BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Pet owners, take note.

A deadly algae bloom is to blame for killing three dogs last week in North Carolina.

The bacteria has killed several dogs across the south, and officials in Maryland warn the blue-green algae is here too.

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An Australian Shepherd named Fina died less than an hour after ingesting toxic algae in a river outside Austin, Texas.

“Know your pets, and you know when something’s not right. I just didn’t think it was this not right,” Fina’s mom said.

Fina is one of several dogs killed this summer from a microscopic bacteria called blue-green algae, mostly infesting waters when the weather is warm and releases toxins that can cause liver damage, respiratory paralysis and organ failure, among other deadly conditions.

It killed border collie Arya in Marietta, Georgia, and last week in North Carolina, after Abby, Izzy and Harpo died after playing in a Wilmington pond.

“We have had instances where we have had toxic algae blooms throughout Baltimore and throughout Maryland,” said Angela Haren with Blue Water Baltimore.

Blue Water Baltimore cautions that blooms occur after heavy rainfalls when pollutants flow into the water.

“Honestly, we never really know if it’s safe or not, so I would say take caution,” Haren said.

At Baltimore County’s Lake Roland on Tuesday, Victoria Liberman walked her dog Blue.

“This water is not clean. It is polluted,” Liberman said. “And some dogs, like mine, get hotspots from being in the water,”

So far this year, Maryland has issued two blue-green algae advisories at Lake Waterford in Anne Arundel County and Lake Needwood and Lake Frank in Montgomery County.

“As tempting as it might be, you have to be respectful of the space and of the dogs, so hopefully they can find a solution for that,” Liberman said.

Paul Gessler

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