Olympic Athletes Rescue Sochi Stray Dogs

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You may have heard about Olympic slopeskier Gus Kenworthy's effort to adopt stray dogs in Sochi, Russia. Now many other Olympic athletes and Sochi residents are doing the same, Today reports.

Kenworthy is back home in Telluride, Colo. He delayed his return from Sochi to complete the adoption of four stray puppies and their mother. It was not an easy process. Kenworthy was unable to keep the dogs with him after deciding to adopt them while in Sochi.

"I tried to take them and bring them into the Athletes' Village with me, but you're not allowed to do that," Kenworthy said last week. "But I've come and seen them every day, and been feeding them."

Kenworthy posted pictures of himself with the dogs on Twitter, gaining widespread attention. His photos soon set off a string of other Olympic athletes' snapshots with stray dogs throughout Sochi. There are now many other stray dogs finding new homes with Olympians determined to bring them back to the States.

"I just posted these and said, 'Yeah I want to bring these home with me,' and it was insane, just the amount of outreach I got from people," Kenworthy said.

Snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis took to Instagram with a photo of a dog she is trying to adopt. Members of the U.S. men's hockey team are doing the same. Forward David Beckes and his wife are finding shelter for dogs through their own program, Athletes for Animals.

Residents of Sochi are trying to do their part as well. Kenworthy's story caught the eye of Russsian billionaire Oleg Deripaska. He has agreed to contribute to an animal shelter that has taken in many strays. Deripaska also plans to open a new shelter that will house up to 250 dogs.

Vlada Provotorova of Sochi has worked with volunteers to build a shelter called Sochi Strays. The shelter provides food and vaccinations for the city's dogs, and is trying to expand to accept more. The Humane Society International confirmed Sochi Strays as a reputable organization.

"There are now 15 dogs, and those dogs were saved by us," Provotorova said. "They were just prepared to be shot, which is why we're like a savior."

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Barracuda Kate

His name is spelled BACKES. :)

February 25 2014 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rachel LeBlanc

I am an advocate and rescuer of animals. While it is sweet an generous of them why not at home? The US shelters euthanize thousands a day due to overpopulation. Let's see them come home and use their new found popularity to do something for pets in their own backyard!

February 24 2014 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With all the troubles in the world Gus Kenworthy's kindness is a special blessing. He may be a true Olympian, but more importantly he is a good human being who has set a good example for all of us to follow - be kind to your fellow creatures!

February 22 2014 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those are some great athletes those dogs adopted!!

February 21 2014 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with Mitch. It's almost like these games were worth having after all. This is the "true Olympic spirit", not the "events" we've been watching all week

February 21 2014 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is hands down the best thing that has happened at the Olympics

February 21 2014 at 7:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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