At Sochi, Our Voices Were Heard

Many dog lovers are up at arms about the dog cull in Sochi. But the killing of animals has long been associated with major sporting events.

Photo of a cute stray from Sochi: Reuters
Photo of a cute stray from Sochi: Reuters

Remember in 2012 when stray dogs were killed in Ukraine before the Euro 2012 Soccer Championship? Dogs were poisoned with bait food or killed by blowgun syringes loaded with dithylinum. Both means of death were agonizing for the animals. 

And they die after major sporting events as well. Do you recall the Whistler sled dog cull of 2010? Robert Fawcett killed 56 sled dogs under orders from the owner of Howling Dog Tours Whistler Inc. Apparently the dogs were no longer needed after the Olympics were over, and since the vet wouldn’t euthanize healthy dogs, Fawcett did by slitting their throats.

Sometimes the killing of the animals IS the sporting event. In the Central Midlands of Australia they’re gearing up for the West Midlands Group’s Vermin Championships, to be held February 21 through 23. Teams of hunters will go out to kill “vermin,” which in this cull is foxes, feral cats, and rabbits. The more you kill, the more points for your team. The team with the most kills wins the West Midlands Group’s Vermin Championship shield. But fear not, because for every fox and feral cat killed, five dollars will be donated to the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Sochi stray; photo tweeted by Matt Gutman of ABC News
Sochi stray; photo tweeted by Matt Gutman of ABC News @mattgutmanABC

Did you notice that in each of these circumstances the problem is the same? Animals die because of the greed and laziness of humans. Animal welfare has not been on the political radar because, while we all love our dogs, we haven’t been quite as vocal about their welfare before now.

But at Sochi, voices from around the world are being heard. We’re not going to tolerate the abuse of animals any longer. Not at home. Not anywhere.

Perhaps the world’s politicians and sporting officials are starting to get the message that it’s not just those “animal rights nut jobs” that oppose these sorts of tactics.

Sochi strays, photo tweeted by @blatchkiki
Sochi strays, photo tweeted by @blatchkiki

Sochi will be known for the dog cull more so than anything else that happens there.

On the up side, Sochi may prove to be the turning point in the fight for the welfare of animals.

59 thoughts on “At Sochi, Our Voices Were Heard

    1. Oh it’s easy to blame the Russians, but we do the same thing here in the US. It doesn’t get the publicity as an Olympics sporting event, but it happens.

  1. This whole thing just makes me sad……and a bit sick just thinking about how little regard we give to life PERIOD sometimes. I’m sure this goes on all the time but THIS is the first time I’ve seen as much focus given to the practice of “clearing the streets” before a major event and I find it simply heartbreaking.


    1. I’m with you, Pam. But I do believe that the reason so many of us are sick about this is because we KNOW about it. People are speaking up, and we’re finally being heard. I hope that means we’ll never have to face this kind of mass killing again.

    1. I believe it will sink in. You don’t really believe that billionaire is footing the bill to save those dogs now out of the kindness of his heart? Nah, he’s doing it to win brownie points on the world’s stage.

  2. This is the first time I’ve heard about this kind of thing happening around sporting events. I hope that means that it is getting more attention now and it will be the beginning of the end of this type of thing.

  3. Yes we here in Australia have some barbaric and archaic ideas to so it is not just the Russians..the feral cat issue here is bad and all due to humans in the first place….fix the human actions then the feral cat problem will cease to be…infuriates me..and I won’t watch the Olympics for that and the many other social issues that are unaddressed. So glad the issue has been bought to light ..countries should be shamed for their appalling actions.Boycotts have always been powerful.Hugs Fozziemum

      1. Good !! and it happens whenever a country is trying to show case themselves…I have made a point of telling everyone at every opportunity what is going also I was infuriated that horse racing which I hate anyway only changed times for their races..not cancelled despite the hideous heat..a horse died last week and the ‘vets’ said it had nothing to do with the heat…but said in the same sentence they hosed the horse down the moment it collapsed…………say no more..

      2. One mind is a powerful thing Rumpy..there will come a day although I fear it won’t be in my lifetime, that welfare for animals will be a natural and everyday concern and our times will be looked back on with disgust…paw crossed my friend!

      3. I dunno…. Sochi was a wake-up call, just as Hurricane Katrina. While what has happened is appalling, what is to come can be MUCH better.

  4. Sometimes I feel shame to be human. And this olympics are the worst by now. They ruined the whole nature around Sotchi regardless of the consequences for animals and people.

  5. It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely
    donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

    1. If you want to donate to the cause, there are plenty of animal welfare groups that are doing good work to help animals. Find one and send them some money.

  6. Thanks for sharing your opinion Rumpy! I read that a lot of the stray dogs were left behind by Sochi residents that were displaced by the Olympics construction. I appreciate your optimism that the attention this behavior is getting will help move the world towards finding more humane solutions.

    1. I think I have more than just optimism. I have evidence in the news media that’s still talking about the story a week later. That wouldn’t happen if the story didn’t interest people.

  7. Just read your post on ‘At Sochi our voices were heard’…………I had no idea about that and makes me sick to think that this happens. Maltreatment of animals happens everywhere and is totally unacceptable. Thank you for voicing your thoughts and am with you on this battle to stop this barbaric behaviour

  8. I have been a long-time lover of the Olympics…I first watched it back in 1988, when my 9-year-old self became Brian Boitano’s biggest fan! However, I vow to not watch a single minute of coverage because of this reason!

  9. It’s good that the world is getting the message and beginning to speak up. Perhaps this is the turning point.

  10. Oh…look at those cute pictures of the strays who manage to survive….It’s NOT their fault being as stray dogs….it’s humans’….

  11. the more I know about people–the more I wish I wasn’t one. Keep up your awesome work. Although i couldn’t be sure how it is the Sochi officials are now handling this situation–and allegedly at that…

    1. It all boils down to education. The more educated a person becomes, the less they focus on their own wants and more they look toward the needs of the planet. Education is vital,

  12. Thank you for this post. It is true that this is no different than the killing of thousands of homeless dogs and cats in America. We should be outraged at this practice anywhere in the world. Spay and neuter programs, a crackdown on puppy mills and backyard breeders, education on responsible pet ownership, and financially supporting local rescues and no-kill shelters is where efforts should be focused.

  13. Yow Rumpy me in Mum in teerz here…slittin poochiez throatz?? Did we reed dat rite?? Apaullin behaviour!! How cuud a so called Hu’Man do diz?? How cuud Sochi Hu’Manz n all da other placez kill innycent 4 leggedz?? Me n Mum just sick frum reedin diz…..Mum sayz she not happy at all…she iz not even watchin Olympickz n she LUBZ dem…well did lub dem…now she iz just furreeuss!!!
    Bad Hu’Manz!!!
    Nylablue =^,,^=

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