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March 27, 2014

Ten Dogs Rescued from the Streets of Sochi Arrive in Washington, DC

Humane Society International

  • The PovoDog Animal Shelter in Sochi and HSI worked together to rescue stray dogs from being culled. Alexander Zemlianichenko, Jr./AP Images for HSI

  • Jimmy was among the first dogs to leave Sochi for the US. Alexander Zemlianichenko, Jr./AP Images for HSI

  • Our Emergency Placement Partner, Washington Animal Rescue League, was present to welcome the dogs, such as Bulka. Alexander Zemlianichenko, Jr./AP Images for HSI

  • HSI has partnered with Russian organizations to transport additional dogs like Molly from Sochi to the United States in the coming months. Alexander Zemlianichenko, Jr./AP Images for HSI

  • They made it! The dogs arrive at Dulles airport. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Media around the dogs from Sochi has helped lend attention to the issue of street dog overpopulation worldwide. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Transporting the dogs to their temporary home at our partner shelter, WARL. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • Settling into new quarters, to await adoption. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

  • "Bosh" pops up out of his run to see what's going on. Kevin Wolf/AP Images for HSI

Ten dogs rescued from the streets of Sochi, Russia, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, are now in the United States and will be adopted out, thanks to the care and efforts of the PovoDog Animal Shelter in Sochi and Humane Society International headquartered here.

The dogs landed at Dulles Airport earlier today and were transported from there by HSI animal rescue team members to our Emergency Placement Partner, Washington Animal Rescue League here. WARL will be solely responsible for the care and adoption of the animals.

You can help: Become a Street Dog Defender.

Kelly O’Meara, director of HSI Companion Animals and Engagement, stated, “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. Our goal is to protect street dogs from cruel and unnecessary killing programs—like the one employed by Sochi officials to “clean up” in advance of the Olympics—by working with governments to create humane and effective dog population management programs.”

“We are honored to assist HSI and PovoDOG in finding homes for these 10 dogs from Sochi,” said Bob Ramin, WARL CEO. “The Washington Animal Rescue League has been finding homes for animals for 100 years and we have a long history of leading the way in animal sheltering. We’re looking forward to meeting these dogs for the first time and introducing them to the Washington, D.C. region.”

During the last several weeks, HSI worked with PovoDog and two other Sochi organizations—Help for Homeless Animals in Sochi and LAPA—to assist with the placement of their street dogs into loving homes here.

HSI facilitated the connection between the PovoDog, a shelter started by the Russian charity Volnoe Delo Oleg Deripaska Foundation. The organizations will partner to transport additional dogs from Sochi to the United States in the coming months. Depending on future arrangements, the remaining dogs will arrive in locations other than Washington, D.C. and be placed with other placement partners.


  • One year ago, HSI urged the International Olympic Committee and Sochi authorities to handle the pervasive issue of street dogs in Sochi humanely. Sochi still went forward with a culling program to eliminate stray dogs in anticipation of the Olympic Games. HSI spoke out against this with a petition to President Vladimir Putin to end the cull and is awaiting a response to its offer of assistance in creating a humane and effective street dog population program in Russia.
  • HSI is also pushing the International Olympic Committee to mandate humane animal control standards when identifying a host country for future Olympics.
  • HSI will help the remaining street dogs in Sochi by working with the local government and organizations. We will also partner with international animal organizations to develop mass sterilization and vaccination programs in Russia.
  • Earlier this month, HSI helped Winter Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy transport four dogs he rescued from the streets of Sochi.

Images and b-roll video footage of the dogs’ arrival are available upon request. Interesting in adopting one of these dogs, or a future Sochi rescue?


Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440 rcontreras@humanesociety.org

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