When Sochi officials announced last year that it would cull 2,000 stray cats and dogs in an effort to clean the city before the Olympic games in February, animal activists rallied against it. As a result, the plan was scrapped but now activists are saying the job was just placed in a private company’s hands.
“Every year, just in this municipality, thousands of dogs and cats are killed,” reports Peter Akman of CTV. “They are shot, poisoned, even beaten to death with shovels or stabbed with knives. They are hit, kicked and just generally abused.”
The government’s argument is that the stray animals could attack visitors and athletes. Activists are fighting back by rescuing strays but claim the effort of neutering, sterilizing and placing the animals in new homes is too expensive to effectively be carried out by volunteers.
They have pushed for the Russian government to open a shelter, an idea that was first rejected but is now being taken into consideration. The company that would run the shelter, however, would be the same one currently hired to kill the dogs.
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