Ukrainian state officials announced this Monday that they’ve rescued 200 puppies from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The animals are being monitored for radiation poisoning and quarantined at a special shelter in Slavutych for 45 days before they’re sent to the United States for adoption.
The dogs living in Chernobyl today are descended from the animals abandoned in the evacuation of the city in 1986, when fleeing residents were not permitted to take their pets with them. According to The Guardian, there are at least 300 stray dogs living in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone today.
In 2017, the “Clean Futures Fund” American nonprofit organization opened three veterinary stations in the exclusion zone, where they inoculate and sterilize stray dogs. The group also plans to study the effects of the area’s radiation on the animals.