The Stray Dog Epidemic In Sochi
I always get excited when I hear about the olympics. I love to see the ice skating, skiing and snowboarding. I'm also simply blown away by the aerials. But imagine my surprise when I heard that the Russian officials in Sochi found that by killing off all the stray dogs, it would help alleviate the nuisance. How were they doing this? By poisoning these innocent animals that nobody wanted. Killing dogs in that way is very inhumane as it causes a long, painful death.
Unlike wild dogs, many of these strays were given up by families who didn't want them anymore. They are not mean and fierce but rather gentle and sweet. The one good thing about this story is that it's raised the world's awareness about the stray dog epidemic.
Who is Gus Kenworthy (pictured above)? He's an American silver medalist of the slope style event. Slope style is one of the newest events this year and is very exciting to watch. It's a cross between skiing and skateboarding, since it requires riding over metal rails, a trick that many skateboarders have done for years.
If many of you haven't heard, Gus came across this adorable family of strays. The mother was fiercely protective of her pups so instead of bringing one dog home with him, he's bringing home the mother and her four pups. At a young age of 22 years old, he is a lifelong dog lover who has made a very admirable decision to bring them home.
He's not just talking the talk but walking the walk. He has stayed behind to help fill out the paperwork and arrange their travel itineraries to get them home to Denver, while he's finishing up press tours this week in New York. He's also being assisted by Oleg Deripaska, a russian billionaire to help facilitate the paperwork.He's inspired other Olympians as well, including fellow snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis and a few of the players from the US Hockey team.He plans on giving the extra pups to family and friends once he comes back to Denver.
More people will know this billionaire from the pages of Forbes as opposed to the Olympics. He's a billionaire who made his fortune in the aluminum industry and is now CEO for the United Company RUSAL, Russia's largest aluminum company. He decided to build an animal shelter to help combat the stray problem in Sochi.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Both of these men have gone the extra mile to help these dogs. In a world where so many dogs can't be saved, it's nice to know that this bunch will have that chance.