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Rescued Sochi Dogs Adjusting to an American Life

Homes are found for ten stray dogs sent to America to avoid extermination before the Russian Winter Olympics.

Ten Russian dogs arrived at Washington's Dulles Airport last March on the verge of beginning new lives in America. They had been rescued by U.S. and Russian animal welfare groups from the streets of Sochi, where the Russian government had begun culling stray dogs as part of its efforts to clean up the city for the Winter Olympics.

Now, six months later, the dogs are adjusting to life with their adoptive families.

This is the story of two of these dogs: d'Artagnon, adopted by the Charles family in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Sochi, adopted by the Pascaran family in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Meanwhile, Humane Society International, one of the organizations that helped bring the dogs to D.C., says that the publicity surrounding the Sochi dogs has helped open a dialogue between animal welfare groups and the Russian government about more effective and humane alternatives for animal control.

"We are now speaking with local and national government about implementing humane and effective alternatives for the upcoming 2016 World Cup, which Russia is hosting," says Kelly O'Meara, director of companion animals and engagement at Humane Society International.

Follow Ashleigh N. DeLuca on Twitter.

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