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All Press Releases for February 11, 2014 »
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Robin Ganzert Calls Out Inhumane Treatment of Stray Dogs in Sochi, Russia

Robin Ganzert weighs in on the decision by Sochi officials to "catch and dispose" of stray dogs before and during the Olympics.
 
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    WASHINGTON, DC, February 11, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Passionate about the protection of animals, Robin Ganzert was disturbed to see how government officials in Sochi, Russia, were choosing to deal with stray dogs. As president and CEO of the American Humane Association, Ganzert is a strong advocate for doing what it takes to protect animals' welfare, wellbeing, and wellness. Her organization has played an instrumental role in many initiatives and programs geared toward educating the public and creating safer environments for animals everywhere.

With the Olympics about to start in Sochi, officials were faced with deciding how to deal with the stray dogs that roamed the streets and construction sites. According to an article on MSN, the decision was made to "catch and dispose" of the dogs. Alexei Sorokin, director general of pest control firm Basya Services, the company hired to eliminate the dogs, told the Associated Press that the stray dogs have caused numerous problems. They are a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the community and visitors. He notes that some dogs have bitten children.

They could also interfere with the Olympic Games. The dogs have stuck close to the area because they can find food and shelter provided by workers. They have gotten into a variety of Olympic sites, and officials do not want them to interrupt the games, athletes, or visitors. According to Sorokin, "A dog ran into the Fisht Stadium, we took it away. God forbid something like this happens in the actual opening ceremony. This will be a disgrace for the whole country."

However, many argue that there are more humane ways to control the stray dog population, Ganzert included. Dina Filippova, animal activist, is striving to protect the dogs. She recently rescued seven puppies from the area that she is now trying to find homes for. In the MSN article she explains, "It is not humane. There is a humane way of solving the problem of stray dogs, which is used in Europe and the United States and even in some countries of the former Soviet Union - that is a mass sterilization, which eventually leads to no stray dogs on the street." She notes that this practice is ongoing and occurred before Olympic preparation began.

Sorokin would not disclose how many dogs they kill each year. However, the article reports that last year, authorities said they would build shelters for strays rather than killing them. This was after animal activists protested the decision to catch and dispose of these animals. The activists explain that the officials have yet to build a shelter. However, according to city hall, they just opened a shelter on Monday that would house 100 dogs.

"There are much more humane ways of dealing with strays," says Robin Ganzert. "Killing them is not the answer. Shelters enable them to have a safe place to stay while staff works to make sure they are healthy and finds new homes for them. Spaying and neutering can also help to combat overpopulation." Ganzert is a strong advocate for implementing more humane ways of handling these types of situations.

ABOUT:

Robin Ganzert has served as president and CEO of the American Humane Association since 2010. Since taking on this role, she has played an integral part in implementing many beneficial initiatives and helping the organization to become more active and relevant. Dr. Ganzert is committed to protecting the welfare, wellness, and wellbeing of animals and children everywhere, and maximizing the potential of the human-animal bond.



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