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Sochi officials cancel plans to kill more than 2,000 stray animals before 2014 Olympics

The Skating Palace and Olympic Stadium construction site in Sochi, Russia. The city recently cancelled its plans to exterminate thousands of animals before hosting the 2014 Games. (AFP via Getty Images) The Skating Palace and Olympic Stadium construction site in Sochi, Russia. The city recently cancelled its plans to exterminate thousands of animals before hosting the 2014 Games. (AFP via Getty Images)

Sochi officials cancelled their plans to kill more than 2,000 stray cats and dogs prior to the 2014 Winter Games, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

The plans were originally conceived to ensure safety to visitors and improve the city's image during the Winter Games. But the CEO of the Humane Society International criticized the plans, and no public bids were received to carry out the extermination. The city was prepared to pay about $54,000 for "work to catch and dispose of" the animals.

The city will instead seek alternate means of treating and sterilizing the animals, including plans to build an animal shelter.

From the RIA Novosti report:

The Sochi authorities also said an animal shelter would soon be built in the city, and a plot of land has already been allocated for the purpose. "The animal shelter will be built and maintained by the Dobromir charity organization. All the required documents are currently being finalized," the Sochi administration said in a statement.

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