condemn Sochi for murdering countless innocent dogs.
Dear Olympic organizers,
While I recognize that thousands of stray dogs is a problem, mass killings are not the solution. Poisoning, shooting, or otherwise harming the dogs is an inhumane way to deal with the epidemic. Shelters to take the dogs off the streets are a good start, as is reaching out to animal activists to place the friendly dogs in safe homes.
Please do not harm these dogs. It is through no fault of their own that they are homeless. Please find a place for them to go that is not on the streets where they can be killed. This cruelty to the dogs speaks more about Russia than any Olympic event. It is truly shameful.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andrey via Wikimedia Commons