Sochi Olympics Clean-up: Russian Man Shelters Stray Dogs to Save Them from Russian Company with a License to Kill

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | February 11, 2014 6:33 PM EST

 

Igor Ayrapetyan, a Russian activist, disagrees with the government on its decision to exterminate stray dogs in Sochi on the occasion of the Olympics. The 41-year-old gentleman decided to bring as many stray dogs as possible from Sochi to his home so that they can be saved from the company hired by the government for the "procedure."

Mr Ayrapetyan saw a post on Facebook that Russian authorities had plans to shoot stray cats and dogs on the eve of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He, accompanied by a friend, took his BMW SUV and went to Sochi only to pick up 11 street dogs from the city. The friend drove the vehicle while Mr Ayrapetyan took a nap in the long journey from Sochi to Moscow.

Mr Ayrapetyan told The Moscow Times that he had never been bitten by dogs. Dogs sense when people do not wish to harm them, he said as he picked one of the stray dogs in his arms and kissed it on its nose. He had had plans to pick up many more stray dogs before the Games began on Friday, Feb 7. However, several roads to Sochi were blocked due to the Olympic Torch Relay. His effort will now continue during the Games as well.

Sochi planned to evacuate stray cats and dogs from the city by 2015. They announced tenders for the "disposal" of the animals. Local animal lovers did not take the decision well. They had a rally in April 2013 against the decision to shoot stray animals. Around 1,500 signatures were collected in support of encouraging the authorities to form a shelter for stray dogs.

The authorities, on the other hand, claimed that the tenders had been cancelled as there was a very limited number of companies applying for the job. However, local resident kept on finding corpses of stray animals in the city in 2013. CNN reported earlier that a Russian woman named Yulia Krasova filmed a dying dog in her cell phone and posted it online.

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