"Yes it concerns us": Toxic algae pose deadly risk for pets, worries Jacksonville residents

Blue-green algae pet warning: Dog deaths linked to contaminated pond

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dog owners are weighing in about the dangers of toxic algae following the deaths of their beloved pets.

In North Carolina three dogs died after getting into a pond, while another one died after a swim in a Georgia lake.

John and Lorene Mizell bring their three dogs to Confederate Park Dog Park in Downtown Jacksonville often.

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“We feel like this is home,” mentioned Lorene Mizell.

They keep a close eye on their dogs to make sure they don’t wander off.

“We come here. We check the perimeter to make sure there aren’t any food containers with food in it or other things that aren’t very nice to talk about with what we found,” said Lorene.

Last week three dogs in North Carolina died after the owner posted to Facebook, they were poisoned by blue-green algae.

The post says before the dogs died, they were playing in the water at a pond.

In the same week a dog owner in Marietta, Georgia, posted that her dog named Arya died.

The post says the dog began showing symptoms of weakness and diarrhea after a day out on the lake.

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A Department of Environmental Protection spokesman told Action News Jax toxic algae can be found in almost any body of water, so dog owners need to be on the lookout.

“Yes, it concerns us,” said Lorene.

DEP says a couple of signs you can look out for are foam or discoloration in the water.

The agency uses an interactive map to keep track of toxic algae.

It shows it was found in areas of Duval, Clay and St. Johns counties.

According to its website DEP says the algae can produce toxins that will stop a dog’s liver from functioning properly.

It says exposure to it is often deadly as it was in the case of these three dogs in North Carolina.

“Keep us informed of what areas you have tested,” Lorene added.

It’s a risk these dog owners are not willing to take