(SOCHI, Russia) — The road to the only private kennel in the remote hills above Sochi, Russia was blocked by security Friday and the kennel’s operator said the animal shelter had become overcrowded with strays rounded up from the Olympic venue.
ABC News tried to visit the kennel on Friday, but was halted by security officers, some in plainclothes and some in uniform. The officers wouldn’t identify who they work for and threatened to call police on an ABC News crew hoping to visit the kennel.
The kennel had attracted publicity for taking in stray dogs that survived a culling in and around the Olympics facilities. Humanitarian groups — including athletes such as American freeskier Gus Kenworthy — offered to help the Sochi strays.
When reached by phone, a person at the animal shelter told ABC News that because of the publicity the place is now overcrowded.
The private shelter was funded by wealthy Russian Oleg Deripaska. A city kennel, hastily thrown together a couple of weeks ago, is located nearby.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Schams Elwazer, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Tim Hume, CNN
Angela Dewan and Euan McKirdy, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Dave Gilbert, CNN