ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– A star St. Louis Blues player who was part of Team USA in the Olympics brought back much more from Sochi than just memories of playing on Olympic ice.
Blues captain David Backes and his wife rescued two of the thousands of stray dogs that were all around Sochi.
We were there as the charter plane with the Backes`, the dogs and others landed at Lambert.
Backes says the two dogs he rescued and other animals kept on showing up at the resort where the players` families were staying.
As the days went by, Sochi Junior and Sochi Jake as Backes calls them, just wouldn`t leave.
So the Backes` went through all the red tape to get them out of Russia.
“By the end of it those two were living in hotel rooms where they shouldn`t have been getting baths in bath tubs where they shouldn`t have been,” explained Backes.
The Backes` are animal lovers. In fact, they run a foundation called Athletes for Animals.
Backes says all the stray animals in Sochi and the amount that were reportedly killed or euthanized touched him.
“When they`re timid and you can kind of tell they`ve been mistreated or you see one with mange or that`s really skinny or fighting over some scraps of food that really tears your heart out because we feel that every dog should have a great home that`s well fed,” explained Backes.
The dogs stayed with the Backes` on the 13 hour plane ride home.
They even tweeted out a picture of them smiling with the dogs while on the flight.
“It`s almost like they knew they were going to somewhere where they wouldn`t have to worry about food or fighting over food or worried about who was coming after them next,” said Backes about the dogs.
After a quick potty break when they landed, the dogs were taken away by the Five Acres Animal Shelter from St. Charles.
They will stay there for 30 days to make sure they are healthy before becoming available for adoption.
“We`re going to be caring for them in that time, socializing them, teaching them English, you know fun things like that,” said Brittany Broombaugh with Five Acres.
Backes added, ‘The story being told of how these dogs are just like yours and mine at home and how you know we should treat our animals with respect and be responsible pet owners is a story that a lot of people wanted to tell and I think we`re telling it now.”