Kenworthy was a part of the Olympic freeskiing team, but he walked away with more than a silver-medal in his slopestyle event. Kenworthy, along with a number of other celebrites including Katherine Heigl, fell in love with many of the stray dogs in Sochi, so he decided to rescue four puppies and their mother.
After a long month battling with the government to adopt and care for the adorable rescue dogs, Gus and his photographer friend Robin MacDonald were finally reunited with the precious pups.
“It’s just incredible. It feels so nice to have them home,” Gus told Matt Lauer and Tamron Hall.
“These dogs, they’ve traveled thousands of miles and it’s been many, many weeks of this whole process kind of coming to an end and just really can’t thank Robin and the Humane Society International enough for making it happen.”
“We encountered some government roadblocks when we there,” Robin said.
“A politician claimed the dogs were theirs and they didn’t want to release them to us for whatever reason. They were kind of kept away from me for the duration that I was there. We were fighting with the Humane Society International to get them proper treatment and to get them to care, and it took too long and two of the dogs unfortunately did pass away.”
Gus responded to the international impact, saying:
“I think that’s the best part for me. We’ve had people come up to both of us and tell us what they either donated to the Humane Society or went and adopted a dog here, so that’s awesome to see.”
“I think that we’re really just hoping to bring awareness to the plight of the dogs in Russia and hopefully set up some shelters and stuff there. So in future world cups and different events, there will be a better system in place so this doesn’t happen again. So if someone wants to take a dog back, they can take a dog back. It’s not going to be a horrible process.”
Gus’s heartwarming reunion with his Sochi Strays is a must-see.
You can watch the video on TODAY here: http://on.today.com/1eyDbZ1
— Cara Meyers, exclusive to Global Animal