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Even After A Nuclear Meltdown The Dogs of Chernobyl Never Gave Up Hope

Did you watch HBO’s limited series about the disaster at Chernobyl? This show captivated the attention of millions of viewers. The series did an excellent job telling the story of how the people and the city were impacted. The results were catastrophic. We couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the dogs.

 

 

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Start From the Beginning

In April 1986, there was an explosion and fire in the fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine. As a result, massive amounts of radioactivity were sent into the atmosphere. Authorities evacuated more than 350,000 people in the aftermath.

But the effects didn’t simply impact the people. Authorities insisted family animals, like dogs and cats, should be left behind because of fear of contamination. So the animals were forced to stay in Pripyat – abandoned. Afterward, the Soviet Union sent members of the military back into the city to euthanize the remaining animals. However, some dogs survived and procreated.

To this day, a 1,000-mile exclusion area exists surrounding the footprint of the disaster. Authorities told people not to live in this designated area. However, some chose to remain. Of course, animals did not know to evacuate. Dogs (and other creatures) still live in the exclusion zone.

 

 

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Dogs in Chernobyl

Today, radiation does not pose a threat to the dogs. The brutal Ukraine winters, rabies exposure, predators, and malnourishment are the biggest causes for concern in these dogs’ lives.

According to SPCAI, around 250 dogs live at the power plant.  Even though it is no longer in service, the plant requires maintenance and workers regularly visit to do necessary work. In an act of kindness, they often take care of the pups.

In 2016, the Clean Futures Fund started visiting these dogs. They take an annual three-week trip to Ukraine where they spay, neuter, and vaccinate the dogs living in the zone. Workers from the Clean Futures Fund report that these homeless pups are no different than any other dogs. They have the same loving and friendly personalities.

Dogs of Chernobyl
​Source: Clean Futures Fund YouTube

And, in 2018 some Chernobyl puppies were able to be adopted. Rescuers saved numerous dogs that show low levels of radiation contamination. Then the volunteers found families to adopt these dogs, following a 30-day quarantine. So, the descendants of survivors of the Chernobyl disaster are now living in their forever homes in the US and Canada.

Get to know these resilient dogs in the video below.

H/T Dogtime.com
Featured image c/o alicevankempen Instagram

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Written by Samantha H
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