Gus Kenworthy shows off Sochi strays on the Today Show.
by Maria Mooney
Categories: Animals, Causes.

Gus Kenworthy, freestyle skier, took home more than just a silver medal from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Telluride, Colorado native stole the hearts of animal-loving men and women everywhere when he fought to adopt and bring home several beautiful Sochi stray puppies. The 22-year-old found four puppies and their mother in the Olympic mountain village, and today he celebrated their homecomings in an interview on The Today Show on NBC.

Bringing the so-called “unwanted” strays back to the United States wasn’t as easy as anyone assumed, and Kenworthy, with the help of Humane Society International and good friend Robin Macdonald, finally won the hard fought battle. Wayne Pacelle, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, said about the collective effort, “During the Olympics, he [Kenworthy] and photographer, friend Robin Macdonald partnered with our affiliate, Humane Society International, making determined efforts over weeks to get the dogs out of Russia and to the U.S. to be placed in adoptive homes.”

Kenworthy returned home after the Olympic games, and Macdonald stayed behind in Russia for nearly a month after to see the lengthy adoption process through to the end. Kenworthy said about the dogs’ homecomings, “It’s just incredible. It feels so nice to have them home. These dogs have traveled thousands of miles, and it’s been many, many weeks of this whole process kind of coming to an end.”

The Olympian’s animal rescue efforts have not gone unnoticed, and he says the best part about the ordeal is that it has inspired others into animal advocacy. “We’ve had people come up to the both of us, and tell us that they’ve either donated to the Humane Society, or they went and adopted a dog here or whatever, so that’s awesome to see.” He goes on to say, “I think that we’re really just kind of hoping to bring awareness to the plight of the dogs in Russia and hopefully set up some shelters and stuff there so that in future World Cups and different events, there will be a better system in place so that this doesn’t happen again, so that if someone does want to take a dog back, they can take a dog back and it’s not going to be a horrible process.”

The two dogs Kenworthy and Macdonald were planning on adopting unfortunately died before they could be rescued. Kenworthy said, “They just weren’t really getting the treatment that they needed, and not all of them made it, but the ones that did are more than happy to be here.” Now that the dogs are safe in America, the next hurdle to get over happens to be potty training, but after such a heroic rescue effort, we are sure potty training will seem like a piece of vegan cake.

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About Maria Mooney

Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, is a raw vegan licensed social worker, certified holistic health coach, research and editorial assistant at and freelance writer. After years of suffering with chronic health conditions, she is healing herself through a plant-based diet, radical self-care and consuming self love, and she wants to teach you how to do the same. She has done it all, including the Gerson Therapy and Hippocrates Health Institute's Life Transformation program. She knows how to make delicious juices, grow wheat grass, sprout anything and everything, create mouth-watering, healthy treats, grow shoots and more! She is also licensed in the mental health field and loves to marry mental health healing with physical healing to teach her clients to be themselves, love themselves and heal themselves. Contact her at for a free health consultation today!

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  • Randy Janssen

    The HSUS is not your
    local animal shelter. The HSUA has been hijacked by radical animal
    rights activist. It is an over 150 million dollar corporation that
    spends almost every dime it gets on obscene salaries and filing
    lawsuits. It raises money by showing ads of cute dogs and cats, but
    it spends less then 1 cent on the dollar to feed and shelter cats
    and dogs. The HSUS is being investigated for fraud and it was
    convicted of racketeering in Florida. More and more members of
    congress are questioning the tax free status of the HSUS because of
    its political activities. The HSUS IS AGAINST RODEO AND WESTERN
    MEAT. The HSUS says it spends 79% of its money for animal welfare
    programs, but it does not say what they are. The HSUS has been
    accused of paying employees to abuse animals and videoing the abuse
    as proof that meat production should be stopped. The HSUS uses some
    of its money to change our eating habits and standard of living by
    working to outlaw farming methods which are used on family farms.
    The HSUS is bad for America so don’t applaud its lackeys. If you
    want to support something think about giving to the child fund, St.
    Jude, the Wounded Warriors, or you local food bank. If you want to
    help animals, give money to you local animal shelter. Giving money
    to the HSUS is throwing money away on a bloated bureaucracy that
    waste it on salaries and litigation. It claims to do good but if you
    really look at what it does, it only piggybacks on local