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The "radioactive pups" of Chernobyl, a sad story

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Around 900 dogs and their puppies roam the Chernobyl exclusion zone after the great nuclear disaster.

These animals, with high radiation rates, up to 20 times more than normal, are adrift because it is not allowed to rescue them and take them home. They are the descendants of the pets that the more than 50,000 inhabitants of Pripiat had to abandon 31 years ago.

While no one has lived within the 30-kilometer exclusion zone for 31 years, some 3,500 people commute daily to work at the nuclear plant. Some of these workers feed the dogs and often allow them to enter the plant during the cold Ukraine winter, according to the US NGO Clean Futures Fund (CFF).

Some international organizations give them sporadic attention and apply drastic control measures to prevent them from continuing to reproduce.

Eradication campaigns

Clean Future Fund, a group of veterinarians working with Ukrainian officials, assures that with these abandoned dogs "there is a risk that they can catch and spread rabies or other diseases from wolves and other animals that live in the area."

To face this problem, they are vaccinating and neutering them in a campaign that is repeated every year. They are then tagged with a distinctive necklace and released to later analyze the possible effects they have suffered over the years.

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