POSTED: April 18th 2013

Sochi city administration cancels program to exterminate stray animals for the winter Games

President Vladimir Putin takes time out for a romp in the snow with his own two canines Yume (L) and Buffy (R) / RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin
President Vladimir Putin takes time out for a romp in the snow with his own two canines Yume (L) and Buffy (R) / RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin

Sports Features Communications

(SFC) According to reports in the Russian news source RIA Novosti the Sochi city administrators have abandoned a tender process to rid the city of 2,000 stray dogs and cats over the next two years. The tender was posted in late March and no one fulfilled the applicant process.

After the news broke when the offer was posted on an official Russian website for public tenders, the international press and animal activists were up in arms that the city was willing to pay 1.7 million rubles (about $54,000) to capture and dispose of over 2,000 feral animals before and after the Games.

To back up the plan, a United Russia party representative from Sochi in the State Duma, Sergei Krivonosov, argued that killing the strays was needed to ensure the safety of international visitors coming to the Games.

On Thursday, following the barrage of negative publicity, the city administration changed their request to tender applicants to house, treat and sterilize the animals. The city also said that a plot of land has been allocated for the creation of an animal shelter to be built. It will be built and maintained by the Dobromir charity organization and apparently the documents are already in the process of finalization.

In a region that has come up with investments of over $51 billion to build the facilities and needed hotels for accommodations to host the biggest sports event on the planet this is an astonishingly bad PR move to generate a boomerang of negative publicity. The Sochi Olympics are already being hailed as the most expensive Games in history and investors are already worrying if they will see their return on investment post Games’ time.

Russian President Putin himself was just photographed in March romping with his two pet canines that were each gifts from Japan’s Akita prefectural administration and the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

Keywords · Sochi · winter Games · Sochi 2014

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