3 dogs died after playing in a pond with toxic algae: ‘We are gutted’

A doggy play date went wrong on Thursday.

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A doggy play date went wrong on Thursday.
source
Melissa Martin/GoFundMe

  • A doggy play date in North Carolina went wrong when 3 dogs became fatally ill after swimming in a pond.
  • Melissa Martin wrote on Facebook that she and Denise Mintz met up to spend time with their dogs, Harpo, Izzy, and Abby. But “what started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives,” Marin said.
  • Martin told CNN that they brought their dogs to the vet when one began seizing. The vet said the animals had blue-green algae poisoning from swimming in the pond.
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It wasn’t what anyone expected.

On Thursday, Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz met up so their three dogs, Harpo, Izzy, and Abby, could spend some time together, according to a Facebook post from Martin. But the doggy playdate in Wilmington, North Carolina, had a grim ending when the three pups contacted blue-green algae poisoning from swimming in a pond, Martin wrote.

“Abby and Izzy had the most fun tonight chasing the ball and each other and rolling in the mud,” Martin wrote. “What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives.”

Martin told CNN that she and Mintz brought their dogs to the veterinarian on Thursday. Harpo, Martin’s “doodle” who is also a therapy dog, was the first to show symptoms of algae poisoning, Martin said. Martin said she became concerned when Harpo began to seize and show signs of liver failure. Izzy and Abby, West Highland White Terriers, also went to the vet on Thursday night after both experienced seizures, according to CNN.

According to Martin’s Facebook post, all three dogs died by midnight on Friday.

Martin’s vet explained that all three dogs experienced liver failure from blue-green algae poisoning after swimming in the pond, according to CNN.

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According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, blue-green algae blooms, or cyanobacteria, occur naturally in lakes, ponds, and canals. These blooms can be harmful to both people and animals.

This isn’t the first case of a dog coming into contact with the poisonous algae. In Georgia, a couple believes their dog was also harmed by the algae while swimming in a lake shortly before dying.

Now, Martin is seeking to raise awareness about blue-green algae poisoning. She’s started a GoFundMe page to raise awareness and install signs to demarcate contaminated bodies of water.

“I will not stop until I make positive change,” she told CNN. “I will not lose my dogs for nothing.”