Daytona Beach, FL – 18 dogs are about to complete a one-way trip from Russia to Daytona Beach with the hopes of finding love and a new home.
The Daytona Beach chapter of the ARNI Foundation will receive the first of those “Sochi Dogs” – named Austen, Chocolate, Spot, Honey and Aloyna (picture courtesy LAPA Russia) – at their Mason Avenue shelter sometime Tuesday night.
ARNI founder Nikki Linn tells WNDB her involvement started when she read all the stories that came out during the recently completed Winter Olympics in Sochi about how the Russian government had rounded up and killed around 5,000 animals – mainly dogs – found wandering loose in the town.
“I started to do a little research and tried to find a [Russian] organization who was doing something about the dogs [in Sochi] and came across LAPA,” Linn said. “They’re in England and they have a specific branch that’s helping the dogs in Russia.”
Linn said it took around 3 weeks to establish contacts and raise enough cash to fly the dogs to Daytona Beach in proper cages, as well as get them veterinary care.
5 of the dogs will arrive Tuesday and Wednesday, while 13 more – all newborns from the same litter – will need to grow a little stronger before they can fully complete the nearly 5,700 mile journey from Sochi to Daytona Beach via Germany. That should happen sometime in mid-April.
Linn says those newborns were found with their dead mother on the streets of Sochi soon after she had been killed by a poison Russian authorities were using to try and control the amount of strays.
“The puppies were just crawling all over her,” Linn added. “Their eyes were closed. They had no chance of making it [on their own].”
ARNI hopes to be able to raise more money soon to try and bring more dogs from Sochi to Daytona Beach, especially because Linn says people in Sochi are having a hard enough time taking care of their own needs, much less a dog’s needs.
“They’ve been more than happy to let us take [the dogs],” Linn added. “There’s no structure in place for animals or shelters or spay and neuter. But the majority of people [in Russia] really want to help and have gone out of their way to help and take care of them.”
It’s not the first time ARNI’s crossed the US border to rescue dogs, but Linn says they’ve never gone quite this far before and they’re grateful that a lot of people have volunteered their time and money to help pay for the costs.
“A lot of people have expressed interest [in adopting the dogs],” Linn added.
A 30-day quarantine period will need to take place before the dogs can be officially released for adoption.
Anyone interested in adopting these dogs or making donations to ARNI can reach them at 386-257-3030 or click here to visit their Facebook page.
Copyright 2014 Southern Stone Communications.
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