Cleanup from Dakota Access Pipeline protests tops $1 million

Protesters left behind tons of trash and some adorable dogs when they vacated their camps in North Dakota.

Construction is wrapping up for the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota, but it is the cleanup of camps left vacant by protesters that's now creating the stir.

The camps were vacated last month. Since then contractors have been working to complete construction on the project. The Dickinson Press reports they plan to introduce oil into the pipeline early next week.

Army Corps of Engineers Capt. Ryan Hignight says a total of 835 industrial-sized dumpsters were filled and removed from the protest sites and that doesn't include items that officials set aside for reuse or recycling.

According to The Associated Press, the total cost of the cleanup was $1.1 million.

Much of that trash sat in a dry creek bed, and melting snow could have driven all of that garbage into the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's water supply.

But several protesters also left something else behind – their animals. Furry Friends Rocking Rescue says it rescued 12 dogs, including four puppies, during a pair of rescue operations from the sites and in the surrounding area.

The operation says they took the abandoned dogs, bathed and de-wormed them and got them checked over by a vet. They have put some of those dogs up for adoption.

So far, around 45 applications for adoptions have come in for the dogs.

Furry Friends has also been working to help return some of the animals to their owners.

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