Prowling the Olympic Park in Sochi unwanted and unloved, a large pack of dogs were destined to be put down by organizers who thought the animals were a nuisance and a danger to tourists.
But the Sochi dogs have had an unlikely saviour: Mr Oleg Deripaska, one of Russia's richest men.
Dismayed that more than 2000 strays would be put down by authorities after a pest control company at the Winter Olympics was handed a contract to rid the area of the animals, Mr Deripaska decided put his hand in his rather deep pockets and fund a dog shelter in the hills above Sochi.
"My first dog I found in the street of my village, the tiny village [where I grew up],” Mr Deripaska told reporters. “It was a very close friend for almost five years.'
Hundreds of thousands of animal lovers worldwide followed this dog cull with much sadness.
What you have done for these animals is wonderful, and we'd like to say "Thank you - so very much".
You are a kind and humble man and you deserve recognition for your act of kindness, which goes LOTS further than even money can buy!
Money cannot buy compassion towards animals, money cannot buy a clear conscience, what you have done sir is truly outstanding.
With kindest regards,