Thanks to the publicity they received during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, 10 of the thousands of the city's stray dogs made it to the US for adoption.
Ten dogs from Sochi, Russia have arrived at a Washington, D.C, animal shelter where they will be offered for adoption after the round-up of thousands of strays garnered international attention in the lead up to February’s Olympic Games.
Russian officials began the catching the dogs roaming the Black Sea resort city ahead of the opening of the games, leading to charges that the animals were being killed.
The dogs arrived at the Washington Animal Rescue League in a white Humane Society van on March 27.
“For us, these dogs are wonderful ambassadors for the street-dog issue that exists around the world,” said Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for Humane Society International, an advocacy group that partnered with a shelter in Sochi to bring the animals to Washington.
Since February, the 10 dogs have been cared for by PovoDog, a privately financed Sochi animal shelter that vaccinated and prepared them for the two-day trip to Washington.
The Russian airline Aeroflot provided free airfare to the strays, said O’Meara, explaining that the journey would have otherwise cost an average of US$2,000 (RM6,500) per dog.