An international team recently completed a trap, neuter, vaccinate, release (TVNR) clinic for the dog population living at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Clean Futures Fund (CFF) has been conducting these clinics at Chornobyl since 2017 and CFF’s leadership was determined to continue the program despite the risks in wartime Ukraine. A small team of veterinary professionals from the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany assembled in Poland and took an overnight train to Kyiv where they met up with Ukrainian team members. The team stayed in the town of Chornobyl and traveled daily to the power plant that is still mitigating the effects of the largest nuclear power catastrophe in history as well as recovering from Russian military occupation that occurred early in the war.
Over the course of one week, the team treated 125 dogs that live in an around the power plant. Unlike past clinics, CFF obtained permission from Chornobyl NPP administration to work from a building inside the secure area of the plant near the New Safe Confinement that covers the original sarcophagus built over reactor number 4 that exploded on April 26, 1986. Unlike other TVNR clinics, all dogs coming into the clinic had to be checked for radioactive contamination. Unfortunately, a significant number of dogs were found to have external contamination and had to be decontaminated before entering the clinic for treatment. After treatment, to prevent re-catching, each dog received a dab of non-toxic hair dye on their face that will fade within a month.
“We have been wanting to get back to Chornobyl since 2020 when we were delayed by the pandemic. Our plans for a May 2022 clinic were shattered due to the further invasion of Ukraine in late February. After a fact-finding visit in June, we decided to conduct a clinic with a very small team before the end of the year. Thanks to the hard work of this team, the dog population around the power plant is again under control and received humane and compassionate care,” said Dr. Jennifer Betz, Veterinary Medical Director of CFF.
During their visit, the CFF team provided supplies to firefighters, police, national guard, and members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine that work in the Exclusion Zone. “Since the further invasion of Ukraine in February, CFF has provided almost $100,000 in assistance to the people and animals of Ukraine. We will continue to provide assistance until victory and beyond,” said Erik Kambarian, Founder of Clean Futures Fund.
Clean Futures Fund is a small non-profit organization and 100% of CFF staff are volunteers. This allows CFF to operate with very low overhead to maximize donor dollars and profit from merchandise so funds can be directed to Ukraine. To donate or buy merchandise, please visit cleanfutures.org
Note: CFF uses the Ukrainian translation “Chornobyl” not the Russian translation “Chernobyl.”
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