Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, and a US-based non-profit group is betting that they can find families who want to help a puppy who has spent an entire life roaming the radioactive fields of Chernobyl, the location of the infamous April 26, 1986 nuclear meltdown.
In 2017, a non-profit group called the Clean Futures Fund launched a project called The Dogs of Chernobyl, raising awareness of their plight and seeking to evacuate them from the hazardous area. Infected with radioactivity, the dogs were abandoned following the meltdown and left to their own devices. In the ensuing 22 years, cleanup efforts and came and went but now more than 3,500 employees currently work in and around the site on a daily basis. The area’s dogs live in and around human activity but without assistance or shelter.
According to the Clean Futures Fund, which focuses specifically on areas impacted by industrial waste, packs of wolves have prevented the dogs from roaming beyond the exclusion zone, and in many cases may have interbred with the dogs. There are currently over 250 dogs in the area, all living as strays.
A Ukrainian state agency in charge of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released a report last week stating that a dozen rescued puppies from the will be sent to the United States after a 45-day quarantine period in Slavutych, a Ukrainian town near the site. This 1,000-square-mile area is known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) and has seen little human activity since the disaster, though dogs, wolves, and other wildlife have moved into the area.
The 12 pups being quarantined and moved overseas will need a new home once they arrive, and are counting on a warm embrace from US dog lovers — after they receive treatment for their radioactive poisoning, of course. If all goes well, hundreds more Chernobyl dogs could see brighter futures in the United States. If you want to help, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first batch of pups arrive to the US in July.