Security Blocks Road to Sochi’s Shelter for Strays

Feb 14, 2014 9:02am

The road to the only private kennel in the remote hills above Sochi was blocked by security today and the kennel’s operator said the animal shelter had become overcrowded with strays rounded up from the Olympic venue.

ABC News tried to visit the kennel today, but was halted by security officers, some in plainclothes and some in uniform. The officers wouldn’t identify who they work for and threatened to call police on an ABC News crew hoping to visit the kennel.

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In response to an outcry over the fate of stray animals being rounded up in Sochi, local authorities and private groups have built makeshift dog shelters in an attempt to deal with the stray dog population in and around the Olympic Games. Ints Kalnins/Reuters

The kennel had attracted publicity for taking in stray dogs that survived a culling in and around the Olympics facilities. Humanitarian groups — including athletes such as American freeskier Gus Kenworthy — offered to help the Sochi strays.

When reached by phone, a person at the animal shelter told ABC News that because of the publicity the place is now overcrowded.

The private shelter was funded by wealthy Russian  Oleg Deripaska. A city kennel, hastily thrown together a couple of weeks ago, is located nearby.

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