Athena the dog with two Olympic gold medallists at our dog adoption event in Rio

USA Olympic gold medalists support animals rescued at Rio 2016



Team USA rowing athletes Eleanor Davis Logan and Tessa Gobbo made a surprise visit to World Animal Protection’s dog adoption event on Saturday

The Olympic stars cuddled the dogs and even let them pose with their gold medals. This special meeting was a long way from the life of abandonment these dogs used to endure.

We have rescued over 30 dogs and 50 cats so far, including the dogs at this event, in partnership with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee.

Taking home medals – and animals

To their fans and every Brazilian watching the Games, Eleanor and Tessa sent a clear message: “Support the Olympics by adopting a dog.”

Earlier on Saturday, Eleanor adopted two cats from our friends at local NGO Oito Vidas. And while visiting our event, she was particularly enchanted by a puppy named after Brazilian tennis player Guga. “I hope he gets adopted,” she said, after holding him for several minutes, reluctant to let him go.

It was a family of Olympus God dogs – Apolo, Zeus, Hercules and Athena – that won Tessa’s heart. Led by the brave Apolo, only months ago the young brothers were struggling to survive on the streets of Rio.


Tessa and Eleanor with Hercules the dog at our dog adoption event in Rio

The proximity to wild ground led the dogs to danger. Construction workers found them hiding behind tractors, with severe injuries from the attack of an ocelot, a wild cat also known as a dwarf leopard. The workers treated the dogs and our partner, the Special Secretariat for the Defense of Animals (SEPDA), rescued them. Now World Animal Protection is helping them to find a loving home.

Related: We’re helping to rescue cats and keep them safe during, and after, the Olympic games.

Naming the rescue dogs after athletes

One of the dogs we rescued was found in the same stadium where Usain Bolt made his Rio 2016 debut. Our rescue team found the trespassing Bolt (the dog) running around the stadium just a few hours after the original Bolt.

Isaquias, the short-legged dog pictured below, got his name from the Brazilian canoeist who won three Olympic medals.


Isaquias the dog sits with the two US gold medallists

Do you have a home for one of these dogs?

All of these animals are still up for adoption. If you are in Brazil and want to change their lives, please contact our Brazilian office.

To their fans and every Brazilian watching the Games, Eleanor and Tessa sent a clear message: Support the Olympics by adopting a dog.