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Dog Murder of Olympic Proportion

Last updated on February 11, 2014

 

dog_selfieAs 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?

I am here to celebrate in the name of dog: From the New York Pet Fashion Show to the Westminster Kennel Club Agility show and many get togethers and networking in between.

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.

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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.

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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

Facts

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.

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If only all dogs had a good life

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.

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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.

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Comments

  1. Susan and the gang from LifeWithDogsAndCats.com says

    Ever since I was a little girl, I looked forward to watching winter and summer Olympics, and to celebrating the accomplishments of the athletes. This year I will do the same. But with regret. Russia has shown it’s true colors—and they’re not pretty. Kudos to Google for their doodle. Shame on Putin, the SOC and Sochi. Between the gay bashing and the terrible treatment of dogs, it’s hard for me to feel celebratory. The athletes worked hard, and I will stand with them. But I will not stand with Russia.

  2. Linda Lowry says

    You know, this is no different from any games being played anywhere. The countries hosting these games want to wipe the city “clean”. They want a perfect image…right! I’ve been hearing about this for many years and it will continue.
    I can’t listen to Sarah anymore. The same with Willy…..

  3. Stacey says

    Thanks for informative article without any “shocks”. I have known about the issue but learned quite a bit from your article because it was the first one I’ve been able to make it through. Like you, I avoid disturbing images, graphic descriptions, the song “Angel” by Sarah McLaughlin, or anything that will unnecessarily upset me whenever possible. I appreciate the facts without having to get distraught or physically ill.

  4. Aimee @ Irresistible Pets says

    It just sickens me what is happening over in Sochi. I can’t even wrap my brain around how people could treat dogs or other people in that way. It makes me wonder who actually put any thought into selecting this location.

  5. Stealth Spaniel says

    My cockers and I are boycotting the Olympics. I didn’t want to. I wanted this to be successful and to see parts of Russia that I know nothing about. As soon as I heard about the exterminators killing dogs, I took what was left of my humanity and bailed. (The Cockers, thankfully, only practice dogmanity so they are untouched by the farce of human kindness.) I feel badly for the animal lovers in Russia, and I know that there are many, who sacrifice with few resources to try to save a life. To them, I apologize. But there is NO way that I am spending dime one, or time one, on this shameful Olympics. Bob Costas is a bore anyway.

  6. Cathy C. Bennett says

    Disturbed and troubled. With over 25 years in and out of the United States as a military family, I have seen things that were haunting. I have learned how to cope, but it is still very difficult. As I watch The Boys here near me, it is heartbreaking to read what has happened. I too have no real interest in watching the Olympics this year for many reasons, and this tragic loss of a dear animal is high on my list.
    On another note, have a blast Carol in my hometown, be safe and God bless.

  7. Vlad & Barkly's Dee says

    We became aware of this 4 days ago on Feb. 3rd at a ridiculous time in the morning when we should have been asleep. Odd how shocks like that even stick a date into a brain. Dee decided then that she’d not watch a single thing about the Olympics this time. Usually we always watch all ice skating–almost as closely as we watch Westminster. Not this time. The TV even gets turned if something about the Olympics comes on during local news. This is going to be a long Olympic season running from every instance of its mention on TV. It’s tempting to just shut everything off and have someone wake us up when it’s finally over.

  8. Linda Szymoniak says

    This is becoming much more commonplace than it should, too. Not long ago, when the world soccer championships were held in the Ukraine, dogs were killed in even more barbaric methods. Dogs were being shot, beat to death, and poisoned, and then dumped into a traveling crematorium. The most horrid part was that many dogs were put into the crematorium while they were still alive. I think the Olympic committee and any groups overseeing other major events like these, need to draft a series of rules – rules that much be followed, without exception, if any country wants to host an event of this proportion. The building of any venue should be environmentally friendly – in Russia part of a national park (protected land) was torn up in order to build some of the venues. The impact on the environment will be felt for centuries, even millennium. There should be no “cull” of any animal that calls the area home (in fact, Russia seriously needs to put spay/neuter programs into place, revamp their shelter system, outlaw the shooting of dogs that is commonplace in many areas, and put animal welfare laws in place). There should be no human rights violations. The fact that the LGBT community has suffered at the hands of the government and general population has me worried about the athletes who will be participating in the Olympics (they don’t even need proof that you are gay – if they think you look gay they can arrest you, etc. , and heaven forbid you stand up for the LGBT community there. You don’t have to be directly part of that community. You just have to openly support them. The backwards, barbaric actions of the Russian government on these issues should have kept their country from being able to host the Olympics. Everything happening in Russia right now goes against everything the Olympics stands for. Of course, the companies who are promoting their products at the Olympics won’t be very willing to pull their support. In many ways it’s too late to change as much as should be changed in Russia with regard to the games, but I do hope that the Olympic committee and others involved in selecting the countries who will host future events will take heed of the abominations going on in Russia and make sure no other country who hosts future Olympic games repeats the mistakes of the 2014 event.

  9. BoingyDog says

    The one good thing that could come out of the nightmare of the Sochi Olympic games is that the world seems to be uniting more than ever around the need for progress. Great change can be born from great injustice and I certainly hope that is the case with these Olympic games.

  10. Christina Berry says

    My husband said it best when he reminded me that Russia doesn’t care about PEOPLE – let alone dogs. When I wrote today’s post, I wrote only about my anger and heartbreak at the stray dog situation, and didn’t even touch on everything else that’s wrong with this year’s Olympic games. It’s pitiful what’s happening there. I’m just out of words to express how I feel about it all.

    I do love the Google rainbow, though. A ray of sunshine in this big mess.

  11. Cristan says

    My heart breaks, and my stomach is upset at the thought of how these innocent, sentient little beings, all because they have no voice and because of ignorance are being slaughtered….this is a disguisting nation, with no morals or respect for anyone living. A nation that lives in fear. Zero tolerance. The poor families that have been ejected from their homes…that should have been enough for the Olympic committee to say NO to Russia. With the treatment of the poor dogs and cats, and families…was anyone shocked by the attitudes for the gay community? In my opinion, anyone who participated in these games, athletes included, were and are supporting these actions. Silence is not golden, and no dollar amount is worth selling your soul. Peace, Love and Prayers for all of the souls affected by this monsterous nation.

  12. Jodi says

    It’s deplorable what is going on in Sochi and I was boycotting the games until one of my readers pointed out that the athletes have worked their whole lives for this and are probably just as appalled as we are as to what is going on. THEY didn’t choose to have the Olympics there.

    I do with the IOC had made a better choice. Maybe the outcry over the horrific injustices taking place in Sochi both for LGBT and the animals will help them choose more civilized countries for future games.

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