Facebook PixelDog city in the Russian taiga that could take in stray dogs from all over the world
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Dog city in the Russian taiga that could take in stray dogs from all over the world

Image credit: Sergey Sotnikov

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 10, 2022
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Convert an abandoned town in the middle of the Russian taiga into the world's largest open dog shelter. A lifelong relocation of stray dogs from around the world is made possible by donations from animal lovers.
  • People in many cities are afraid of stray dog packs roaming the streets.
  • Shelters for dogs around the world are full. If the dogs are not adopted by a certain time in the shelter, they are killed.
  • This place could potentially accept millions of dogs where they could live out their lives in freedom.
How it works
In Russia, the world's largest taiga stretches about 5,800 kilometers (3,600 miles), from the Pacific Ocean to the Ural Mountains.
Pick an abandoned town or army base somewhere in the middle of the Russian taiga. Preferably next to an abandoned airport.
Largest open dog shelter in the world
Convert the town/base into the largest open dog shelter in the world. Establish a program that:
  • Accepts healthy stray dogs from all over the world
  • Spays/neuters, vaccinate, and tags them upon arrival
  • Establishes small packs of 5-10 dogs that are kept in adjacent cages long enough for them to get used to and accept each other as a pack.
  • Releases the packs into the wild
There is only forest that stretches for thousands of kilometers/miles in each direction. The dogs can go out and fend for themselves or stay close to the dog town where food is provided on a daily basis. They can't do much harm to the environment. Nature will take its course.
Running the shelter as a sustainable business
The town (or country) receives payment for each dog that is flown in. The payment roughly covers several years worth of food and potential meds/treatment for each dog. The payment also includes a portion that is meant to sustain the dog town as a business and compensate the country/county for doing it.
Donations to send the dogs off
Dog shelters all over the world ask local people for donations that pay for each dog's trip to the dog town. Proof of delivery is provided via:
  • live video streaming of loading, unloading the animals
  • flight radar plane trip
  • showing individual dogs upon arival
  • come up with more ways to prove that the animals are not killed
Vaccination against diseases
The dogs receive subsequent vaccines via food that is thrown from helicopters.
Experimental project
All the dogs are spayed and neutered. They can't have offspring. If this turns out to be a bad idea, nature will recover in 20 years after the project has ended and the last dog dies of old age.
Creative contributions

An observational biological experiment

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 11, 2022
If performed neatly, the idea could be converted into an experiment to check whether dogs can go back to hunting in packs like the wolves. Heat-sensitive video cameras would be placed in specific locations around the release zone and the dog behavior could be monitored. Questions that could be answered:
  1. Is the reversal of behavioral evolution possible? Is hunting prey in a pack intuitive to canines? We know dog packs mark and defend territories in the cities but they do not hunt in packs in the cities.
  2. How do they react to other packs (a new set of stray dogs that are brought from the cities)?
  3. What happens to their mating behavior (since they will be neutered)?
  4. How do they react to existing wolf packs? Do they fight? Do they merge? Can wolf packs accept one or two dogs?
Anything else? This needs to be a strictly observational study, with no tampering with nature.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
To keep the shelter popular and donations coming, the forests around the dog city could be covered by high-quality pan-tilt-zoom cameras. In addition to some cameras being live-streamed, there could be big-brother-like stories about different dog packs. The stories would be updated on a daily basis as they unfolds.
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Shireesh Apte
Shireesh Apte2 years ago
Darko Savic I am afraid I can't get on board for this one. I am in favor of either
  1. extermination
  2. genetically engineering them to harvest their organs for xenotransplantation
  3. using them in animal studies for preclinical stage drug discovery
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Shireesh Apte The way I look at it: Life is life. We shouldn't use our intellectual superiority against other species (or our own). We humans caused the problem in the first place. The above idea attempts to mitigate it by moving the dogs back to nature where they don't bother anyone and get to live out their lives in freedom, without the ability to multiply and cause future ecological damage.
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General comments

Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
Sounds good. Do you think that having this city in the middle of nowhere may deter potential people from adopting the dogs due to the arduous journey and costs associated with transporting the dog to their respective countries?
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 years ago
Goran Radanovic there's no more adopting once the dog is there. This is a one-way ticket for each dog to live out its life free, in the wilderness among its pack. The place is thousands of km/mi away from civilization so that wild dog packs don't pose any danger to people.
This is to save the lives of dogs that weren't adopted or aren't adoptable.
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