Women share warning about ponds after 3 dogs die from toxic algae in NC pond

File photo of a pond (Shutterstock/Tim7914)
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WTHR) — Two North Carolina women have a warning for pet owners after their dogs died following a swim in a pond.

Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz took their three dogs to a pond in WIlmington Thursday night. Hours later, all three were dead. Martin said the dogs contracted blue-green algae poisoning from the water and there was nothing that could be done for the animals.

"We are gutted. I wish I could do today over," Martin wrote on Facebook. "I would give anything to have one more day with them."

She said their two Westies, Abby and Izzy, chased a ball and rolled in the mud at the pond. When they got home, one of the Westies was acting strange, but Martin thought it had been bitten by something.

Martin took the dog to an emergency vet to be checked out. Soon, the other two dogs were there, too.

All three passed away just after midnight.

"What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives. We need your prayers. Not sure we’re strong enough to get through this without them," Martin wrote.


At 12:08 AM, our dogs crossed the rainbow bridge together. They contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was...

Posted by Melissa Martin on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Blue-green algae is not visible to the human eye unless clumped together, the website Blue Cross for Pets said. But the blooms contain harmful toxins that affect a dog's liver and is often fatal. Dogs can be exposed to the bacteria by drinking it or licking affected water from their fur.

Martin and Mintz have already gone to work on a plan to warn others about the dangers of blue-green algae.

"I want to see signs on every body of water like this. I don’t care if it says private property or no trespassing or whatever. Put some signs up so people know," Martin told WECT-TV. "I would have never considered if there had been a warning of some sort. Just put some signs up. That is my mission. That is what we will be working towards right now is getting signs on every body of water."

Indiana's Department of Environmental Management has been looking at blue green algae at several lakes across the state. Click here to see the places that IDEM has been taking samples.

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