Warning for pet owners: 3 dogs die after a swim in algae-filled NC pond

WILMINGTON, North Carolina (WPVI) -- A Wilmington woman is devastated after her three dogs suddenly died after playing in and around water.

"We joke that we used to give our dogs bottled water, we would never put them in a situation like this. They were everything," Melissa Martin said.

Martin took her dogs to swim in a pond near her neighborhood.

She said she took them home to give them baths and then they started having seizures.

Hours later, all three were dead.

Martin said she was told they got into blue-green algae.

The CDC said cyanobacteria live in fresh and saltwater.

READ MORE: Learn about cyanobacteria

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said children and dogs are the most susceptible.

Martin said she's now on a mission.

"By the end of this year, I plan to contact whoever I need to contact to make sure we have signs up at every body of water like this that says it's toxic," Martin said. "Because nobody knows. Kids could get in it and it could poison them as well."

The CDC said cyanobacteria usually multiply and bloom when the water is warm, stagnant and filled with nutrients from sources like fertilizer runoff or septic tank overflows.
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