Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t need to go to Sochi, Russia, the site of the Winter Olympics, to find a dog who needs to be adopted.
Nonetheless, people are wondering how they can help save the strays of Sochi, who are under orders by local government officials to be killed, and the Humane Society International is not going let an opportunity like this pass. It has posted a guide on its website detailing how to bring a dog home from Russia.
Kelly O’Meara, a director at the HSI, told USA Today that the group prefers people to adopt domestically but understands people wanting a Sochi dog.
“I think it’s a situation where everyone’s hearing about the very sad and terrible means of killing these dogs, and people are feeling a bit helpless in what they can do,” she said. “This is a life-or-death situation for many of them that are being seen in and around Sochi, and that’s why people are sort of jumping in and asking how they can help.”
One of the main points, however, is that if you want a Sochi dog, you should go to Sochi. O’Meara says that the process can be very difficult logistically over the phone, and you’ll need the help of a local. But it can be done.
Fortunately, many Americans are already in Sochi for the Winter Olympics. O’Meara says the cost of transport is usually $150 to $2,000. The group’s guide covers the whole process: the shelters to look at (like this one), the paperwork required from the embassy in Russia, the local vets to get your dog’s health certificates and vaccinations for travel, and some general airline information.
O’Meara told USA Today that a dog must be at least eight weeks old to be adopted, and you should get documentation that the dog is healthy within 10 days of your departure — the dog will be visually inspected, and the more documentation you have that the dog is healthy, the better.
As for the trip home, it’s about a 10-hour flight from Moscow to the East Coast, but O’Meara said that shouldn’t deter potential adopters.
“Most dogs are OK with it, it really just depends on the dog,” O’Meara said. “It’s similar to people. Some travel very well and some have more of a difficult time and are very anxious on flights.”
“Often people fly with their dogs from around the world to the U.S., so your main concern should be the airline,” she continued, “and ensuring the cargo space is properly ventilated and the pilot is aware there’s a dog on board, and they’re checking that in advance to make sure everything is in place for the dog to be as comfortable as possible during flight.”
Read the guide here.
Via USA Today
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