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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