MEDIA RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – MAY 8TH 2019
SPCA INTERNATIONAL AND CLEAN FUTURES FUND RETURN TO DOGS OF CHERNOBYL FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR
BATH, MI – This week the Clean Futures Fund (CFF), a U.S. non-profit organization, and SPCA International (SPCAI) are pleased to announce that they will be returning to Chernobyl in June for an intensive three-week project to spay, neuter and vaccinate the stray dogs that call the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone home.
Since 2017, with the help of local residents and workers, volunteers from around the world, SPCAI and other organizations, descendants of abandoned pets from the 1986 evacuation that now call the nuclear power plant and 30-kilometer exclusion zone home, have received food, vaccinations, sterilizations and essential medical care from CFF. SPCAI has been the primary source of financial support for the Dogs of Chernobyl project since the beginning. This year SPCAI continues its strong support with a matching gift pledge to the 2019 Dogs of Chernobyl campaign of up to $40,000.
“SPCA International is glad to support the incredible Dogs of Chernobyl project for the third year in a row. This population of dogs has been ignored and left to suffer for over 30 years, but thanks to this work that has finally changed. This project provides critical life-saving veterinary treatment that reduces their suffering and prolongs their lives. We hope our matching grant spurs CFF donors into action because it is only with their help that we can deliver double the impact,” said Meredith Ayan, Executive Director of SPCA International.
The Dogs of Chernobyl are exposed to rabies by infected animals in the exclusion zone and by attacks from the rabid wolf population, which presents a human health safety issue. Despite this danger, the Chernobyl workers have taken it upon themselves to share their own limited food with these animals. CFF has worked with SPCAI and other partners like Nestle Purina to provide food, medication and vaccinations to the dogs to mitigate the threat to residents and alleviate the financial burden of caring for the animals from the workers.
“We went to Chernobyl to help the workers and their families that are experiencing health problems related to the nuclear accident,” explained Lucas Hixson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Clean Futures Fund. “We found that the large population of stray dogs carrying rabies not only presented a human health threat, but also that the dogs were being euthanized in an attempt to mitigate that threat. We committed to providing a humane solution to the rabies threat and overpopulation while reducing the threat to human health, and our program has successfully treated over 1,000 stray dogs over the last three years. We are grateful for the support SPCAI has shown Dogs of Chernobyl each year that we return to vaccinate and sterilize the dog population.”
The third annual spay, neuter and vaccination operation will take place in June, overseen by a team of Ukrainian veterinarians with volunteer veterinarians from the United States and Europe. Supporters of the Dogs of Chernobyl can have their donation matched dollar for dollar by contributing
at www.cleanfutures.org. In addition to the matching gift opportunity, the first 200 donors will be eligible for the limited-edition Dogs of Chernobyl challenge coin or CFF apparel.
About Clean Futures Fund
CFF identifies and finances humanitarian aid projects and the exchange of information and experiences from affected communities in order to support long-term remedial activities around the world. The Fund is dedicated to strengthening international relations and advancing the United States as a cornerstone of humanitarian aid and a contributing member of the global community.
About SPCA International
SPCA International (https://www.spcai.org/about-spcai/) is a global animal welfare organization with a mission that is simple, but vast: to advance the safety and well-being of animals. Through outreach, rescue and education programs SPCA International spearheads life-saving initiatives and assists grassroots animal activists worldwide.