Chernobyl pups find forever homes

Hey, remember a few months back when we told you about the dogs of Chernobyl? If not, long story short: when the nuclear power plant lost its shit back in the 1980s, everyone was evacuated so quickly that they were forced to leave their pets behind. The dogs living in the area were irradiated, but continued to breed. They went feral. Their numbers grew. But, when crews returned to the power plant with plans to clean the joint up, the dogs remembered that people were mostly OK. As such, the pooches decided to hang out. There was talk of a cull, but the workers at the plant refused to participate. A charity stepped in to keep and care foe the dogs. They’re currently living the best life many of them will have ever known.

For a handful of the wild pups, things just got even better.

According to Meduza, Ukraine State officials are planning on taking up to 200 of the dogs out of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. After holding them in medical quarantine for 45 days, the puppers, provided will be flown to the United States, where they’ll be put up for adoption. Provided they’re deemed to be free of radiation poisoning or any other weirdness, the first 12 dogs will be flown to the United States for adoption this June. There’s no word on where the dogs will be put up for adoption, but maybe that’s just as well: the dogs should be adopted because they’ll be lovable, loyal companions and not because of their irradiated pedigree. Read the rest

Best friends for 60 years learn they're biological brothers through DNA site

This is a truly heartwarming story.

As a way to find his father, a man in Hawaii took an Ancestry.com DNA test. He soon discovered he shared the same birth mother as someone else using the site: his best friend of 60 years.

Now in their 60s, Walter Macfarlane and Alan Robinson of Oahu recently learned that they are half-brothers. The men, both born and raised in Hawaii, are 15 months apart in age and used to play football together in high school. Macfarlane says that he and Robinson have been playing cribbage together all their lives.

KHON reports:

Macfarlane never knew his father, and Robinson was adopted.

With the help of his family, Macfarlane searched for answers over the years through the internet and social media with no luck so they turned to family DNA matching websites.

“So then we started digging into all the matches he started getting,” Cindy Macfarlane-Flores, Macfarlane’s daughter, explained.

At the top of the list of DNA matches was the username Robi737.

The results showed Macfarlane and robi737 had several matches in their DNA including identical X chromosomes.

Here’s where Robinson comes in.

“As a nickname everybody called him Robi and he flew 737s for Aloha Airlines, he was a pilot,” Macfarlane-Flores says.

It turns out Robinson had also used Ancestry.com to find answers about his family.

After a few phone calls back and forth, the men learned they shared the same birth mother.

“It was a shock,” Macfarlane said.

“Yea it was shock, definitely and then we thought about it and compared forearms,” Robinson said.

Read the rest

What happens when you bring a kid from the other side of the world into your home forever?

This week on HOME: Stories From L.A.:

What happens when you bring a kid from the other side of the world into your home forever? How does it change what home means to her? And to you? This week it's the story of one mom, the daughter she chose, and the way they keep Ethiopia alive in the home that's now theirs.

PROGRAM NOTE: This is the last episode of Season 3. HOME, a member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network, returns in October for Season 4. Subscribe to the newsletter for updates and between-seasons bonus content. 

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | Email | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS Read the rest

How Alec Mapa used Kickstarter to joke about gay adoption

The star and producer of a timely new series have words of wisdom for those who want to create social change through the media.

Experimenting on orphans

There's a fantastic long read up at Aeon Magazine about the science of child development and the ethics of running scientific experiments on vulnerable populations. Virginia Hughes goes to Romania to follow a long-term study comparing children placed in orphanages with children placed in foster homes. The catch: Scientists already know that foster homes are better for kids than institutions. But that fact isn't well-known or accepted in Romania. So scientists had to ask — is it ethical to run an experiment involving kids when you already know the answer if there's a chance that it might help other kids in the future? Read the rest

Gay adoption in America

My journalism school classmate Clay Wirestone has a fantastic series at the Concord Monitor, describing the stories and struggles of gay and lesbian parents as they adopt and raise children. It starts with the story of his own adoption, with his husband Max, of their now 2-year-old son Baxter. Other entries in the series examine how the legal landscape of gay parenting has changed in the last 20 years; the issues of language, word choice, and gender that GLBT families deal with; and the diverse stories of other families. Read the rest

Santa and an adoptable dog in Las Vegas

Photographer, animal-lover, and Boing Boing reader heiney shares this photograph in our Boing Boing Flickr pool, and explains that this was a shot from the Animal Network Holiday Adoption Low Cost Vaccination/chip Photo Event at Ann Road Animal Hospital, Las Vegas NV. Read the rest