ST. CHARLES, Mo. (NBC/KSDK) — Those who represented Team USA are arriving home from Sochi, and some are bringing new friends back with them.
Lucky for these two pups, becoming an American citizen isn’t quite so hard for dogs.
“We have all these jokes now going around like, ‘Well, I don’t understand their accent,’” said Brittany Broombaug, with Five Acres Animal Shelter.
But, getting them here did have its challenges.
“That was quite a mission,” said David Backes. “There’s a lot of “No” answers to questions when we’re trying to get them out.”
Backes and his wife couldn’t bear to leave the pups they’d named “Sochi Junior” and “Sochi Jake” after they kept showing up in Olympic Village.
“What we see as our loving pets and sleeping in bed with us — or as family members — they’re not necessarily thought of that way all around the world,” said Backes.
So they got the paperwork and early Monday, Backes tweeted from New York about only one flight left to St. Louis before the mission would be accomplished.
Hours after that, Junior and Jake were on their way to St. Charles. It’s the Backes’ first international transfer.
“In the end, you shed light on the issue that’s not just there,” said Backes. “It’s a global issue.”
It’s the issue that had the Backes’ jumping through hoops to bring these Sochi strays home.
“These two lives isn’t going to make a huge impact on the stray population of Sochi; we’re well aware of that,” said Backes. “But the stories they can tell and the examples they can set for people is something that will be exponentially multiplied.”
The dogs will be contained for 30 days while they get their shots. They’ll then go up for adoption in the St. Louis area.