A Florida company hired by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to clean up the remains of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest says they’ve finally finished hauling away all the garbage left at the temporary camp—and it filled 835 Dumpsters at a cost of $1.1 million.
They also found four more dogs, bringing the grand total of abandoned animals rescued from the camps to 12.
North Dakota law enforcement booted the protesters from the camps in December, but it wasn’t until the tribe itself pleaded with their temporary guests to return to wherever they came from that the activists finally abandoned their temporary shelters.
When they left, however, the protesters didn’t bother to take their garbage with them, and abandoned thousands of pounds of trash, shelter materials, protest refuse and even pets they’d cared for that they couldn’t—or didn’t want to—take home.
The Army Corps of Engineers says they removed 8,170 cubic feet of trash from three camps, filling 835 Dumpsters. Had that garbage remained on the land—a dry creek bed—runoff from melting snows could have driven the trash into the tribe’s water supply and polluted the land beneath the camps, causing an environmental disaster.
As for the dogs, Furry Friends Rockin’ Rescue says that they’ve managed to save a dozen animals abandoned by the protesters, and all of the dogs are doing much better. Six of the dogs have already been adopted.
” We are happy to report that all animals have been accounted for throughout the Dakota Access Pipeline protest sites,” they posted in an update on their website.
“I’ve noticed they’ve gained weight and they’re looking good,” one volunteer with the organization told local media. “They’re more social, they aren’t scared anymore, they’re really just coming a long ways.”
The Rescue says that the remaining dogs will be quarantined so that they can gain weight and get healthy, and will then be placed up for adoption as well.
In all, the cleanup and rescue efforts cost the federal government $1.1 million.