Spurred by Sochi’s stray dog crisis, Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska has set up a remote animal shelter high up in the hills above Sochi.
There’s no running water and no electricity, but it’s clean, save haven from the city’s efforts to cull homeless canines ahead of the Winter Olympics, which officially begin today.
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) February 7, 2014
Volunteers say there are about 100 dogs there right now with room for 200 more. They’re separated by age but are able to roam free around the kennel.
Deripaska’s shelter is one of three recently set up. Just a few days ago, the city erected its own shelter nearby, though if the dogs there are not adopted soon they will be put down.
Last week the owner of the company hired by Sochi to kill the stray dogs set off international outrage when told ABC News the animals were “biological trash” that could threaten athletes at the games.
Humane Society International has written a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin urging him to put an end to the stray dog cull, appealing to his love of animals.
Sochi is home to countless strays, many of them former pets, which have been spotted wandering around some of the Olympic venues.