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Russian Dogs Find Homes Abroad

This story is about more than stray dogs and the compassion we feel for and about them...

Published: April 2, 2014 (Issue # 1804)



  • Robin Douglas Macdonald and Mum in New York Citys Washington Square Park. It took weeks to transport the dogs from Sochi to the U.S. with the help of Humane Society International.
    Photo: Christopher Lane / AP

  • Borya is one of the dogs waiting to be adopted from the Viipurin Koirat Ry shelter in Finland.
    Photo: Mika Federley / Viipurin Koirat ry

  • Kuzma was found wounded in Vyborg. He lived in a shelter for a long time before being adopted. He now lives in Espoo.
    Photo: Ira Müller

  • Mauri, who was adopted as a puppy, enjoying the Finnish summer.
    Photo: Ira Müller

  • The puppies rush to get toys brought to the Viipurin Koirat Ry shelter by Finnish volunteers.
    Photo: Mika Federley / Viipurin Koirat ry

While some American athletes took home medals from the Sochi Games, others took home something a little bit bigger, furrier and a whole lot cuter local stray dogs.

Abandoned and doomed to a life on the streets in Sochi, these dogs captured the hearts of foreign athletes during their stay in Russia and now a number of athletes are working hard to give these animals a new life in America. Included in this list is American slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who became so attached to a family of stray dogs he found near the media center in Sochi that he decided to take them home with him. However, after taking nearly a month to get them out of Russia, two of the dogs have since died but the remaining five, a mother and her puppies, finally arrived in New York. on Mar. 14.

Related: Mission to Help Save Condemned Stray Sochi Dogs

Its just incredible. It feels so nice to have them home here. These dogs have traveled thousands of miles, and its been many, many weeks of this whole process finally coming to an end, Kenworthy told USA Today on Mar. 14.

Theyre very sweet. Theyre very comfortable around people. Theyre very docile. Theyre more than happy to be held and played with, he said.

Kenworthy will keep two of the puppies while the litters mother will live with Kenworthys mother. Another puppy will live with this brother and the last puppy will be adopted.

Related: St. Petersburg Bans Dog Hunter Sites

Another U.S. athlete following Kenworthys lead is Lindsey Jacobellis. Despite an unsuccessful run in the womens snowboard (she crashed in the semi-final, finishing 7th overall), Jacobellis.took home a black-and-tan pooch and named it Sochi. Ryan Miller, the goalkeeper for the U.S. mens ice hockey team, also brought home a furry friend a white dog with brown ears and black spots and mentioned that a couple of other stray dogs have been adopted by his team members. David Backes, a forward on the U.S. ice hockey team, together with his wife, also found shelter for dogs through their own program Athletes for Animals.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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