Protecting yourself and your pets against deadly algae


LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — Dogs across the country are dying from a bacteria found in lakes, pounds, and rivers and it’s even affecting people.

“I can’t even imagine,” said Dog Owner Cynthia Arcaro. “It’s very very hard and a dog is a member of your family and to lose three at once must have been just heart wrenching.”

Arcaro said she’s worried after a woman’s dogs died suddenly in North Carolina. The three dogs were poisoned after swimming in a pond with blue-green algae.

“It’s a toxin and it will kill your animals,” Arcaro said.

“I’m not exactly sure what it is or why it’s so toxic,” said Dog Owner Dot Francis. “That would be interesting to find out.”

Which is what we did. According to the Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy or E.G.L.E, blue-green algae releases toxins during it’s peak season, which is in the summer. It can be difficult to locate by looking at it.

“My advice is if you see that slimy stuff, I wouldn’t put your dog in that water,” said Francis. “Go find something that’s a little bit cleaner and clearer.”

Blue-green algae blooms in warm and calm water with high levels of nutrients. The nutrients may come from lawn fertilizer, detergents and sewers.

Arcaro said, “And if the water looks funny, just don’t go in.”

Suspicious-looking algae can be reported to E.G.L.E by calling the Environmental Assistance Center at 1-800-662-9278 or sending an e-mail to

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