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Sochi stray dogs arrive in US for adoption

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A stray dog walks past the Olympic Rings in Sochi's Olympic Park before the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year. AP photo A stray dog walks past the Olympic Rings in Sochi's Olympic Park before the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year. AP photo

By Scott Stump, TODAY

(NBC News) - From the streets of Sochi to a new home in the United States, 10 lovable stray dogs arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for adoption thanks to the efforts of rescue organizations and athletes like U.S. Olympian Gus Kenworthy.

Humane Society International worked with organizations in Sochi to help bring the dogs to America after they were vaccinated and documented.

The dogs are currently being housed at facilities run by the Washington Animal Rescue League and are expected to be available for adoption in a few weeks after medical evaluations. The shelter received more than 100 phone calls inquiring about adoption after the dogs arrived on Thursday.  

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The plight of the stray dogs was publicized by several U.S. Olympians in Sochi, notably Kenworthy, who won a silver medal in slopestyle skiing. Kenworthy appeared on TODAY earlier this month with three dogs that he adopted from Sochi.

During his time in Russia, Kenworthy was vocal on Twitter and Facebook about the plight of the hundreds of Sochi strays, raising awareness while working to adopt some.

"We've had people come up to the both of us, and tell us that they've either donated to the Humane Society, or they went and adopted a dog here or whatever, so that's awesome to see,'' Kenworthy said on TODAY. "I think that we're really just kind of hoping to bring awareness to the plight of the dogs in Russia and hopefully set up some shelters and stuff there so that in future World Cups and different events, there will be a better system in place."

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