Authorities in Sochi, Russia hired a private company to kill stray dogs in the city before the 2014 Winter Olympics kicks off on February 6. Alexei Sorokin owns Basia Services and said the strays are a threat to people.
“I am for the right of people to walk the streets without fear of being attacked by packs of dogs,” he said.
“Let’s call things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash.”
There are a lot of pets abandoned by their owners. Neutering is expensive and the dogs reproduce quickly in the streets. There have also been reports of dog attacks in the streets.
“Russia, in general, has irresponsible dog owners who, when they get bored of their home pet experiment, kick them out on the street,” Sorokin said. “So parks are dumping grounds for unwanted dogs. We end up with many stray dogs who pose a threat to population.”
Last year, the city hired groups to kill the strays and offered around $48,359.90 to kill over 2,000 dogs and cats between 2013 and 2015. The plan was dropped after animal groups from around the world criticized it. Charities are trying to find humane ways to take the animals off the street, but they caught people killing the animals during the night.
Many of the animals are abused and even poisoned, stabbed or beaten to death by so-called “dog hunters”.
Vigilante groups have sprung up in several Russian cities, using poison-laced meat, guns and other weapons to kill strays.
Residents have protested for a government crackdown on the gangs, who sometimes kill pets by mistake.