Last updated on February 11, 2014
As I sit here on the eve of a very big weekend in New York City, my reporting instincts have heightened, my sense of the truth has escalated, and my dog mom heart is broken. Have you heard about this dog murder of Olympic proportion sadness?
As I channel scan at this late hour, damn you Keith Olbermann. You see, I try to stay away from television commercials that bellow the sounds of Sarah McLaughlin. I know her “Angel” song that once gave me great comfort is now wrought with images of puppies in kennels who need homes—or they will die.
Let’s celebrate the word of dog, after all: They give us so much and ask for so little in return. Fidose of Reality was all set to launch an Olympic contest today; after all, we love the Olympics and our “Cocker Olympics” photo fun was a huge hit during the previous summer Olympics.
But we just can’t do it. Not after Keith Olbermann became the straw that broke this camel’s back.
I try to stay positive and avoid late night images of dogs who will die the following morning unless someone saves them fill my Facebook feed. I know this happens: We live in a world where there is simply not enough space for all who wish a spot on this earth. We live in a world where spay and neuter would solve so much, yet ignorance and disregard for animal life runs rampant. And it sucks.
Well now that ignorance and disregard for animal life has affected the Olympics.
Warning; I will not share any graphic descriptions, depictions, nor images in this post. You never have to feel that I will resort to shock journalism because it doesn’t work for me, so I would never do that to our readers. Here are the facts and why dog murder just can’t be allowed so that games promoting goodwill and peace can go on
1 Thousands of stray canines roam the streets of Sochi, and this is not a sudden zombie-like awakening of dogs. This is the way of life in Sochi. I wonder why there are thousands of strays there at all.
2 There are thousands of strays because once upon a time an Olympic village needed to be erected. Since homes with nice back yards were inconveniently located on the land where the Olympic village would be built, families were “relocated” to apartment buildings. They lost their back yards. The apartment buildings did not allow pets. Do you see where this is going?
3 Animal rights workers in Sochi, Russia, are rescuing stray dogs from exterminators hired by the government. They hope athletes and fans visiting the Olympics will adopt them.
4 A dog shelter backed by a Russian billionaire is engaged in a frantic last-ditch effort to save hundreds of strays facing a death sentence before the Winter Olympics begin here. The dog shelter is outside and is basically a makeshift “shantytown” where the dogs are emergently kept.
5 (this one reveals details that might disturb some): In recent months, residents of Sochi have reported seeing dogs shot with poisoned darts, then tossed into waiting trucks. One resident reported that she saw a dog suffer for 90 minutes before dying. This is inhumane.
6 According to the New York Times, “The effort to remove the dogs began in October, as did initial efforts to gather up strays and shelter them. Tatyana Leshchenko, an animal rights advocate here, said about 300 dogs a month were being killed in Sochi, at a cost of $25 to $35 each.”
7 These strays are not mongrel and aggressive in nature; in fact, they are friendly, welcoming, and seek the love, attention, and probably food and water of visitors. This could be your dog or mine.
I want to support our athletes in Sochi, and I do. I want to support those who are competing and who are chasing their dreams, and I do. I tried to believe that horrific treatment of the LGBT contingency in Russia is not true, but I can’t.
According to Huff Post writer/activist, Jonathan Del Arco, “As a gay activist, I was vocal against Russia’s draconian anti gay laws that prohibit any exhibition of LGBT support (like wearing a pride TV shirt for example), prompting skin head radicals to beat gay people on the streets and kidnap gay teenagers, that alone was grounds to move the games, but they didn’t.”
So they murder dogs, encourage gay bashing, and have you read the tweets from some of the journalists in Russia who are there to cover the games?
The hotel conditions are deplorable at best.
So I can’t get the warm fuzzies knowing the games are supposed to stand for unity but are a far cry from it. When that torch is lit, I’ll be saying a prayer for those stray dogs who don’t stand a chance simply because they live in the wrong place at the wrong time and stand alone as the wrong species. There is nothing celebratory in that. My torch is extinguished and a heaviness envelops my heart.
Oh hey, thanks Google, for the rainbow salute to the Olympics on your homepage – pretty darned cool. I’m just trying to figure out how and why the Olympics are happening in Sochi and where in the hell the IOC is as one nightmare after another surfaces.