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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 City’s 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

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

“They’re very sweet. They’re very comfortable around people. They’re very docile. They’re more than happy to be held and played with,” he said.

Kenworthy will keep two of the puppies while the litter’s mother will live with Kenworthy’s 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 Kenworthy’s lead is Lindsey Jacobellis. Despite an unsuccessful run in the women’s 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. men’s 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, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain.” The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their “Industrial St. Petersburg” Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the “Business With China” forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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