Are you hooked on the new HBO series Chernobyl? All of us at SPCA International are watching closely. Even though we have been working in the area for several years, the series is captivating. 

When thousands of people were forced to evacuate Chernobyl in 1986, they were allowed to take only what they could carry. They were told they would be home soon, so most people left their pets behind with a little extra food and water. Unfortunately, these families were never allowed to return for their beloved cats and dogs.

Miraculously, many pets survived the disaster on their own. Today, hundreds of their descendants continue to live in the Nuclear Exclusion Zone. These animals live short and difficult lives. They forage for food in the forests or depend on current power plant workers to give them scraps. Dogs rarely live to seven years old.

Since 2017, SPCAI has partnered with Clean Futures Fund to care for these dogs and cats. Thanks to the support of local organizations and many volunteers from around the world, we have been able to provide food, medical care, vaccines, and sterilizations to over 800 of the dogs and cats living in Chernobyl. 

Clean Futures Fund worked diligently to test radiation levels of these animals. They found that the majority of animals don’t pose a radiation threat to humans. Thanks to these very low radiation levels, Clean Futures Fund and SPCA International worked with the Ukrainian government to pave the way for 15 puppies to be removed from the Nuclear Exclusion Zone. These puppies were adopted into homes in the U.S. last year! No animal or object had ever been allowed to leave the Nuclear Exclusion Zone before, so this is groundbreaking.

Our team is heading back to the Nuclear Exclusion Zone next month to help more Chernobyl dogs and cats. Please join our email list to learn more about ways you can help or make a donation to help the dogs and cats of Chernobyl.