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Journey to safety: Igor Ayrapetyan drove 11 saved dogs from Sochi to Moscow

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Almost anyone who has ever adopted or rescued a dog or cat from certain death will tell you that the pet somehow “knows” it has been saved, and who its rescuer is. The attached photo from the SochiRescuedDogs Facebook page of Igor Ayrapetyan and one of the dogs he saved from the streets of Sochi is proof positive. The affection between these two is apparent.

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Businessman Igor Ayrapetyan is one of many who have been spurred into action by the plight of the homeless pets in Sochi, Russia, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

As the roundup and extermination of the street dogs of Sochi continued, Ayrapetyan was part of a much different kind of roundup. Instead of killing the dogs, Ayrapetyan and his animal loving colleagues began to rescue the dogs, one dog at a time, and transport them to new homes and safer locations.

Ayrapetyan, who has also lived in Los Angeles, travelled from the Moscow region with a friend a few weeks ago to bring 11 of the Sochi dogs back to his village, and plans a second trip. Part of his journey is documented in the attached video.

According to an article in the Moscow Times, Ayrapetyan has already found foster homes for eight of the dogs. He has arranged for a friend who is a dog trainer to work with two of the other dogs to help prepare them for their permanent homes. The eleventh dog has already stolen Ayrapetyan’s heart and will remain with him.

The Moscow Times article report that Ayrapetyan is the only volunteer to have come from a different region to transport dogs to safety. The other rescued dogs are being rehomed in the Sochi region.

Most people who are involved with animal rescue will understand exactly what Ayrapetyan said to the Moscow Times:

"I had tried to fill the vacuum in my soul with material things like new cars and traveling but soon got bored," Ayrapetyan said. "Now my life has become real."

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