The kennel at the Washington D.C. Animal Rescue League (WARL) has some new tail-wagging inhabitants. And hopefully the trainers there speak Russian, as 10 dogs from Sochi arrived yesterday via Dulles airport, having been rescued and brought to the U.S. for adoption.
Only days ago, the 10 dogs -- all mixed-breeds -- were roaming the streets of Sochi, the Russian city that hosted this year's Winter Olympics. But now, thanks to the Humane Society International (HSI), which arranged the transport, and Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska, who funded the effort through his charity PovoDOG, the mutts are now awaiting new, loving homes in the States.
"We are honored to assist HSI and PovoDOG in finding homes for these 10 dogs from Sochi,” Bob Ramin, WARL CEO, said in a news release. “We’re looking forward to meeting these dogs for the first time and introducing them to the Washington, D.C. region."
"We are excited to make the connection for homeless Sochi dogs with loving homes in the United States, with our focus on helping street dogs in Russia and around the world," said Kelly O’Meara, director of HSI Companion Animals and Engagement. O'Meara said she expects adoption applications for the Russian dogs to pour in in the coming days.
During the Olympics, reports of Sochi's large stray dog population and the government's apparent plan to euthanize them spread across international media channels. Waves of sympathy and offers to help flooded in. Several Olympic athletes ended up adopting dogs.
And now PovoDOG, HSI and WARL have all done their part.
[Humane Society International] [National Geographic]