Vlada started the original Sochi Dogs shelter during the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She never imagined her tiny safe haven for strays constructed out of donated plywood would grow into a multifaceted organization that runs spay/neuter and education initiatives, an international adoption program, and houses more than 60 formerly stray dogs.
Vlada manages all the work on the ground. From purchasing supplies and organizing repairs to rescuing dogs and community outreach.
Her love of animals drove her to start the project and she continues to work tirelessly to make it a success every day. When Vlada is not running the shelter, and rescuing dogs, she is a dentist with her own private practice in Sochi. She likes to travel, workout, and read.
Anna learned about the plight of stray dogs in Sochi through newspaper headlines just days prior to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games and jumped into action.
Today she heads up Sochi Dogs West—coordinating adoptions, partnerships, and fundraising for the organization. Motivated by all the fabulous dogs at the shelter, she is excited to see Sochi Dogs grow and evolve.
When Anna is not talking Sochi Dogs she works in communications at the Alliance For Downtown New York and dabbles in experimental vegetarian cooking, the accordion and all things DIY.
Masha is the powerhouse of the Sochi Dogs shelter. She lives at the shelter and cares for all the dogs. From cleaning, feeding, socializing, and training—Masha does it all! She knows all the dogs individually and loves helping match adopters to the dog that is perfect for them.
Living at the shelter is a non-stop job, when Masha has a free moment she likes to read, and of course spend time with her son Platon.
Kelli has been involved with Sochi Dogs from the very beginning. She was an athlete (ice hockey, Team USA) at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and witnessed the stray dog scene in the Olympic Village. Seeing the helpless dogs every day inspired Kelli to get involved any way possible. Immediately after returning home from the Games, she adopted one of the very first Sochi rescue pups and named her Shayba (hockey puck in Russian).
Falling in love with the Sochi Dogs mission, Kelli has stayed involved and works to promote prospective dogs via her large social media following. She has previously sponsored dogs and makes donations regularly. It is Kelli’s goal to become a “foster dog mom” when she retires from her professional hockey career.
She lives in Blandford, MA with her soon to be husband, Joey, and their 2 rescue dogs Shay and Bruce (yellow lab).
Maria was born in Russia and moved to Boston when she was 9 years old. She has always been passionate about helping animals and stray dogs. When it was time for her and her husband to adopt a dog, she was so excited to be able to save one from the streets of Sochi (Dasha!), where she frequently visited as a child on vacation.
Maria currently works at Babson College in Wellesley, MA and in her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, going to concerts, and adventuring with Dasha and her husband.
She also loves being able to volunteer with Sochi Dogs because of her connection to the stray animals back in her home country.
Just three years old, Platon is a key member of the Sochi Dogs team. At the shelter, dogs know him to the be the head trainer who doles out pets and treats!
Lisa is a Sochi Dogs foster parent. She provides a loving environment when the dogs arrive in the US from Sochi, Russia until adopted. Lisa is usually involved during the adoption process and beyond to help with dog temperament assessments, answer questions, and provide support. She has expertise in basic dog training and animal health care. Lisa also has an instagram account to share photos of the dogs she is fostering, check it out at https://www.instagram.com/lisasfosterdogs/
Outside of fostering, Lisa has one rescue dog of her own and is a passionate animal lover. She spent the last 10 years working in the animal health industry and is currently a graduate student in Columbia Business School. She also enjoys playing piano, making jewelry, and hitting the gym.
Based in NJ, Tanya is constantly working behind the scenes! She picks up dogs at the airport, builds and maintains the website, fosters, and so much more. An IT manager by trade, Tanya uses her technical skills and passion for helping Sochi Dogs grow.
While it’s rare that Tanya is not working on Sochi Dogs, when she does have free time, she spends it metalsmithing, cycling, exploring New York City, and hiking with her Sochi Dog Molly.
Wendy Gottsegen joined the Sochi Dogs Board in May of 2016 after adopting Klava, a marvelous mutt rescued with her puppies in January. Inspired by this sweet little dog, and the extraordinary work and dedication of Sochi Dog’s founders, Wendy volunteered her skills as a career marketing and communications professional to help further our mission.
A lifelong animal lover, Wendy has had the privilege of caring for three horses, four cats and four dogs. To pay the vet bills, Wendy has enjoyed executive positions at Hill & Knowlton, Dell Inc, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Temple B’nai Or. She lives in Morristown, NJ with her patient and understanding husband, Paul, and their daughter, Leah.
Wendy is thrilled to have passed 100% of her animal-loving gene to Leah, who can be seen online modeling Sochi puppies and dogs for prospective owners.
Sochi Dogs Board Members: Wendy Gottsegen, Emily Nanneman, Ann Osborne, Emily Root, Kelli Stack, Anna Umansky