Meet the rescue dogs of Rio
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, we worked in partnership with the Organizing Committee and rescued over 30 dogs. Each one has a unique story and personality, and some have found their way into new homes. Meet a few of them!
Apolo is a true hero! He defended his siblings Zeus, Hercules and Athena against an ocelot attack. He has a scar over his right eye from the battle. Construction workers found him hiding behind tractors and took care of his wounds until he got rescued at Barra Village 3, one of the official accommodations for journalists covering the Games. Apollo is a loyal, friendly and very smart dog.
Our charming Olympus goddess uses all of her strategic abilities for one purpose only: eating. Before being rescued, Athena and her brothers survived by rummaging through garbage and hunting in the wild.
Today, the lovely Athena is always well-fed and excited to take a walk in good company.
Of all of the siblings rescued at Barra Village 3’s construction site, Hercules is the calmest. His siblings have been named after Greek gods – Zeus, Athena and Apolo – an homage to the Olympics.
Just like in Greek mythology, our Zeus runs like lightning. He is very playful.
At one of our adoption events, he charmed US Rowing star Tessa Gobbo and she even let him wear her Olympic Gold medal.
He has surely come a long way from searching Olympic construction sites for food and shelter with his siblings Athena, Hercules and Apolo.
Barbara's story has a happy ending! Rescued near Gate 6 at the Radical Park in Deodoro (Rio de Janeiro), this friendly white mutt was adopted by a loving family from São Paulo.
Only few hours after Usain Bolt competed in Rio 2016 at “Engenhão”, a dog trespassed the same Olympic stadium's bleachers.
The rescue was in full speed! This friendly dog was named after the famous track star. He is always playful.
The life of a dog abandoned on the streets can be overwhelmingly tough. Diego Hypólito – named after a Brazilian gymnast who won a Silver medal in Rio 2016 – suffered a great deal and still hesitates when it comes to trusting people.
But the odds are finally in his favor! He was rescued in one of the Olympic areas and received treatment at one of our partner vet clinics. He is now taking behavior lessons to prepare him for adoption.
Our little athlete needs a home where he can be socialized with patience and much, much love.
Flavinha was named after one of Brazil’s most charismatic athletes: gymnast Flavia Saraiva. One look at her and she is already jumping around, laying upside down and contorting herself to get her belly rubbed – a true gymnast.
The small mutt is also a champion in another category: jumping from one lap to another.
Short-legged and always smiling, this friendly mutt was rescued near Deodoro’s Radical Park. Sadly, he has lost part of one of his ears. He was named after Isaquias Queiroz who overcame adversity in his childhood and multiple injuries over the years. Querioz is also the the only Brazilian athlete to ever win three medals at one of the Olympic Games.
Maneirinho means “little cool guy” in Portuguese. The name was given by a security officer who befriended the stray dog while working at a public transport station constructed specially for the Olympics. The station is right in front of the Olympic Park which means Maneirinho has been around since the beginning. One of our rescue teams found the dog while driving to the Park where he was at a high risk of being run over by a car. The security officer reached out to our team hoping to adopt Maneirinho - and he did! Maneirinho now lives with two other dogs in a loving home.
In the very last minute of an adoption event in Rio, a couple showed up and was enthusiastically welcomed by Marta. After playing with her for a while, the couple thanked our team and said goodbye. We watched them walk away...but then they suddenly stopped. The couple talked for a few minutes, always looking back. Marta was cheering and so were we. They finally started their way back and Marta got the ultimate prize: a new, loving home.
One of the first animals rescued during the Olympics was this black dog with a lot of energy and love to give! This champion was named Olímpia as an homage to the Olympic Games.
When our rescue team found Phelps, he was enjoying one the Olympic pools in Deodoro. Our small swimmer is already a star – he captivated the staff and is constantly the center of attention at our adoption events.
Besides diving in the water, the friendly dog loves playing and running around.
How can you help?
Many rescued animals are still up for adoption. If you are in Brazil and want to change their lives, please contact our Brazilian office.
If you're not in Brazil, you can still help by supporting our work to rescue and protect animals like these incredible dogs around the world.