Melissa Martin took her dogs, Harpo, Abby, and Izzy to cool off in a pond. Sadly they all passed away soon after, and now she is determined to put up signs near every poisonous water body.
What was supposed to be a fun outing turned out to be disastrous for these poor owners who unsuspectingly took their three furry friends for a dip in a toxic algae-ridden pond. Following this heartbreaking loss, the owners have taken it upon themselves to educate and warn several other dog lovers about these dangerous organisms in nature.
CNN reports how two dog-owners Melissa Martin and Denise Mintz decided to take their precious pups Harpo, Abby, and Izzy to cool off in a pond situated in Wilmington, on Thursday, last week. Neither of the two expected their dear best friends to lose their lives that fateful night. They first noticed something was wrong when Abby, a West Highland white terrier, began having a seizure fifteen minutes after leaving the water body. Witnessing the declining condition of their dog, Martin immediately rushed her to the veterinary hospital along with Izzy and Harpo who were fine until then.
As soon they arrived at the hospital, Izzy, who was also a Westie started seizing and unfortunately there was nothing the medical professionals could do to help their lives. Following the death of the two pups, Harpo, a 6-year-old doodle mix therapy dog underwent seizures, showing signs of liver failure. By midnight, the following day, all their dogs had passed away informed a heartbroken Martin. After running some tests, the veterinarian informed Martin about the cause of her dogs' death. The dogs had been poisoned due to the blue-green algae present in the pond they were playing in.
Sharing the depressing fate of her beloved furry friends Martin wrote in a Facebook post: At 12:08 AM, our dogs crossed the rainbow bridge together. They contracted blue-green algae poisoning and there was nothing they could do. We are gutted. I wish I could do today over. I would give anything to have one more day with them. Harpo and I had work to do, but now we will carry on in his memory and we will make sure every standing body of water has a warning sign. The post continued reading: Abby and Izzy had the most fun tonight chasing the ball and each other and rolling in the mud. 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 then urged people to help her raise money to put up signs near every water body that contains these deadly bacteria so that no other innocent dog would have to lose their lives because of it. The dog owner then revealed to CNN how she did not notice the presence of algae in the beginning until her veterinarian informed her about the debris from the flower-looking substance were actually blooms of cyanobacteria which claimed the lives of her dogs. Martin further mentioned how there were no signs warning visitors of the presence of toxic algae near the pond which was situated right beside a popular walking trail. Had there been a signboard, Martin would still be living happily with her furry friends.
Now, it's her mission to put up signs near toxic waterbodies alerting dog owners of its deadly effects. "I will not stop until I make positive change," said Martin. "I will not lose my dogs for nothing." According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, these toxic algae blooms usually infest freshwater bodies during the warm climate when the water remains stagnant. While some algal blooms tend to leave behind a film of muck that renders the water ruddy, others are quite difficult to detect, and it was the latter that Martin's dogs were exposed to.
As per Blue Cross for Pets, a UK animal charity, there's no cure for such a poisoning as it always leads to the death in dogs after they lick these poisonous algae off their fur. According to a report by CNN, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality periodically updates its map marking sites that contain these algae blooms. However, if a health notice isn't posted, the state's health and human services department advises people to keep themselves and their pets away from water bodies that smell or look bad or murky.