Dogs die from drinking toxic lake water

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CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. – Three dogs have died in Northern California after lapping up lake water in a popular recreation area, park officials warned.

The East Bay Regional Park District posted warning signs Saturday at Lake Chabot Regional Park to caution dog owners of the foul lake, the Mercury News reported.

A chocolate Labrador died Wednesday after drinking water from the lake, which was the third dog to die since December, park officials confirmed with the newspaper.

The 315-acre lake was fouled by toxic algae flourishing in scarce rain and runoff, stemming from California’s drought, the Mercury News reported. The blue-green algae in the lake attacks the dog’s nervous system and liver. Park officials said it is difficult to chemically treat Chabot Lake due to its size.

The park posted a statement on their website:

“Although swimming and water contact is not permitted at Lake Chabot, due to the presence of blue-green algae in the lake it is recommended that visitors avoid all skin contact with lake water; supervise your children and pets, especially dogs, at all times to keep them away from the water; and if your skin touches the water, rinse with tap water.”

“Our hearts go out to the owners of these dogs that have passed away. It’s tragic,” said Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the park district told the newspaper. “We are putting up more signs and making them more obvious to keep dogs away from the water.”

The district said park users were aware of the situation and cautions drivers of the algae threat as they enter the park.

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4 comments

  • Katie Stone

    I am the person who lost her dog earlier this week. The users of the lake were largely NOT aware of the situation. The park district was aware of it, but reportedly decided not to do a press release for fear of alarming users. The signs they posted are very few, small, not informative, and only were posted in the main entrances whereas many people come in from other routes to the park as there is an extensive system of trails surrounding the lake. I had not seen any signs. Most users had not. My dog was the third confirmed case and through facebook have learned of possibly 2 more who just made the connection after seeing the posts. This algae is also toxic to humans and furthermore there is a large population of non-english speaking people who use the lake and there is no information available to them.

  • James

    This disgusts me. That’s blatant animal abuse by the park officials. I’m sorry dogs aren’t the only creatures that like to stop and take a sip. The lake wouldn’t go toxic if it hadn’t been modified, and that small of a lake is not difficult to treat, a few standard circulation pumps will degrade the environment to were the alge can no longer grow. I GUARANTEE local wildlife is being effected, not just dogs. The innocent are being hurt, it’s time to track them down. Katie stone, find a lawyer, make that park pay. Even if they don’t pay money, make them clean their lake, so that no more campers or pets are harmed by this biohazard.

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