WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A dog owner in Wilmington is devastated after the loss of her three dogs.

Melissa Martin posted to Facebook saying she took her three dogs, Abby, Izzy and Harpo, to a local pond in Wilmington to play.



She says she took them home to give them baths and then they started having seizures.



Martin says health officials told her the area the dogs played in was contaminated with a lethal blue-green algae that resulted in her having to put them down.

The Center for Disease Control's website says:

"Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are the rapid growth of algae that can cause harm to animals, people, or the local ecology. A HAB can look like foam, scum, or mats on the surface of water and can be different colors. HABs can produce toxins that have caused a variety of illnesses in people and animals. HABs can occur in warm fresh, marine, or brackish waters with abundant nutrients and are becoming more frequent with climate change."

Veterinarians are also encouraging owners not to let their pets in fresh or brackish water.

They say the algae is worse in the late summer and early fall and could cause liver failure in pets.

"A common thought is that the water you see that has that blue-green slime on it is a little bit more deadly, but the truth of it is that bacteria can migrate to parts of the pond that look for clear, so that could still pose a risk to these pets," said Dr. Rudi Richmand, an emergency clinician.

If your pet ends up in a pond, veterinarians say to immediately rinse their mouth out and get to a doctor as soon as possible.

A GoFundMe has been created to raise awareness about the algae and get signs in front of all contaminated water to protect other pets.

This Gofundme.com site is not managed by Spectrum News. For more information on how the site works and the rules visit  http://www.gofundme.com/safety.