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SAC Chernobyl


Help for the forgotten dogs of Chernobyl

© FOUR PAWS | Tomas Halasz

FOUR PAWS vaccinated and neutered 120 stray dogs from within the exclusion zone

The explosion of Reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant on 26th April, 1986, is regarded as one of the worst nuclear catastrophes in history. Over 120,000 people from 189 towns and villages within the 30-kilometer exclusion zone around the power plant had to evacuate.

Yet many pets were left behind – most of all, dogs.

30 years later, hundreds of stray dogs live inside the exclusion zone. FOUR PAWS, in cooperation with the American NGO Clean Futures Fund (CFF), were aiming to vaccinate and neuter 120 dogs living within the zone. Additionally, the population of the dogs will be reduced in the long term.

© FOUR PAWS | Tomas Halasz

Rabies is not only a risk for animals but also for humans

Hundreds of descendants of the abandoned dogs of Chernobyl wander around the nuclear power plant near the Ukrainian ghost town, Prypjat. Due to the many wild animals that live within the exclusion zone, the strays are often infected with rabies. 


By vaccinating the stray dogs, we are also protecting the 3,500 nuclear power plant workers who come into contact with the dogs and look after them. By neutering the strays, we will also achieve a long-term reduction in their population, improving the welfare of the dogs. This is important because their chances of survival are greatly reduced if their number increase due to lack of food and shelter in the extremely cold winters.

© FOUR PAWS | Tomas Halasz

International cooperation

CFF has put together an international veterinary team, which carried out the medical treatment of the stray dogs of Chernobyl in the coming months. To contribute, FOUR PAWS not only sent an experienced vet but also provided the medicines and veterinary equipment needed to complete the project. 

© FOUR PAWS | Tomas Halasz