Sochi stray dogs arrive in US for adoption

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By Scott Stump

From the streets of Sochi to a new home in the United States, 10 lovable stray dogs arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for adoption thanks to the efforts of rescue organizations and athletes like U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy. 

Washington Animal Rescue League intake director Maureen Sosa visits with a stray from Sochi, Russia on Thursday. The league partnered with Humane Society International to bring 10 dogs to the U.S. Chip Somodevilla / Today

Humane Society International worked with organizations in Sochi to help bring the dogs to America after they were vaccinated and documented. 

A stray dog from Sochi get acclimated to its "doggie den" after arriving at the Washington Animal Rescue League shelter on Thursday. Chip Somodevilla / Today

The dogs are currently being housed at facilities run by the Washington Animal Rescue League and are expected to be available for adoption in a few weeks after medical evaluations. The shelter received more than 100 phone calls inquiring about adoption after the dogs arrived on Thursday.  

The plight of the stray dogs in Sochi was publicized during the Olympics. JEWEL SAMAD / Today
Washington Animal Rescue League shift supervisor Miles Gray pets a Sochi stray. Chip Somodevilla / Today

The plight of the stray dogs was publicized by several U.S. Olympians in Sochi, notably Kenworthy, who won a silver medal in slopestyle skiing. Kenworthy appeared on TODAY earlier this month with three dogs that he adopted from Sochi. 

Miles Gray carries a dog rescued from Sochi to its den. JEWEL SAMAD / Today

During his time in Russia, Kenworthy was vocal on Twitter and Facebook about the plight of the hundreds of Sochi strays, raising awareness while working to adopt some.

"We've had people come up to the both of us, and tell us that they've either donated to the Humane Society, or they went and adopted a dog here or whatever, so that's awesome to see,'' Kenworthy said on TODAY. "I think that we're really just kind of hoping to bring awareness to the plight of the dogs in Russia and hopefully set up some shelters and stuff there so that in future World Cups and different events, there will be a better system in place." 

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