American ready to bring her adopted Russian dog "Sochi" home

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Amanda Bird’s quest to adopt a stray dog who was among those rounded up during the Sochi Olympics continues to be a challenge.

Bird, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, drew worldwide attention during the Olympics by deciding to rescue and adopt a dog she named Sochi. Many people Bird had never met, even actress Katherine Heigl and her family’s foundation for rescue animals, began providing assistance after hearing her story, which took another turn Saturday when the dog was diagnosed with distemper.

“I’m still not giving up on Sochi,” Bird said Saturday.

Sochi was among hundreds of dogs who were brought to makeshift shelters before and during the Olympics. Animal activists said they were alarmed by reports that the city contracted the killing of thousands of strays.

Bird was one of the few who got a dog out of Russia.

It took about three weeks before Bird could actually visit a makeshift Russian shelter and choose her pet, where she was aided by a TV crew from E! News, which transported the dog to Los Angeles.

The kindness of strangers, Bird said, helped save Sochi. All she wants now is a chance to bring her new pet home.

“This story is about more than stray dogs and the compassion we feel for and about them, but it’s also about the compassion we have for one another,” Bird said. “Isn’t that what the Olympics teaches us? It’s about uniting together on a global level regardless of where we are from or what we do.”

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