Chernobyl's stray dogs population tackled

07 August 2023

The Clean Futures Fund's Dogs of Chernobyl project says that its sterilisation and vaccination campaign helped lead to no puppies being born at the site in the seven months to June.

One of the dogs at Chernobyl (Image: CFF)

Vets from the Clean Futures Fund visited the Chernobyl site in October 2022 and examined, sterilised or otherwise treated 130 dogs, most of which live near the New Safe Confinement, the building constructed over the site of the 1986 accident.

Following a return visit in June, Jennifer Berz, the US-based fund's lead veterinarian, said: "We were very pleased to see that no new puppies have appeared at all in the seven months since our last visit to the ChNPP site. This means that our sterilisation campaign in October was extremely successful. The rest of the dogs were healthy, we vaccinated them, gave them anti-parasite medication and everything looked very good."

As well as caring for the stray animals at the site, they also spent three days providing veterinary services to stray and domesticated animals in the plant site's satellite town of Slavutych.

The project team estimates that there are more than 500 dogs living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, many descended from pets which had to be left behind by people evacuated in 1986.

The Dogs of Chernobyl project was started in 2017 to set up a spay, neuter and vaccination programme to reduce the stray dog population to both improve the animals' welfare and provide safer conditions for workers at the site, many of who have cared for the animals over the years.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News