Veterinarian team to treat dogs near Chernobyl disaster site

A woman stands near a memorial to Chernobyl workers and firefighters in the town of Slavutych, Ukraine, early Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Ukraine marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, when the 4th unit of the plant exploded early hours April 26, 1986. The city of Slavutych was built following the evacuation of Pripyat, the town of the Chernobyl plant workers, which was just 1.5 kilometers (about one mile) away from the plant. Some 50,000 Pripyat residents were evacuated after the disaster, taking only a few belongings. They never returned, and workers and their families now live in Slavutych. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

BOSTON (AP) – An animal welfare group based in Boston is helping provide medical treatment to dogs near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

The international group Four Paws says it has sent a veterinarian to join a team of others who are neutering and vaccinating dogs in Ukraine. It’s part of an effort organized by the Michigan-based nonprofit Clean Futures Fund.

An explosion at Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant sent a radioactive cloud over Europe and forced the evacuation of about 115,000 people.

The animal welfare group says many dogs were left behind and hundreds still live in areas with radioactive contamination. The group says neutering limits their population growth and increases chances of survival during winters.

Vaccinating stray dogs can protect power plant workers who come into contact with them.

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