The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Sochi’s dogs are being ‘taken into custody’ — but then what?

Placeholder while article actions load

In Sochi, some dogs are hanging out in hotels, some are being befriended by journalists.

And some are being "taken into custody" — or are being exterminated. The International Olympic Committee says the only dogs that are being killed are sick strays, though the director of a pest-control firm told the Associated Press that his company had a contract to exterminate stray dogs throughout the Olympics.

This isn't the first time a city has scrambled to deal with stray dogs before hosting the Games — it was reported in 2004 that thousands of stray dogs in Athens would be poisoned. And an animal-rights activist told the AP that the pest-control company kills hundreds of dogs a month.

There do appear to be thousands of stray dogs in Sochi. And while the practice of shooting stray dogs is not uncommon in some Russian regions, the AP says, the animals are also appreciated in the country. There's even a statue to a stray dog at a Moscow subway station. Maybe one of these dogs will get the same kind of appreciation?