For the first time, a group of puppies born in Chernobyl, Ukraine, were removed from the restricted zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, whose reactor exploded in 1986, causing one of the worst nuclear disasters in the world. Buzzfeed reports that some of the offspring from dogs that survived the environmental disaster have been cleared of radiation and taken to the US and Canada to start a new life.
It was forbidden to remove animals from the exclusion of Chernobyl by 2018. It is still forbidden to live in Chernobyl City for more than three weeks. When the local authorities decided last year to make an exception for puppies, an organization called Clean Futures Fund started an adoption program to find a new home for healthy puppies.
"You can not bring anything out of the restricted zone," said Christine Anderson, who adopted one of the rescued dogs, told CBS Sacramento last December, "These puppies are the first things that ever came out." Her 8-month-old Chernobyl puppy named Persik seems to be happy and healthy, with a few quirky habits likely to come from surviving in a harsh environment.
"She really likes to hide in things … and build nests," says Anderson. "She takes shoes, clothes and everything she could find, and makes a small obstacle. I think it gives her a safe feeling.
Although some have warned of the dangers of caressing the dogs in Chernobyl, the co-founder of the Clean Futures Fund, Lucas Hixson, says it is extremely rare to find traces of radiation among the animals. Nevertheless, all dogs are examined for radiation and blood samples are taken. In an attempt to reduce the number of stray dogs, older dogs are neutered and neutered, while puppies are treated and brought to the nearby town of Slavutych for training.
More than 40 puppies have been admitted for adoption and over a dozen have been brought to the United States. Fourteen puppies were sent to New York. Persik landed in Northern California. And a sibling couple found eternal homes in Ohio, where a video posted on Instagram shows the reunion of the two puppies.
In addition to the puppy adoption program, the Clean Futures Fund continues to raise funds for the Spei and vaccinate the hundreds of stray dogs in Chernobyl, and you can read more about their efforts in the video below.