Moscow’s Stray Dogs Being Hunted; ‘Nuisance’ Animals Know How To Ride Subways
Moscow's stray dogs are used to the harsh realities of living in a big, cold city. Lack of wood and warmth are daily struggles, but Moscow's stray dogs might have to face a new danger: hunters. Internet message boards across Russia are putting out the call for people to rally and try to reduce the population of Moscow's stray dogs. The plan? Follow routes along the subway system and place poisoned meat in busy areas for Moscow's stray dogs to find. Why the subway?
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Because in Moscow, the stray dogs know how to use the metro.
Moscow's stray dogs using the metro to get around has been well-documented by a growing number of sources. And there are a lot of stray dogs in Moscow. According to some estimates, there is one stray dog for every 300 Moscovites. The ability to ride the metro system is being chalked up to evolution, only the absolute smartest dogs survive the harsh conditions on the streets of Moscow. And, as a result, only the smartest dogs get to breed.
"In Moscow there are all sorts of stray dogs, but... there are no stupid dogs," Dr. Andrey Poyarkov, a biologist who has studied Moscow's strays for 30 years, told ABC News. "The street is tough and it is survival of the fittest. These clever dogs know people much better than people know them."
Generation after generation of increasingly smarter dogs has led to a breed that has figured out a lot of solutions to problems like food and shelter. Check out this ABC News report that details how some of Moscow's stray dogs learned to not only take shelter in the subway system, but ride trains and get off at the same stops every day.
Not all of Moscow's stray dogs are metro commuters, of the 35,000 or so stray dogs only about 500 have been observed regularly riding the rails. But the current plan to hunt down and poison Moscow's stray dogs is being met with resistance from animal rights groups who claim that the practice is inhumane and, too often, claims the lives of innocent dogs. In 2012, more than 1,000 dogs were killed in Moscow, including pets, according to The Moscow News. Rescue dogs, seeing eye dogs, "therapy" dogs that help people with special needs were among accidental victims of the fight against strays. Even the local police are getting in on the fight to stop the slaughter.
"Moscow police have information that an event is being planned. All the necessary preventative measures aimed at preventing cruelty to animals will be taken," police officials told The Moscow News.
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