Sochi to Exterminate Stray Dogs

Company will "catch and dispose" of canines

Homeless dogs in Sochi might not get to see the Games.     Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dog lovers: You might want to stop reading now.

Olympic organizers have contracted a Sochi pest control company to exterminate the many stray dogs in the city, according to reports by the Guardian and Associated Press.

Alexei Sorokin, director general of Basya Services, said thousands of strays roam Sochi's streets and regularly bite children. Sorokin also explained that a stray dog wandered among performers last week during a rehearsal of the opening ceremony.

"We took it away," Sorokin said. "God forbid something like this happens at the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country."

Basya Services operates throughout the Krasnodar region where Sochi is located. Sorokin said his company would be "catching and disposing" of the dogs, but wouldn't explain what would be done to the dogs or where they would be taken. He also wouldn't share statistics on how many dogs Basya kills every year, citing commercial secrecy.

Stray dogs are often found wandering around Sochi and its construction sites because many workers give them food and shelter.

Local politicians support the dog extermination; Krasnodar official Sergei Krivonosov recently linked the problem to diminished Russian stature in the international community. He also said, however, that authorities should encourage dog shelters.

In response to activists, authorities pledged to build shelters, but activists say there's no evidence the shelters were ever built.

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