Russian Billionaire Saves Over 2000 Stray Dogs From Death In Sochi Olympics

February 11, 2014

Oleg Deripaska / Photo: © Getty Images

Prowling the Olympic Park in Sochi unwanted and unloved, a large pack of dogs were destined to be put down by organizers who thought the animals were a nuisance and a danger to tourists.

A makeshift dog shelter in the surrounding countryside / Photo: © Reuters

But the pack of mutts have had an unlikely savior: Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's richest men. Dismayed that more than 2000 strays would be put down by authorities after a pest control company at the Winter Olympics was handed a contract to rid the area of the animals, Mr. Deripaska decided put his hand in his rather deep pockets and fund a dog shelter in the hills above Sochi.

Rescued dogs / Photo: © Reuters

An army of construction workers on the Olympic site in the run-up to the games attracted the dogs, which were fed and looked after. But after one animal interfered with a rehearsal run for the Olympic ceremony, and others bit children, according to the company charged with catching them, authorities decided to take action.

Photo: © Reuters

Following a string of media reports the billionaire Russian aluminum tycoon decided to intervene and a team of animal welfare workers began to rescue as many dogs as they could.

Photo: © Reuters

Mr. Deripaska is chairman of the Basic Element company and boss of Rusal, the largest aluminum company in the world. Thankfully, he is also a wonderful human being.


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