Sochi’s sizeable stray dog population has become one of the big stories in the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
The Russian government hired a firm to poison the dogs before the games. The owner of the firm called the animals “biological trash” that would disrupt the Olympics and attack tourists.
Many of the dogs are pets that have been abandoned, or the offspring of those pets, according to the New York Times. In response to the systematized culling, a Russian billionaire opened a dog “shantytown,” the NYT reports, and has been rounding up dogs in the Olympic Park to save them from execution.
Based on anecdotal reports from journalists in the city, Sochi is absolutely teaming with stray dogs. They have been spotted at the train station, the coastal venues, the Olympic Park, and outside the Olympic Village.
They are adorable, and seem to be harmless:
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