When Peter Akman of CTV visited Sochi, Russia, he was shocked by some of the stark differences of the country. One of the most striking was the city's policy on stray dogs, and a culling plan being carried out to prepare for the Olympic games being held there in February.
One difference that has really started to bother me is the stray animals. There is so much more that I am learning as I ask more questions. Every year, just in this municipality, thousands of dogs and cats are killed. They are shot, poisoned, even beaten to death with shovels or stabbed with knives. They are hit, kicked and just generally abused.
Last year, Sochi officials announced the city would be killing 2,000 stray dogs in preparation for the games, but swift backlash by animal activists led to the cancellation of the cull. Nevertheless, Akman reports, a company has been contracted to set out traps and poison for the dogs between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Animal rights activists have documented the deaths, and are saying that the program won't work. And as a result, the government is attempting to take some action:
Animal rights groups have demanded a shelter be built. The government first said no, but it now seems to be considering allowing a private company to run a shelter. Not surprisingly, that's the same company it hired to kill the dogs during the night.