Stray Dogs To Be Checked After Fears They Turned Blue Due To Pollution
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Surreal images show the pack of bright blue dogs in Dzerzhinsk, located in Russia's Nizhny Novgorod region.
There are concerns that their vibrant coats may have been coloured by chemical waste, such as copper sulphate.
The Dzerzhinskoye Orgsteklo plant was once a large chemical production facility making hydrocyanic acid and plexiglass.
However, it closed six years ago because of financial problems.
While many people might assume the images of the blue dogs have been Photoshopped or doctored in some way, bankruptcy manager Andrey Mislivets denies that the photos are a prank.
"They could have found some copper sulphate," he said.
"Stray dogs are wandering around the territory.
"Possibly they found the remains of some old chemicals and rolled in it, and possibly it was copper sulphate.
"Several years ago something similar happened when stray dogs got unnatural 'dyes'.
"They must have found something.
"No-one controls them.
"I can't possibly pay for catching and spaying stray dogs."
Authorities in Dzerzhinsk city are reportedly now seeking permission to go onto private land at the Sovet-era facility, in order to catch and check the potentially polluted dogs.
A spokesperson said: "The dogs are on the territory of a private company.
"Talks are being held with the chiefs of the enterprise about the possibility of catching the dogs.
"They must be checked, their health must be assessed, and the reason for their hair dye must be found."
Copper sulphate is an inorganic compound that combines sulphur with copper, and is widely used as a fungicide.
It can cause a burning or stinging sensation, leading to itching or inflammation.
Over in the UK, there was similar confusion recently when the RSCPA was called out to a tropical bird to find a seagull dyed bright blue.
Shoppers in Carlisle, Cumbria, thought the azure-coloured bird was some sort of rare and tropical creature but it was just a plain old seagull.
RSPCA workers weren't sure what the blue substance was, but were thankfully able to rescue him and get him cleaned up.
Graham Carter, animal welfare officer, said: "I have been in this job for about 20 years and I have never seen anything like this! This bird was incredible.
"We have similar situations before where gulls have got themselves into trouble after falling into containers of beer, curry or oil.
"We have also seen situations where some birds have been dyed pink before, but we just don't know what happened in this case with this poor bird.
"I wonder if some kind of blue powder has fallen on him and left him in this state."