The reality TV star and the actress are the latest to help find homes for dogs

By Raha Lewis
Updated February 23, 2014 12:35 PM

More celebrities are standing up for stray dogs in Sochi.

On Saturday afternoon, Katherine Heigl and her mother, Nancy, joined forces with Ali Fedotowsky to help find happy homes for two pups the former Bachelorette star fell in love with and brought back from Sochi (where she was an Olympic correspondent for E! News).

“This is Adler, which is a town next to Sochi,” Fedotowksy tells PEOPLE of one of the dogs she flew in with on Saturday afternoon. “She’s very playful.” A male dog, Sochi, had been ill on the flight and wasn’t so energetic.

Katherine, 35, and Nancy waited anxiously at Los Angeles International Airport to pick up the two dogs from Fedotowsky, 29, whose role in the rescue process was to get them to the United States safely. They heard of Sochi’s illness prior to his arrival: “Sochi hasn’t eaten in 15 hours and is throwing up so we are hoping that it’s just from the travel,” Katherine said as she arrived at LAX.

As soon as they saw the puppies, the Heigls immediately made their way to their car to commence the two-to-four week quarantine process “to make sure [the dogs] are not carrying infectious diseases that could be passed on to humans,” Katherine explained.

Although Katherine has seven dogs of her own and co-founded the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation – aimed at finding happy homes and shelters for dogs – she was nervous about this particular rescue. “We haven’t done this before. We haven’t done a rescue from another country,” Heigl says. “I’m nervous for the dogs. It’s an awfully long flight. I’m hoping it’s the beginning of the good life to come.”

Sochi has already been adopted by Amanda Bird, the marketing and communications director for the USA bobsled and skeleton team, and her husband.

So far, the puppies have received their first medical check up in the U.S. Sochi, the male pup, has been diagnosed with canine parvovirus (or “parvo”) and will be receiving treatment. The female pup, Adler, has been diagnosed with a cough. Both will stay at the vet for at least the duration of the weekend.