Moscow’s subway dogs


One of the goals of The Source is to give readers an idea of what’s happening with mass transit and urban planning outside Los Angeles County. In that vein, a fascinating, and sad, story was recently published in the Financial Times about the thousands of stray dogs roaming Moscow. Many of those dogs, it seems, have taken to finding shelter in the city’s subway system. Some even use the trains.

An excerpt, from reporter Susanne Sternthal’s article:

I moved to Moscow with my family last year and was startled to see so many stray dogs. Watching them over time, I realised that, despite some variation in colour – some were black, others yellowish white or russet – they all shared a certain look. They were medium-sized with thick fur, wedge-shaped heads and almond eyes. Their tails were long and their ears erect.

They also acted differently. Every so often, you would see one waiting on a metro platform. When the train pulled up, the dog would step in, scramble up to lie on a seat or sit on the floor if the carriage was crowded, and then exit a few stops later. There is even a website dedicated to the metro stray ( on which passengers post photos and video clips taken with their mobile phones, documenting the ­savviest of the pack using the public transport system like any other Muscovite.

The above image is from the website, which looks very interesting, although it’s in Russian. ‘ve never seen a stray dog in the subway in L.A., nor do I recall seeing one on the platform or trains when I lived in Chicago and New York.

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