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Russian Dogs Find Homes Abroad

This story is about more than stray dogs and the compassion we feel for and about them...

Published: April 2, 2014 (Issue # 1804)



  • Robin Douglas Macdonald and Mum in New York Citys Washington Square Park. It took weeks to transport the dogs from Sochi to the U.S. with the help of Humane Society International.
    Photo: Christopher Lane / AP

  • Borya is one of the dogs waiting to be adopted from the Viipurin Koirat Ry shelter in Finland.
    Photo: Mika Federley / Viipurin Koirat ry

  • Kuzma was found wounded in Vyborg. He lived in a shelter for a long time before being adopted. He now lives in Espoo.
    Photo: Ira Müller

  • Mauri, who was adopted as a puppy, enjoying the Finnish summer.
    Photo: Ira Müller

  • The puppies rush to get toys brought to the Viipurin Koirat Ry shelter by Finnish volunteers.
    Photo: Mika Federley / Viipurin Koirat ry

While some American athletes took home medals from the Sochi Games, others took home something a little bit bigger, furrier and a whole lot cuter local stray dogs.

Abandoned and doomed to a life on the streets in Sochi, these dogs captured the hearts of foreign athletes during their stay in Russia and now a number of athletes are working hard to give these animals a new life in America. Included in this list is American slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who became so attached to a family of stray dogs he found near the media center in Sochi that he decided to take them home with him. However, after taking nearly a month to get them out of Russia, two of the dogs have since died but the remaining five, a mother and her puppies, finally arrived in New York. on Mar. 14.

Related: Mission to Help Save Condemned Stray Sochi Dogs

Its just incredible. It feels so nice to have them home here. These dogs have traveled thousands of miles, and its been many, many weeks of this whole process finally coming to an end, Kenworthy told USA Today on Mar. 14.

Theyre very sweet. Theyre very comfortable around people. Theyre very docile. Theyre more than happy to be held and played with, he said.

Kenworthy will keep two of the puppies while the litters mother will live with Kenworthys mother. Another puppy will live with this brother and the last puppy will be adopted.

Related: St. Petersburg Bans Dog Hunter Sites

Another U.S. athlete following Kenworthys lead is Lindsey Jacobellis. Despite an unsuccessful run in the womens snowboard (she crashed in the semi-final, finishing 7th overall), Jacobellis.took home a black-and-tan pooch and named it Sochi. Ryan Miller, the goalkeeper for the U.S. mens ice hockey team, also brought home a furry friend a white dog with brown ears and black spots and mentioned that a couple of other stray dogs have been adopted by his team members. David Backes, a forward on the U.S. ice hockey team, together with his wife, also found shelter for dogs through their own program Athletes for Animals.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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