Although the flames of the Sochi Olympic torch have been extinguished, the stray dogs of the city are still in dire need of rescue. Stepping up for her first two rescue pooches from Sochi on Saturday, was actress Katherine Heigl and her mother who joined up with Ali Fedotowsky, an Olympic news correspondent, reported Celebrity Yahoo.com as they waited at LAX for two rescued puppies to arrive.
Fedotowsky, a former Bachelorette contestant, visited the most popular shelter on the outskirts of Sochi called Povodog, funded by billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who admits he may even adopt one of the strays in the near future as soon as his children choose their perfect new pooch.
It was at Povodog where Fedotowsky fell in love with one little pooch and tweeted:
"Got this little gal at a Sochi shelter. On my way to the vet to get her a health certificate and passport so I can hopefully bring her back to the USA to be adopted. I can't save them all, but I know someone in the states would love to have this little sweetheart!!!"
The two dogs are being sponsored by the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation and have been named Sochi and Adler. Sochi has been diagnosed with Parvo and will be treated, while little Adler suffers from an upper respiratory infection.
Heigl admits this is her first time helping dogs from out of the country. She stated:
"We haven't done this before. We haven't done a rescue from another country. I'm nervous for the dogs. It's an awfully long flight. I'm hoping it's the beginning of the good life to come."
The Olympics and many of the animal loving athletes have brought international attention to the plight of an estimated 4,000 strays in Sochi. At first the Olympic organizers only admitted to killing sick dogs, but animal advocates found poisoned bait on the city streets. It has been estimated that at least 300 dogs a month have been killed since October as Olympic officials readied the area for the event.
Olympic athlete snowboarder, Lindsey Jacobellis, adopted a dog, as did Gus Kenworthy, and David Backes, a U.S. hockey player who with his wife, Kelly, organized Athletes for Animals in 2012 and are now also helping to save the Sochi dogs.
According to abcnews.com, Kelly Backes, the two dogs she found were gentle and relatively healthy.
For Americans who are trying to adopt a Sochi stray, please check with Disease Control and Prevention by clicking here. It is strongly advised to adopt puppies over four months of age and have them vaccinated for rabies at least one month before their anticipated arrival.
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