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!)

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