Skip to main content

Meet the Street Dogs of Chernobyl on a One-of-a-Kind Airbnb Experience

If you like radioactive fallout, post-Apocalyptic towns, and dogs, Airbnb has the perfect niche travel experience for you. Amid Chernobyl’s growing popularity as a tourist destination, the company is now offering travelers a unique opportunity to visit the infamous disaster site and do some animal-friendly good in the process.

The Chernobyl meltdown forced residents of neighboring Pripyat to abandon their town literally overnight. All 40,000 inhabitants left almost everything behind, including their pets. Most of the remaining dogs and cats suffered massive doses of radiation. Many died in or soon after the blast, and many more were culled by Ukranian soldiers to stop the spread of radiation outside the containment area. Surprisingly, however, many also survived. More than three decades after the disaster, hundreds of wild dogs still roam the streets.

dogs of chernobyl clean futures fund
Clean Futures Fund

It’s a bleak existence. The dogs face food scarcity, attacks by wolves and other wild animals, brutal Ukranian weather, and the lingering effects of the nuclear meltdown. The good folks at Dogs of Chernobyl work to treat the dogs who are forced to call the Exclusion Zone home. More than 1,500 have been helped in the last three years. Volunteers can now join the program’s staff on a unique day tour to help provide food, water, and basic health care for the 250 pups. According to the Airbnb listing, “They love being fed, cared for, and meeting people from around the world who want to give them some extra attention.” The experience is an exclusive part of “animals on Airbnb Experiences” — an Airbnb initiative to promote responsible animal interactions under the guidance of World Animal Protection.

The Dogs of Chernobyl - Abandoned In The Zone

Dogs of Chernobyl is part of a larger non-profit called Clean Futures Fund. It’s a U.S.-based, 501(c)(3) program that provides human health services to those most affected by the Chernobyl disaster — namely, past and current Chernobyl workers and sick and disabled children in the area.

The Dogs of Chernobyl experience is bookable exclusively through Airbnb. The 11-hour tour includes ground transportation, entrance into the Exclusion Zone, lunch at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and a full day’s work alongside vets and volunteers from the Clean Futures Fund. Every dollar of the roughly $400 ticket price goes directly to the fund.

If you’re looking to do some canine-centric good right here at home, the TSA is seeking good homes for its unwanted bomb-sniffing dogs.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
iPhone photography tips: How to take better travel photos on your phone
Capture your travel memories with these iPhone photography tips
Solar Eclipse above Mount Mansfield

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe Cheyenne Knowles via Unsplash

When I’m in a beautiful setting — like The Chin of Mount Mansfield —  I’ll get out my iPhone and begin snapping photos. Some places are too striking to ignore, and I’ll want to capture the moment to share on social media or reflect on later. Over time, it’s fun to build up a library and look back on those places.

Read more
Customers think these are the best airlines, according to a J.D. Power report
JD Power says these are the airlines customers like best in 2024
Sun and clouds with airplane wing

Air travel lets you cover thousands of miles in mere hours, opening the door to destinations far and wide. Sometimes, that can be a hectic experience, with crowded boarding lines and cramped overhead bins. Subpar service makes it even worse. When that happens, taking a flight is more a test of endurance than a comfortable ride, and you can’t wait to exit the plane. 

On a full flight, a gracious staff makes all the difference, ready to lend a hand and ensure you have what you need. Some airlines do that better than others. 

Read more
Would you sail on a Titanic replica? Everything we know about the Titanic II
We're pretty sure this one will have enough lifeboats
The Titanic ocean liner

The Titanic meunierd via Shutterstock

The Titanic was an engineering marvel that met a tragic end. It set new standards for ocean liners, with enormous dimensions, luxury accommodations, and intricate engineering. But on April 10, 1912, an iceberg ruined the ship's maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City. Today, it rests at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Read more