Three pups on a doggy play date at a North Carolina pond were poisoned by toxic algae and died within hours, their owner said.
Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz said they took their beloved pups — Abby, Izzy, and Harpo — to the body of water in Wilmington, N.C. Thursday evening, where the pets chased a ball and rolled around in the mud, before cooling off with a dip.
“What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives,” Martin wrote in a Facebook post that has since been shared more than 15,000 times.
“[The dogs] contracted blue green algae poisoning and there was nothing they could do.”
Within 15 minutes of leaving the pond, Abby, a West Highland white terrier began to seize, Martin told CNN.
Upon arriving at the veterinary hospital, Izzy, also a Westie, had a seizure as well.
Then, Harpo, a 6-year-old “doodle” mix therapy dog began to convulse and showed signs of liver failure.
By midnight on Friday, all three dogs had died, Martin said.
“We are gutted,” Martin wrote in her post. “I wish I could do today over. I would give anything to have one more day with them.”
According to Martin’s veterinarian, the pups died of blue-green algae poisoning.
Martin said she hadn’t noticed the water plant — but her vet told her that what had looked like flower debris in the pond was actually cyanobacteria, the scientific name for blue-green algae, which can be poisonous to both humans and animals.
The pond didn’t have a sign warning about the toxic plant — and Martin is going make sure authorities put one up.
“I will not stop until I make positive change,” she said. “I will not lose my dogs for nothing.”
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