All The Dogs Still Living In Chernobyl

In one of the more ironic
disasters of all time, the unit 4 reactor of
the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine failed during an
emergency shutdown safety test in 1986, belching nuclear
waste and radioactive isotopes all over the nearby
city of Pripyat. More than 30 years later,
hundreds of stray dogs live in and around
the power plant, along with the many wild animals
that call Chernobyl home. [MUSIC PLAYING] Today on Weird
History, we're talking about the dogs of Chernobyl. But before we get started, make
sure to subscribe to the Weird History Channel and let us know
what weird historical topic you'd like to hear about. So prep your tissues,
animal lovers. We're going to Ukraine. In April, 1986, the Soviet Union
evacuated the area surrounding Chernobyl and its
120,000 citizens and established the exclusion
zone, a kind of no man's land covering 1,000 square miles. That's a massive area, roughly
the size of Yosemite National Park. The fleeing civilians had
to leave behind everything, including their pets, who, like
the heroic first responders to the disaster, would suffer
the catastrophic effects of the spreading radiation. Unlike a nuclear bomb,
a reactor's radiation just keeps on coming. 48 seconds of
exposure to the area was lethal to the first
humans to reenter it, even in lead-lined protective gear. So the fact that they literally
shoved those animals who followed their fleeing owners of
the bus and left them for dead is only shocking if
you don't consider how much the risk of
radiation contamination rises with every warm body
you stuff in a steel boxcar. It gets worse, though. Plenty of pet owners left
notes on their doors pleading with the government's
contamination squads to spare the animals inside. You can probably
guess how that went. But life finds a way,
life breaks free, and life expands
to new territories. Painfully, perhaps even
dangerously, some of those pets managed to outlast radiation
and the freezing weather. Did we mention that
Ukraine is cold? Like ice in the toilet
every morning cold. The average winters
in most of the country stay well below freezing. Even if you have a nice furry
coat physically attached to your skin, it's still a
hard environment to survive in. No person, or dog
for that matter, should want to live there. About 3,500 generational
cleanup workers continue to make the
exclusion zone inclusive. SPCA International reports
that about 1,000 dogs are living in and
around the disaster site, many of them driven
out of the woods by wolves. Yes, wolves, yet another
fun feature of living there. Even now, the workers
aren't allowed to take the dogs home with
them, but they do their best to feed and care for
them while they're there. That's where animal
organizations like Four Paws and Clean Futures Fund come in. They joined forces to help
the dogs of Chernobyl. Together, these
philanthropists work to spay, neuter, and
vaccinate the dogs, curbing the spread of disease. You can actually open your
home to these animals. SPCA International
and Clean Futures Fund have been working together
to make this happen. In 2018, Ukrainian
authorities and the CFF cleared over 200
dogs for adoption in both Ukraine and
the United States. Dogs under one-year-old are
sent to nearby Sloviotec for a 45 day quarantine, after
which they can find forever homes instead of
starving and freezing in a man-made hellscape. If you're hoping for any
radiated dog with superpowers, you're going to be
pretty disappointed. USC's resident Chernobyl
biologist Tim Musso had this to say. Most of them do not
seem to be radioactive. That was a bit of a surprise. We saw absolutely no
dogs with two heads or any major genetic
abnormalities. More than 450 animals were
tested for radiation exposure, received medical
care, vaccinations, and were spayed or neutered. In a surprising twist,
the radiation testing revealed that the dogs
living in the zone were not harmfully contaminated. Even those unfortunate
animals that do have mutations, like
those dog eating wolves we talked about earlier,
are unlikely to start solving or committing crimes. No tentacles, no acid breath,
just albinism and cataracts. One area where the dogs
do seem adversely affected are their lifespans. Dogs from the area only
live for about four years. The disaster crews do what they
can, but without a real home, there is nothing
to keep these dogs from dying of malnutrition,
predators, disease, and the bitterly cold winters. The underdogs of Chernobyl
have survived removal attempts by authorities
for over 30 years. As we mentioned
before, the Soviets immediately moved in to
pull the dogs in 1986 when the disaster occurred. But the exclusion
zone is a massive area and Ukraine is one of the
poorest countries on earth. And someone had to pay
for soldiers and bullets. Eventually, the
Soviets pulled out and the plan ran out of money. So they tried to pay a
worker to do some more culling of the animals. According to the CFF,
the Clean Futures Fund, that worker turned down the job. Culling 1,000 dogs
is an awful lot to ask of anyone,
whatever the price. One of the best things
the CFF have done, besides giving dogs medical
care and hopefully homes, has been to place
collars on certain dogs to gauge the radiation levels
wherever they may roam. We've spent a lot of
time talking up the dogs, but you don't want to pet them
unless they're in your house or in a shelter. If you're visiting Chernobyl– yes, you can visit
for whatever reason, and yes, people do it–
you should never, ever touch a dog that hasn't
been decontaminated. This should go without saying,
but any good human being knows how hard it is to
resist petting a dog. Since these dogs grew up
in the exclusion zone, they don't come
without their quirks. Here's what you need to know. The dogs don't understand
the concept of a toy. The only things they
enjoy playing with are sticks and
anything they can eat. The CFF developed a training
program for Chernobyl puppies while they are in
the adoption shelter, but they will likely still
need a little extra care and attention to reach
their full potential. All these pups ask is a
little of our patience, time, and love, and they will give
that love back in spades because, well, they're dogs. It's what they do. Man's best friend has to be
able to deal with man's worst accidents, and the
dogs of Chernobyl have had to suffer
it for generations. It's not much to ask
any of us to do our part to make it suck just
a little bit less by giving what we can,
when we can, how we can. What do you think about
the dogs of Chernobyl? Would you ever adopt one? Let us know in the comments. And while you're
at it, check out some of these other videos
of our Weird History.

47 thoughts on “All The Dogs Still Living In Chernobyl

  1. First impression…Not a good look. Maybe she can get a job at Mashed…if they have a second channel.

  2. Aren't humans great…we destroy the earth….can't believe we still exist…we are called consumers for a reason…..all we do is CONSUME….DISGUSTING…..

  3. The script for this video reads almost word-for-word from the following article:

    And, unless I am mistaken, no attempt at citation was made.

  4. I highly doubt that a significant amount of Ukrainian find ice in their toilets when they wake up in the morning. And to call this country « one of the poorest in the world » is quite a statement too… They rank pretty much in the median in terms of GDP-PPP 115 out of 191 countries (Source: International Monetary Fund, «World Economic Outlook» April 2019).
    (This is what happens when a PhD Student is wandering on youtube instead of writing his thesis…)

  5. ?‍♂️ Great video, I really like dogs? , ?? in the video it you say that the average life span of these dogs are about 4 years ? is that 4 human years 4 or dog years? ?

  6. No one likes people who hate dogs. Soviets, Chinese, Muslims — all dog-haters, all hated around the globe.

  7. Anyone catch the Chernobyl series on HBO? Scary stuff and it seems they evidently systematically killed as many as they could find to prevent death by radiation poisoning. Tragic stuff :/

  8. I would like to see one of those letters because I was pretty sure nobody even knew that they were leaving permanently

  9. Great, you spade and neuter animals in the wild where you don’t allow them to live. How silly us humans.

  10. this is stupid the radiation is only in some spots very rarely and the dogs didin't live in the reactor ehat a stupid video

  11. NOPE. After the disaster most of the animals and dogs were shot or killed and buried in metal cascets. My granpa was in pripyat in 1988

  12. They were ferocious beasts on COD 4. But hey, I can’t blame them now, they were probably starving

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