Some time back I told a story about my encounter right near Red Square–adjacent to St. Basil’s actually–and a pack of stray dogs. The one where the Italian professor I was walking with freaked out because she’s afraid of dogs, and the other Italian professor I had dined with hid behind me because he was afraid of dogs too. Anyways, one commenter, Ostap Bender, called bullsh*t on my claim that there are packs of wild dogs roaming Moscow. Several other commenters took my side, one (an extreme Putinophile, actually) saying that Ostap must indeed have been on a bender.
I bring this up because of a story in today’s Independent about the wild dogs of Moscow. The article states that there are an estimated 25K dogs on the streets, and 12K more in shelters. There is a plan afoot to move the sheltered dogs from Moscow into a huge new facility in Yaroslavl. As I recall (and I don’t have time to go back and verify now), previous plans to build a megashelter in Moscow were beset by rumors of corruption. (In Russia? In Moscow? Go on.) My memory is that a Luzhkov relative was involved.
If the plan goes forward (officials claim that it has been scrapped, but leaked documents suggest otherwise) this would take care of the 12K dogs already in shelters. What about the other 25K. You know, those ones that exist only in my imagination, according to Ostap. (Who has been scarce around here lately–although maybe only under that name.)