[USA] Two North Carolina dog owners are raising awareness of the dangers of blue-green algae after their beloved canines were killed by the toxic organisms last week.
Canine lovers Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz of Wilmington, North Carolina let their dogs – Harpo, a mixed breed doodle and two West Highland white terriers named Abby and Lizzy – take a swim in a local pond Thursday night.
The women didn’t know that the water was filled with the lethal algae-resembling bacteria commonly known as blue green algae.
They told CNN they thought the cyanobacteria they saw in the pond was flower blooms.
‘I wish I could do today over. I would give anything to have one more day with them,’ Martin wrote later on her Facebook page.
Fifteen minutes after the leaving the water that night, Abby started having a seizure. As the dog moms rushed to get Abby to the vet, Izzy and Harpo started to seize as well.
All three dogs were dead by midnight on Friday.
‘What started out as a fun night for them has ended in the biggest loss of our lives,’ Martin wrote. ‘We need your prayers. Not sure we’re strong enough to get through this without them.’
Despite her grieving, Martin is determined to make sure other dog owners know about the threat posed by blue green algae.
She started a GoFundMe page to raise awareness about the photosynthetic bacteria.
‘We are now on a mission to put signs at every body of water that can have this deadly bacteria,’ Martin said.
So far, the page has raised more than $2,700 and been shared more than 15,000 times on social media.
Business owner Wendy Reavis, who used Harpo as a therapy dog, wept as she wrote about the canine’s death Sunday night.
‘He was taken too soon. He had work to do, patient’s spirits to lift and a long life left to live!’ she wrote. ‘We must warn other pups and families about this blue-green algae … it’s deadly .. it’s fatal.’
Photo: Harpo (center), a mixed breed doodle, and two West Highland white terriers named Abby and Lizzy (pictured) died Thursday night after taking a swim in a Wilmington, North Carolina pond containing toxic blue green algae
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