Dogs In Sochi During Olympics
If killing homeless dogs were an Olympic event, Sochi, Russia, would probably win the gold.
Thousands of dogs roaming the streets will be exterminated by Basya Services, a pest control company, during the Winter Games.
“A dog ran into the Fisht Stadium, we took it away,” Alexei Sorokin, director general of Basya Services, told the Associated Press (AP). “God forbid something like this happens at the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country.”
In an ABC News interview, Sorokin referred to the dogs as “biological trash.” He said the dogs, which his company has been contracted to “catch and dispose of,” have been causing problems, such as biting children.
But based on the AP story, the dogs seem pretty harmless. They like to gather near Olympic construction sites and to sneak inside the Olympic Park, where they are given food by workers and athletes.
“Olympic volunteers patted and cooed over strays that trotted into the park Monday,” the AP reports. “Another dog dropped to the ground, sunbathing under the Olympic Rings near a public site where medals will be presented to athletes during the games.”
Sorokin told ABC News the dogs would be killed using poison or traps, insisting that these methods were not inhumane. Shooting strays is common in some countries and in other Russian regions.
The mass killing of stray dogs has actually been going on for years in Sochi.
“We should understand that it is done not only before the Olympics but constantly,” animal activist Dina Filippova told the AP. “Two killers from that company work for the city to kill 300 dogs a month.”
She called the practice inhumane, adding that other countries, including the United States and Europe, solve the problem through “mass sterilization, which eventually leads to no stray dogs on the streets.”
Although Sochi city officials promised last year to build a shelter for the homeless dogs, and claim they have constructed one for 100 dogs, animal activists told the AP it does not actually exist.
These Winter Games are by far the most expensive in Olympic history, costing an estimated $51 billion. Among the reasons are security concerns and construction costs – along with alleged corruption and wasteful spending.
For example, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, a Russian Esquire article estimated that for the ridiculous amount of money the government paid for a new road to the mountain resort hosting ski and snowboard events, “the road could have been paved entirely with a centimeter-thick coating of Beluga caviar.”
How sad to think that just a fraction of that expense could have gone to building and maintaining a shelter large enough to house – and sterilize – all those stray dogs.