SOCHI, Russia, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska is funding the shelter to save the stray dogs living in Sochi, the site of the Winter Olympics.
After it was announced that Sochi organizers planned to euthanize the dozens of stray dogs occupying the town of Sochi, Russia, prior to the start of the Olympic games, there was an international outcry. The dogs are perceived as being friendly and are seen all around the village. They even made appearances at some of the Olympic events.
When it was announced they were to be killed, Nadezhda Mayboroda decided she was going to try to save them and set up a makeshift shelter to take the dogs in and try to find them homes. The shelter houses about 140 dogs and people are adopting some every week. When Mayboroda needed the money to fund the project, financing came from an unexpected source.
Deripaska, one of the richest men in Russia, heard about the dogs and remembered the stray dog he adopted when he was a boy, "My first dog I found in the street in my village, a tiny village, and it was maybe my very close friend for almost five years."
The lucky dogs are now in a funded shelter and waiting to be adopted.