Dogs of Chernobyl: a Story of Hope and Resilience


What’s it about?

35 years after the nuclear accident Stephen went to Chernobyl to participate in a spay/neuter and research campaign for the dogs that were descended from the pets left behind after the nuclear plant disaster of 1986 (and that were not killed by the military).

With many personal shot photos and videos, he will tell his story of meeting the inhabitants of the mostly abandoned town of Chernobyl. Join us for Stephen Quandt’s uplifting personal account of his experiences in the Exclusion Zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Travel along as Stephen recounts his journey and encounters with many of the 4-legged inhabitants of the mostly abandoned town of Chernobyl City, Ukraine, and the post-apocalyptic city of Pripyat, just a few miles away. This is a story of resilience, hope, life, and even heroism. You will have time to ask questions after the presentation.

“This presentation blew me away. Quandt’s humorous and lighthearted telling of his experience working with the dogs and the people who remain at the Chernobyl site is truly an emotional uplifter. For those who ever wonder about how disasters affect animals in the long run, or if you just love dogs, this one’s for you.” Amber Pasiak, librarian at the Edith B. Ford Memorial Library

“The story sneaks up on you in ways that catch you off guard and by the end, in a quiet forest, you arrive at a place of hope and even redemption.”

Donations of this event will 100% go to people and animals who are suffering from the current situation in Ukraine.

Current events and the tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine have changed the nature and tenor of the presentation and even seem to have affected how it is received by the public. The reading list (linked below) also has ways to donate to Ukraine including the Clean Futures Fund which is the parent organization to the Dogs of Chernobyl project and which is helping to evacuate people and animals in the vicinity of Chernobyl City and Slavutych.

“Dogs of Chernobyl Reading List”

Who’s telling the story?

Stephen is a shelter-trained and Fear Free Certified feline behaviorist with the Animal Care Centers of New York City, a not-for-profit contracted by the City of New York to provide animal-related services to the city’s residents.

Prior to working for ACC he worked for many years with the ASPCA in New York City in behavior and adoptions and around the country on disaster and cruelty cases. While with the ASPCA and while working on Hurricane Sandy in 2012 he met Dr. Jennifer Betz who became a good friend and later became the Medical Director of the Dogs of Chernobyl project. She then invited him to join the Chernobyl project in 2019.