Yunue Moore was on a walk with her family and their rescue dog, Clue, in Anderson Lake State Park on Mother’s Day.
Little did they know the innocent hike would take a turn for the worst.
The park boasts 8 miles of hiking trails as well as roads for horseback riding as well as biking.
The family decided to meander down a trail that seemed both dry and safe but along the way, they noticed that the lake joined with the trail at certain points.
And the lively Australian Kelpie, Clue, wanted to explore.
“We walked along one [trail] that had some marshy areas along the lakefront,” Moore wrote in a Facebook post. “Clue splashed around in the marshy areas, and even fell in at one point and I quickly got her out of the water.”
“She was in the water for less than a minute total,” Moore added, “and maybe had one mouthful of water from when she fell in.”
And while the dog’s mishap didn’t seem eventful at the time — unbeknownst to either party, the damage had been done.
“What we didn’t know though was that there’s an algae commonly called ‘blue-green algae’ which is incredibly toxic to dogs in that lake,” Moore wrote. “A couple passing by told us to be careful as other dogs have died from exposure to the algae.”
The lake had been closed the previous three days due to the presence of anatoxin-a, a fast-acting neurotoxin found in stagnant bodies of water which can cause illness as well as death in both animals and humans.
Signs were then posted saying how no fishing or swimming was permitted due to the toxic algae and the boat ramp was roped off.
But that being said, Moore noted that: “online the park is advertised as dog-friendly.”
The family then quickly rushed Clue to the car but by the time they reached the vehicle, the symptoms had begun.
“She seemed entirely fine for about 30 minutes after exposure to the water, and then had slight tremors immediately before getting into the car,” Moore revealed to The Dodo. “This toxin is something I had never heard of before, and I never want anyone, animal or human, to go through what we went through.”
Not even two hours later, Clue passed away at the emergency vet.
Moore additionally had to go to the ER due to exposure while holding Clue on her lap during the drive.
“Clue was an angel, full of joy and light,” Moore said. “She hugged people when she met them and gave the gentlest kisses.”
But despite Moore losing her best friend, she refused to let her grief from protecting other pet parents from a similar fate.
That night, she went to Facebook to open up about her experience and the post quickly went viral.
“If there’s anything to come from this, I only hope it’s that nobody else experiences the same pain I have today,” she ended her post. “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be cautious of letting your dogs and other animals play in stagnant fresh water, and avoid areas with algae! Especially now, as this is the time of year where algae blooms can start from the hot weather.”
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