• Stray dogs from Sochi Olympics arrive in Washington for adoption
      Stray dogs from Sochi Olympics arrive in Washington for adoption
      Stray dogs from Sochi Olympics arrive in Washington for adoption
      April 01, 2014

      When the 2014 Winter Olympics took place in February, most of the media's focus was on the athletic spectacle that had been years in the making. However, many journalists took note of the large population of stray dogs that called Sochi their home. When reports began surfacing that these dogs were being put down by Russian officials to save the reputation of the seaside city, advocates began preparations to find better environments for the unlucky animals.

      Ten of those former strays arrived in Washington, D.C. Mar. 28 in the first group of what supporters of local humane societies hope is an indication of more to come. Spurred by the actions of an American athlete who took some dogs under his protection during the Olympics, these ten dogs are now up for adoption for D.C. families looking for a new addition to their home, according to CNN.

      A chance for a better life
      Humane Society International was responsible for rescuing many of the dogs from the streets of Sochi and transporting them from Russia to the U.S. Nearly two days of travel saw the dogs fly from Sochi to Moscow, and then on to Washington, D.C., where they are now being housed by the Washington Animal Rescue League.

      Bob Ramin, chief executive officer of the WARL, told CNN that the dogs are being cared for with every resources at the organization's disposal.

      "These animals are seeing a lot of new things and experiencing a lot of new things, so they're kind of stressed out," Ramin said. "We want to make sure they know they're in a safe place so we've got our staff working with them one on one."

      Ramin plans on letting the dogs rest for an extended period of time before introducing them to other dogs in the facility and making sure they are properly socialized before being put up for adoption.

      Saved by a skier
      The plight of Sochi's stray dogs was brought to the international media's attention by Gus Kenworthy, a U.S. freestyle skier and silver medalist, who arranged to have four puppies brought home with him as the Olympics were in full swing, CBS News reported. 

      Kenworthy has kept two of the puppies as his own personal pets and arranged veterinary treatment and spaces in adoption facilities for the other two dogs. 

      The 22-year-old skier told CBS News that he had grown up with animals his entire life, so to see the large population of strays in Sochi being mishandled by Russian authorities drove him to act on his own.

      This content is provided by the pet wellness experts at Hartz. We know that adopting a dog or cat is a huge commitment, so we're here to help you feel confident and become the best pet parent you can be.