Minnesota's Backes among U.S. athletes adopting Sochi dogs


The stray dogs problem in Sochi, Russia, has been the talk of the Olympics from day one, and some American athletes are doing what they can to help control the stray pet population.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a number of American athletes are adopting the stray dogs.

Among those planning to adopt is Spring Lake Park native and St. Louis Blues captain David Backes, who scored a goal in today's USA hockey win over the Czech Republic to reach the semifinals at the Olympics – where they await Team Canada on Friday.

The former Minnesota State-Mankato star said some of the hockey players' wives are working together to bring stray dogs back to the U.S.

"The wives are kind of creating their own alliance," Backes said. Unfortunately, bringing a dog back from Russia isn't exactly simple.

"It's not a short flight," Backes explained. "To have them under the belly of the plane for a long time, we want to make sure that all makes sense, too, and that we're not putting them in any harm. There are things we need to check off that list before we go ahead with it."

Backes is an animal lover. He and his wife Kelly founded a charity that promotes pet adoption called "Athletes for Animals," so before arriving in Sochi he was already concerned about the reports of homeless dogs.

"They kind of were portrayed a little bit as rabid animals that were dangerous," he said. "I think you've seen a lot of friendly, smart street dogs that have perhaps had a tough life and have had to find ways to get food and shelter and water."

The Wall Street Journal offered up a video on the cute news, too.

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