Dogs & Laws

To Prepare for Olympics, Sochi Traps, Kills Thousands of Stray Dogs

A stray dog sits in front of the new Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia. Photo credit Alicia Kendig, Twitter.

A stray dog sits in front of the new Olympic Village in Sochi, Russia. Photo credit Alicia Kendig, Twitter.

Despite public opposition and outrage from animal rights activists, Sochi, Russia has quietly hired an independent company to take care of the city’s overwhelming stray dog problem – using any means necessary – in preparation for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics.

According to multiple reports, the government sought bids from “dog hunters” who could carry out the job to “dispose of” the city’s about 2,000 stray dogs between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. each day, offering 1.7 million Rubles (or, roughly $48,000).

The owner of Basia Services Extermination Company, the company hired to handle the problem, Alexei Sorokin, told ABC News in defense of his company’s actions, “let’s call things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash.” (Clearly, we’re not dealing with a dog lover here.)

Sorokin explained that his company was hired as a “public service,” to protect residents and visitors to Sochi. “I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs,” he said.

Sorokin’s company uses poison and traps to eliminate the thousands of stray dogs roaming the city, but denies allegations of animal abuse.

Several reporters covering the Winter Olympic preparations in Sochi Tweeted photos of dogs in the city:


Another reported seeing multiple stray dogs outside his hotel and described the dogs as gentle:


While the homeless dog population in Sochi is clearly a real problem for the city, advocates propose that killing off and disposing of the current stray dogs will only temporarily fix the problem.

“Russia, in general, has irresponsible dog owners who, when they get bored of their home pet experiment, kick them out on the street,” Sorokin explained to ABC News. “So parks are dumping grounds for unwanted dogs. We end up with many stray dogs who pose a threat to population.”

Perhaps the city’s funds would be better spent on spay and neuter programs that prevent the problem from redeveloping in the near future and on educating dog owners on proper care of their pets.



  1. Andrew

    Feb 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

    This is a terrible problem no doubt, but it is not worth not participating in the Olympics. I agree that it is impossible for the Olympics to be “above politics” in this day and age but we should still try to not use them as a political ploy. One thing people seem to be forgetting in light of this terrible abuse (I am a dog lover and can’t imagine moving somewhere I couldn’t take my cocker spaniel with me, but then again I don’t live under Putin’s presidency) is that not participating in these games and not watching or listening to these games hurts OUR ATHLETES more than Russia. No matter what Russia is going to get television, tourism, and other money for hosting the Olympics. Some of these athletes only get to shine every four years. I know I watch the X Games winter games every year so I get to see the snowboarders and skiers most of the time. However, think about the curlers, lugers, bobsledders, skeleton riders, ski jumpers, and the rest of our 230 athletes that only get to shine on an Olympic stage. I understand everyone’s reasoning for saying boycott the games, but I will be watching and cheering on those Americans who worked their asses off for four years to get there and compete. The Olympics are about being proud of your nation and supporting them. Yes, there are problems in every country that should be brought to light but the Olympic Games should not be boycotted to prove a point. The hosting country already has it’s money…you’re only hurting the athletes who trained to go compete.

  2. chris

    Feb 8, 2014 at 10:23 am

    In a way, the US is boycotting the Olympics…did you see the opening ceremonies that were televised on the 7th, THEY SUCKED! That’s right. Ever since the Olympics were taken from the ABC television affiliates and have gone to those NBC television channels the coverage has SUCKED. And this one was the worst. When I was younger Olympic coverage was 20/7 (given our local news affiliates some Tele time). You turned on channel 7 and all you saw was some sort of Olympic games coverage from Jim McKay. Bob Costas sucks. Everything about the Olympics sucks….just wait until Summer 2016…you think Russia is bad wait until they go to Rio…it’s BAD there NOW. The Olympics are just another way countries can “justify” spending an outrageously HUGE amount of money on CRAP THEY DON’T NEED, instead of spending that money on it’s citizens and in Russia’s case, abandoned dogs. And who foots that bill….the people who live in that country…NOT THE GOVERNMENT NOR THEIR STUPID PRESIDENT’S (That’s right WE HAVE ONE TOO – and yes I can say that because I actually live in the state that the ASS came from when he got elected the first time.)
    The Olympics have become a huge joke in the last decade and are just getting worse. The treatment towards human populations as well as animals is deplorable and the only one’s to stop it is us, the general public. Governments and politicians only care about themselves and their egos. Those are the “people” that should be humanely euthanized for the betterment of ALL societies concerned, NOT the helpless, abandoned animals.

    live IN the state the idiot came from so I know exactly what an ass he was BEFORE he got elected the FIRST TIME!)

  3. Abi Sinclair

    Feb 6, 2014 at 10:51 am

    What do people suggest they do with all of these strays if they don’t have the means to house or rehome them? It’s more humane to put them down, what quality of life do they have as strays?

    • Andrew

      Feb 13, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Alive is almost always better than dead. And most of the animals pictures have been taken of seem to be well off.

  4. Susan

    Feb 6, 2014 at 2:07 am

    Another instance of defenseless animals paying the price for human ignorance. Thousands of dogs? Obviously this is not a new problem!! How did it get to be this way?!? This disgusts me on so many levels. I will not be buying products or watching the network etc. that is endorsing the Olympics. I suggest anyone outraged do the same. One voice can be a million if you stand behind your convictions..

  5. lisa

    Feb 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    SMH…Stupid country. How can have let this get this bad? Horrible host country that hasn’t even finished the accommodations for the guest. Its like a 3rd world country. I could careless about these Olympics..


    Feb 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm


  7. addison

    Feb 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    unequal human rights…mass genocide…geez Russia who taught you how to host the Olympics? Germany

  8. addison

    Feb 5, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    look guys.. It’s Russia. Did you really expect anything less. Look at the state of their government, look at their leader. Hell, they can barely supply enough clean water for the athletes.

  9. Lea

    Feb 5, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    This is very sad, but I agree with whoever mentioned the orphans above. We didn’t need *this* reason to be outraged. What has been done to innocent children, human beings, is far worse. Families who have met these children and fell in love with them are now shut off from finalizing their adoptions. A good friends’ two kids are stuck over there with medical issues that will never be addressed, because of Putin. How they treat animals is just the tip of the iceberg.

  10. Deb

    Feb 5, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    SHAME ON YOU RUSSIA! You had “7” years at the very least to educate/assist pet owners with spay & neuter programs & to try to find homes for these stray dogs. Before the Olympics started. But instead YOU chose to “MASS KILL THEM” “to protect residents and visitors to Sochi” so the people could walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs”. So much for the Olympic spirit of unity & peace. No thanks, Sochi.

  11. J singh

    Feb 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Hope man destroys himself..he has no right to live!

  12. donna costigan

    Feb 5, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    when Olympics were here in los angeles we cleared out the unseemly homeless, we just didn’t kill them.

  13. Cindy.

    Feb 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    It is sad sad !what is happening! all over our world!so much sadness !..when are we going to learn, that by killing .. will not help! anything!!The Bible states Man will destroy himself! that is what he is doing with our water, our animals!our children! in the last days its says also!in Revaluations! Mother will be against son. daughter Will be against farther!its all coming true very fast!the only thing is to get ,God back in,America! we have left him out!its never to late to turn our country back to God!i am so sad what they have done but someday they will pay!! for what they do they get away from man but not from God!

  14. pia møller

    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    shit country. not the first time they have done this…. ukraine was the same…. thay burned dogs and cats alive to clean up the streets. the only way this ever stops is if people boycutt it!´and i can assure you on that it will be boycutt´ed in my house!

  15. Lisa Hardy

    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    If we excluded every country that has terrible pet overpopulation policies from hosting the Olympics, few, if any, countries would be eligible, including our own. The US still euthanizes 2-3 million homeless pets every year and not always humanely. Ever hear of a gas chamber? Yep, they are legal in some US states. Or how about the thousands of wild horses that our government has rounded up to placate the ranchers and the horses ended up at a slaughterhouse.

    My heart breaks for the Sochi dogs but America’s animal welfare policies aren’t perfect either.

  16. Lalitha Ddr

    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Atrocious act by insane authorities ! Cruelty at peaks

  17. Ashley

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I am a big fan of the Olympic Winter Games, however, after everything I have heard regarding the treatment on animals (specifically dogs) I will NEVER watch or support another Olympic event.

  18. Jackie Blaurock

    Feb 5, 2014 at 7:15 am

    They have captured two wild killer whales, to put into a small concrete tank to be viewed by visitors . Clearly this country doesn’t have what it takes to host the winter games

  19. A. Hogel

    Feb 5, 2014 at 7:08 am

    People can be as outraged as you want to be over this but here is a fact. Every single day in the U.S. there is 5x as many as this being euthanized because of irresponsible owners. Neglected, abused, tortured, maimed and abandoned animals by the thousands on a daily basis roaming city streets and filling up shelters that have no room for them. How about spay/neuter programs here? Oh that’s right we already have them and yet we still euthanize millions of animals each year. Perhaps we need to look inside our own boundaries before we spout off about what goes on in other countries. What goes on at home is a far bigger tragedy than what is happening there.

  20. Haru Husky

    Feb 5, 2014 at 3:36 am

    What’s said that while all this his happening our Olympic teams are over here taking their pictures with huskies. And in Russia their killing dogs. Also Russia has the one gentleman that ran away from the US. So yeah I would boycott or tell Russia to STOP and all the dogs that are caught brought to the us for better lives.

  21. Nyno Wallace

    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:55 am

    I say lets boycott the Olympics!!!!!!

  22. david e. morgan

    Feb 5, 2014 at 1:47 am

    I am now making a commitment to place flyers around and begin talking to folks about BOYCOTTING the Olympics!!!!! This is inhumane and we all should begin to stop animal cruelty everywhere in the world!!!!! As for the company…..pray for disaster and a quick loss of revenue …close them down!!!! Basia Services Extermination needs to be put out of business!!!! Only wish our athletes were informed of this and decide not to attend!!!!!! Pass this on to your local media!!!!! and to your humane societies!!!!!!! For the love of the animals and God’s sake!!!! DO SOMETHING EVERYONE!!!! I will!!!!

  23. Cheryl

    Feb 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

    If the US does not boycott the Olympics for this pathetic bull shit that they are doing to these animals then I will gladly not watch it. It’s not enough that 9 million animals get euthanized each year in America but now we have these asses killing dogs for nothing. How about catch them and find them homes. You rule everything else that goes on in your stupid country but you cant get your homeless dog situation under control. How about keep people from breeding them, or adopting more then one or catch them and fix them so they wont breed anymore.

  24. Merryl

    Feb 4, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Someone should trap and poison Putin and that biological trash Sorokin!
    They are both bastards.
    We should have boycotted Russia anyway…the whole country is corrupt and cruel!

  25. L. Rose

    Feb 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Killing innocent homeless animals, they didn’t put themselves on the street incompetent owners did. What’s next,the homeless population, are they going to poison, trap and kill all of them too to clean up their city for the games?!!!

  26. Linda Clausnitzer

    Feb 4, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I too will be boycotting the Olympics by not watching!! Such cruelty to these poor animals !!

  27. Regina Golden

    Feb 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Russia is a barbaric, backward country….everyone knows that….why are the Olympic games there?? Dogs being murdered for the Olympics….a disgrace to the United States…Eff the games…

  28. Deb

    Feb 4, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    These poor babies.. It is not their fault that they are homeless. If only that country was more compassionate and would have a Spay Neuter program and also do something to find these dogs homes..
    As far as I am concerned (after hearing about this cruelty) I will NOT BE WATCHING the Olympics! I wish that the U.S. would boycott the games. Bless these poor dogs and cats.

  29. dd

    Feb 4, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    This is just horrible and it should not be happening…
    We need to help this poor babies it is not there fault that there owners left them out on the street to die it is so sad! We would not do that here in America so maybe they just need us to help out in the future… I love dogs and this just makes me so sad and mad…

  30. mitzi

    Feb 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Are you kidding me? Have none of you seen the orphanages in countries like this? Google it. Children are left in baby beds 24 hrs a day for years. There is no love or affection given to them because they have no value. And the huge outcry is about dogs? Do you know how many dogs and cats are euthanized every day in the US because of the exact same reason it is being done in Russia? Where is the outcry for them? We are huge hypocrites if we boycott the Olympics and do nothing to protect animals from abuse and death in our own backyard. Also, the Olympics is not about honoring great athletes. It is about putting political and cultural differences aside to celebrate something positive in an effort to improve relations and prompte peace. To boycott the Olympics because the countries envolved have different values than ours is to completely miss the point. I am against killing these animals and wish the authorities could have sought homes for them but they didn’t. Maybe we could send them a message that ifthey have similar issues in the future we would be happy to help them deal with it in a more positive way as well as help them come up with ways to avoid the problem in the first place. That’s what caring neighbors would do.

  31. Mary

    Feb 4, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    The Russian Olympics sucks on so many levels. Between their attitudes toward gays and now the extermination of stray dogs (which I am not equating), I wouldn’t attend if someone paid my airfare and bought my tickets.

  32. tammy harris

    Feb 4, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    can you say spay and neuter in Russia,, do they know what it is,, or just don’t care apparently,, what a country.

  33. Chris

    Feb 4, 2014 at 11:46 am

    For those of you going crazy at the Russians, you might want to consider the FACT that 5,500 shelter dogs are killed in the USA every single day.

    That is:

    38,500 dogs killed every week
    154,000 every month
    2007500 every year

    • A. Hogel

      Feb 5, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Exactly! All because even Americans refuse to take care of pets the way they should be. Is it a tragedy these animals are being treated like this in Russia? Of course it is, but it happens every single day in the good old U.S.A. People beating, torturing, killing and abandoning dogs and cats. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    • leslie

      Feb 5, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you Chris. I am against the murdering of these dogs in Russia but us Americans are doing the same thing every day. It’s just not publicized like this story is. It all goes back to uneducated and irresponsible owners.

    • addison

      Feb 5, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      You are a communist

  34. Carol Hutchison

    Feb 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

    One thing for sure, I won’t be watching the Olympics this year.

  35. Jennifer Sanford

    Feb 4, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Maybe they (the government) should let people(tourist)
    adopt the dogs.They should have used the money to fund a spay and neuter program .

  36. Marty Weintraub

    Feb 4, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Russia has some nerve killing helpless animals. All the animals want is someone
    to love them the way we want to be loved.
    I will not watch the Olympics on TV. Fuck the Russian Pricks who did this.
    May you all rot in HELL.

  37. Chris Geise

    Feb 4, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I won’t be watching the. There has to be a better way.

  38. Carol Dorsett

    Feb 4, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Boycott the Olympics until they agree to help the stray dogs not kill them! Loss of money always talks.

  39. Irene

    Feb 4, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Biological trash?! How dare they!!!! They should take away the Olympics. This is wrong. Why hasn’t any organization done anything about this. These are innocent animals. Someone please stop this. Don’t they have a heart?!?!!! This is wrong. This is WRONG!!!

  40. Renee

    Feb 4, 2014 at 4:19 am

    clearly we need to take the Olympics out of that place! if they are going to do “inhumane” things to get the games there then they don’t deserve it. put the games somewhere else! everyone should not watch it in protest, it’s all about the ratings so if they don’t get the ratings, they’ll figure it out! these “people” are obviously disgusting, heartless, and immoral. can’t wait for them to figure out that god loves his dogs and they have to answer for it.

  41. chuchiputch

    Feb 4, 2014 at 1:35 am

    I am afraid dog and cats are now considered a vermin, and something has to be done. But when you have governments world wide that refuse to bring in laws to deal with this problem, then these blessed creatures will have to pay, and pay in an evil murderous way. In Khon Kean Thailand I saw hundreds and hundreds of street dogs, tiny pure bred dogs no longer puppies so thrown out in the street, dying dogs dragging themselves along, dogs with broken limbs, huge cancerous tumors hanging off, and they have a fantastic FREE animals clinic, spaying free, medicines free, but to these people they are rubbish why waste your time. Something WORLD WIDE has to be done. In another country they go around beating the dogs to death in the streets, in Greece they poison them and beat them to death, drown them, bury them alive, SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!!

  42. Tammy

    Feb 4, 2014 at 12:15 am

    I agree with you all, I will not be watching the Olympics this year either. And that’s a shame because we watch to support our countries. But, after reading this, I just can’t bring myself to even do that. OHHHHH GRRRRR

  43. Tammy

    Feb 4, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Perhaps all the dogs should be taken out of Russia and given to people who would love to care for and love them, which is what they deserve. They never asked to be put with a family that is irresponsible and unloving. And, perhaps these people need to learn exactly how that feels, to be put out of a house where they thought they belonged.

    And the Government should be held responsible for such despicable behavior as in animal cruelty. They should cancel the Olympics or return to a place they have been help before instead of in Russia. I bet that would get their attention.

    F***ing people need to be shot. Makes my blood boil.

  44. Alice Morgan

    Feb 3, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I was looking forward to the winter games, but, I will not be watching them this year.
    Hope everyone enjoys themselves while these poor animal are being murdered on the streets.
    That whole situation has just turned my stomach.

    • Cheri Swain

      Feb 5, 2014 at 9:00 pm

      Me too, Alice!!!!:(((

  45. Deborah younce

    Feb 3, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    I am going to boycott the winter olympics hands down

  46. jen

    Feb 3, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    may these people rot in hell. how can a person just kill a dog because he is homeless like the dog asked god oh yeah when I come to earth can you make me homeless these people suck

  47. tracy

    Feb 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    We should not hold the olympic there- PLAIN & SIMPLE!
    If they are not up-to-date to their animal control – then I am pretty sure their facility & surrounding areas must be archaic dealth traps!
    I cant believe that they are MURDERING 1000’s of animals instead of a more humane alternative!

    • Cheri Swain

      Feb 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Amen!!! I usually always look forward to the winter games… Not this one. This makes me sick!! Shame in Russia!!!!!’

  48. Deltarose

    Feb 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Alexei Sorokin, “let’s call things by their real name. You are are biological trash.”

  49. Wendy

    Feb 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Murdering bastards,plain and simple!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why not go around killing stray kids walking the streets. You should hang your bloody heads in shame you sickening parasites!!!!!!!!!!I would never go to your country,even if I was paid. It is bad enough seeing the hundreds of posts from other countries about killing innocent animals.

  50. Dorie

    Feb 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I can’t believe what I just read! That is cruel and they should be ashamed! United States should be too if they support it just so they can play stupid games! How does this look to killing innocent dogs, when the whole point of these games is to honor great athletes from different regions of the world! Then to find out animals were killed so they could preform! There has to be a better way to deal with it! Instead of killing them capture them find their owners make them pay a fine plus mandatory neutering then maybe they will think twice before they get one and not taking care of them!

  51. Sherry Smith

    Feb 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Just based on the fact that all those dogs were murdered I would absolutely not attend the Olympics in Russia or any other place that was so cold and callous. SHAME ON RUSSIA!!!

    • Ann Marie McCarthy

      Feb 6, 2014 at 3:28 am

      Well we all participated in the Chinese olympics and they have a wonderful reputation for human rights! They eat dogs there! The Olympics are supposed to be above all this sort of thing! Non political or it used to be! I don’t think the olympics should be held in any country that has any cause for concern with the rest of the world, but I don’t somehow think that it would stop cuelty or abuse in these nations!

      • Barry M McCarthy

        Feb 7, 2014 at 6:47 am

        Hi Ann Marie (hey maybe we are related, my Great Grandfather John McCarthy arrived from Ireland to Victoria, Australia in the late 1800’s) I am an Australian living in Vietnam and I read your comments with great interest. Interestingly enough I have been in contact with ‘Soi’ a group of amazing people in Thailand that rescue and repatriate 100’s of dogs that are bound for the meat markets (many in Hanoi North Vietnam) and their skins are used for Gloves and or Drum Kits!!!!. Refer the following if you want to follow these wonderful good Samaritans: I contacted them as I also wish to start a similar Dog/Cat Rescue here and lobby the VN Govt against the Prevention of Cruelty to all Animals.
        Hope you enjoy the info I sent you and I would love to hear back from you on not only the plight of Dogs but also the origins of your family.

        Kindest Regards

        Barry M McCarthy
        (F/B Barry M McCarthy)

    • Frank STein

      Feb 7, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Shame on all of the particpate nations because russia do it for them only for the big business of EOC!!! Boykott theese games!! no tv no radio nothing

  52. Teri Brown

    Feb 3, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    What is wrong with this culture? We have too much animal abuse in the U.S. but we also have advocates who fight for humane treatment and laws that punish abusers. Studies show that people who abuse animals (abandonment is abuse) practice criminal behavior including abuse on vulnerable humans.

    • Meenu

      Feb 7, 2014 at 3:13 am

      I agree with you.

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