Dog news: Blue dogs spotted near Russian chemical plant | Nature | News
Viral images of dogs in blue coats were taken in Dzerzhinsk, 230 miles east of Moscow. Many associate their coloring with a nearby chemical plant that has not been in use since 2015.
The dogs were seen near the factory that produced plexiglass and hydrogen cyanide before it went bankrupt in 2015.
Animal experts wonder if copper sulfate stored on the factory premises caused the dogs to turn different shades of blue.
Audrey Mislivets, the chemical plant’s liquidator, told the Russian news agency Sputnik: “A few years ago something similar happened when stray dogs were given unnatural ‘dyes’.
“They may have found and rolled the remains of some old chemicals, and possibly it was copper sulfate.”
Animal experts examined the dogs and say they did not experience any adverse side effects other than the change in color. Community officials were allowed to enter the abandoned factory grounds to see what had happened to the animals.
Seven dogs were brought to the vets for examination. Veterinary Center Director Vladimir Groisman told RBC, “General analysis of the dog’s blood and feces showed normal values for all of them, including their biochemistry.”
Groisman was sure the dogs had probably been stained with chemical residue. He thought it unlikely that the dogs had been painted.
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Groisman assured that the dogs were well fed and looked alert. Two of the dogs have since been adopted and the rest will stay at the veterinary center for a week.
The photos of the blue dogs raised health concerns among animal welfare organizations. Humane Society International said they could experience skin irritation and internal bleeding from exposure to toxic or harmful chemicals.
The organization has 12 million members worldwide. They have urged authorities across Russia to run sterilization and vaccination programs to protect the welfare of such stray dogs.
Kelly O’Meara, vice president of Humane Society International, told Newsweek, “The unusual coloration could indicate a variety of animal welfare concerns.
Last month, experts raised concerns about over-dyeing pets after the BBC series Pooch Perfect sparked criticism. Dr. Samantha Gaines said, “We don’t believe that animals should be painted or colored for cosmetic reasons.
“Our pets are intelligent and sentient. When we treat them in this way, a worrying message is sent out to objectify and treat them as fashion accessories or toys. “
A spokesperson for the BBC show defended his decision to dye the dogs, saying, “On set we had an RSPCA-approved animal welfare advisor, a grooming advisor and a veterinarian to make sure we were taking every precaution to keep the dogs safe to ensure and … well. Each owner was asked if they were pleased that their dogs were getting a temporary color. The care and wellbeing of the dogs were of the utmost importance. “