When Vlada Provotorova and her friends saw that officials in Sochi were about to begin poisoning stray dogs in “preparation” for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games they found a piece of land on the outskirts of town and inadvertently began running Sochi’s first ever all volunteer animal shelter.
A few weeks later international media arrived in Sochi and Tanya and Anna Umansky in New York City learned about the situation through newspaper headlines. It was late on a Thursday night when the two contacted Vlada, “I know how hard this is for you,” Tanya wrote in an email, “I immigrated from Moscow 24 years ago. What can I do to help?” and with that Sochi Dogs was born. We have been working together to fundraise, coordinate adoptions and raise awareness about the issue.
Since its founding in January 2014, Sochi Dogs has touched the lives of nearly 500 stray dogs and we’re not stopping there. Saving dogs is no easy task. During the Olympics Vlada and her team drove out under the cover of night through numerous checkpoints into the city center of Sochi collected as many dogs as they could and returned to the newly founded shelter in the nearby town of Adler.
The Olympics have been over but the number of dogs in our shelter has continued to steadily rise, despite adoptions. Dogs are abandoned on the streets every day, some still wearing their collar and leashes are dropped off at bus stops and train stations watching on as their owners drive off. Litters of puppies are left near dumpsters to fend for themselves merely days after being born.
Sochi Dogs is working to change all this through a revolutionary international movement that raises awareness, promotes spay/neuter programs and encourages individuals to take responsibility and adopt stray dogs.