Even though I consider myself a sports fan, I’ve never taken much interest in the Olympics, be it the summer or winter games. Give me the NFL or Major League Baseball any day. But this year I thought I might give the Winter Games a try. You know, just to see what all the fuss is about.
And then I heard that to prepare for the XXII Olympic Winter Games, the city of Sochi, Russia decided the best course of action to control its out-of-hand stray dog problem was to kill 2,000 homeless dogs before the start of the Games on Friday, February 7.
That’s all I needed to know to decide that this won’t be the year I watch the Games. In fact, if you are an animal lover, I implore you to boycott the Sochi Olympics in an effort to send a message to Russia:
Sochi’s plan to kill 2,000 stray dogs in advance of the Games was announced last summer, and people were angry. This prompted city officials to curb their plans, but then they hired a pest control company last fall, and it is believed that hundreds of dogs have died as a result.
The city of Sochi hired Basya Services, a pest control company, to kill as many of the area’s stray dogs as possible. Alexei Sorokin, the director of Basya Services, would not confirm how the animals would be destroyed, but judging by the descriptions provided by many people in the area, it appears the animals are being poisoned. Several have exhibited behaviors like collapsing, spitting up, and struggling to walk and even stand up.
So not only has the city deemed it perfectly acceptable to kill these homeless animals, but they’ve chosen to do it in a most painful, inhumane way.
Sorokin told ABC News that the dogs are considered a safety hazard for both athletes and spectators, and went on to add “Let’s call things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash.”
Such a thing could only be said by someone who’s never owned or loved a pet, and someone who has little regard for life.
Don’t misunderstand – I get that stray dogs are a problem in Sochi. I get that not every country in the world loves its pets the way we do in the United States. I get that the city sees these dogs as a potential threat to visiting athletes and spectators, and I don’t deny something needs to be done.
But I’ve got 2 problems with what’s happening in Sochi:
First, why not be proactive on the front end of this stray dog problem? Spay and neuter. Prevent more homeless animals from being born into a country that clearly considers them nothing but a problem. It’s a lot easier to prevent a problem than it is to clean it up.
Second, if you can’t be responsible on the front end, then be compassionate on the back end. There are humane ways to destroy these dogs if you really feel there’s no other way to control the problem. Poisoning animals and then letting them suffer a long, agonizing, painful death is pitiful. It’s wrong. There is a better way.
I guess I’m also really disappointed in the Olympic committee that selected Sochi as the city to host this year’s games. You weren’t doing your job if you didn’t realize the city has a problem with homeless animals. And if you knew it was an issue, did you ask how the city would fix it before 2014? Were you okay with the answer they gave you?
I’m going to be honest with you. If you choose to watch the Olympics, knowing what’s happening to hundreds of thousands of innocent dogs in the city of Sochi, I don’t want to know about it. I have no respect for anyone who does anything to support the cruel and inhumane killing of dogs that did nothing wrong, other than being born in a country that doesn’t appreciate the gift of a loving mutt.