Amid continued debate over whether or not Sochi is prepared to host the 2014 Olympics, which begins Thursday, reporters from around the world are starting to check into local hotels — to their apparent grief. Some journalists arriving in Sochi are describing appalling conditions in the housing there, where only six of nine media hotels are ready for guests. Hotels are still under construction. Water, if it’s running, isn’t drinkable. One German photographer told the AP over the weekend that his hotel still had stray dogs and construction workers wandering in and out of rooms.
More animal cruelty in Sochi for Russia’s Winter Olympics: After two orcas were kidnapped from the wild to display at Sochi, stray dogs will now be rounded up and killed so they don’t “spoil the atmosphere for tourists”
Private company believed to have been hired to rid the city of stray dogs
News comes after officials appeared to back down on extermination plans
Owner of company hired to kill strays says they are just ‘biological trash’
He reportedly plans to use traps and poison to kill the homeless dogs
The city of Sochi has hired a private company to kill as many stray dogs as possible before the Winter Olympics, it has been claimed.
Describing the animals as ‘biological trash’, the owner of the company has reportedly admitted being tasked with using poison and traps to rid the city of stray dogs before thousands of tourists and competitors arrive for the Games’ opening ceremony next Friday.
The news will anger animal rights campaigners who thought Sochi officials had abandoned plans to exterminate the stray dogs following widespread protests last year.
Speaking to ABC News, the owner of Basia Services extermination company Alexei Sorokin claimed the animals were a realistic threat to the Games.
‘Imagine if during an Olympic Games a ski jumper landed at 130KPH (80 MPH) and a dog runs into him when he lands. It would be deadly for both the jumper and the stray dog,’ he said.
Describing his work as a public service to prevent ‘an epidemic of rabies’, Sorokin added: ‘I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs’.
Although he denied suggestions of animal cruelty, Sorokin admitted his company mainly uses poison and traps to kill the dogs, before adding: ‘Let’s call these things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash’.
He also reportedly claimed that Basia Services were called in only after a city-backed programme to have the stray dogs adopted failed to attract interest.
Basia Services is one of Russia’s largest extermination companies specialising in dog removal, although an ever-worsening problem with strays has seen smaller business and even vigilante groups spring up across the country.
In the capital Moscow, there have been battles between animal rights groups and citizen ‘dog hunters’, who leave poison-laced meat in parks where stray dogs are known to gather.
Russia’s stray dog problem appears to stem from decades of animals being dumped on the streets when their owners realise they can no longer afford to keep them.
These dogs then breed among themselves, giving rise to a population of animals that have never been properly domesticated.
This is just the latest controversy to hit the Russian Olympics after homophobic rhetoric coming from Russia and banning gays from displaying affection in public. It also comes after news that two wild orcas were captured so they could be displayed at the Sochi Dolphinarium in time for the Winter Olympics.
adoptpets: I had already decided to not watch the Olympics this year after hearing about the killer whales being kidnapped for the Olympics, and I hope others will also decide not to watch the Olympics this year. I do understand how people could still justify watching them since you have already paid your cable bill or you can stream it for free on the internet so you won’t be supporting it with your money. For me, it is a person decision, as I can’t watch it knowing that killer whales sacrificed their freedom and sanity and dogs died painful slow deaths from poisons and traps so that people can be entertained.
I hope there are very few tourists though and Russia loses its money. I can’t pretend though that my country, the United States, has moral superiority on this issue. We have captive orcas here in the US, and we kill homeless dogs and cats everyday in the US. While most shelters use drugs that cause a painless death (though it’s still murder) gas chambers are still legal in something like 31 states. Animals suffer a painful and long death in gas chambers, and we don’t even allow serial killers do be killed that way.
I blame the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as they should have imposed a ban of culling animals for Olympic games. In Athens in 2004, they also had a large dog cull. Then they gave the games to China, which has the worst record on animal welfare.
And after the Olympics in Canada 100 huskies were brutally shot and stabbed to death by Howling Dog Tours in Whistler, British Columbia. Tourists would pay around £200 for a three-hour sled ride through the valleys surrounding the town.The two-person sleds are pulled by six dogs. But the company found it had too many animals when bookings fell following the end of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The man said he was told to cull 100 of his 300 dogs after a local vet refused to destroy healthy animals, and he could not find new homes for them. Previously he had put down sick dogs by taking them into the woods, giving them a meal and shooting them. But the size of the cull in April 2010 meant he had to kill the animals in full view of other dogs.
By the time he had shot his 15th husky, he noticed the dogs were ‘experiencing anxiety and stress’, the documents revealed.
At one point the man shot but failed to kill a husky called Suzie – the mother of his own pet dog. ‘He had to chase Suzie through the yard because the horrific noise she made when wounded caused him to drop the leash,’ the report said. When he managed to kill Suzie, he accidentally shot another husky which had not been due to be killed, but had to be put down.‘He also had to perform what he described as “execution style” killings where he wrestled the dogs to the ground and stood on them with one foot to shoot them.’ The report added: ‘He described a guttural sound he had never heard before from the dogs and fear in their eyes.’ It also told how he had run out of ammunition when he was attacked by an injured animal, so had to use a knife to kill it.
The parent company of Howling Dog Tours, Outdoor Adventures Whistler (OAW), then took over full control of the Whistler tour firm. It is now company policy that animals are put down by a vet.
I do know that the public in Canada was outraged by this dog culling, so perhaps it isn’t fair to blame them for what a private company did, but it just goes to show how animals are killed for Olympic entertainment.And in 2018 the Olympics will be held in South Korea. In South Korea, just like China, cats and dogs are electrocuted, hanged, beaten, and even boiled alive and burnt to death. Koreans mistakenly believe that the more the animal is tortured, the better the meat will taste and the more health benefits it has for humans. And if it is my guess based on the history of prior games, I’m sure they’ll be another large dog cull before the games to make the tourists feel more comfortable.
Trailblazing Women You May Not Know (But Should): Alice Coachman, the first African-American woman to win Olympic gold
Each week, the Lean In tumblr will spotlight women who succeeded against the odds and blazed a trail in their fields — yet didn’t always end up in the history books. These posts do not serve as endorsements of specific policies or individuals. Lean In encourages everyone to support changes that help all women to succeed.
Alice Coachman – who grew up in the 1930s in Albany Georgia – always knew she was destined for a life in sports. She spent her childhood “just jumping with the boys in the street. I was so tomboyish, I wanted competition.“
And did she beat the boys? "I sure did,” she said.
Coachman joined the track team at her high school, but her parents had their doubts about encouraging their daughter’s athleticism. Coachman’s father didn’t approve of her training, which involved practicing on a homemade high jump.
“He said, ‘sit on the porch and act like a lady,’” Coachman told NBC. “But I didn’t do that.”
In 1948, Coachman high jumped her way into history at the London Olympic Games. She was named to five All-American teams and opened with a record-breaking jump of 5'6”. Coachman became the first African-American woman to win an Olympic gold medal, which she was awarded by Britain’s King George VI. “I didn’t know I’d won,” Coachman said. “I was on my way to receive the medal and I saw my name on the board. And, of course, I glanced over into the stands where my coach was and she was clapping her hands.”