Hardy Lake

Hardy Lake

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- Hardy Lake is one of several Indiana waterways that tested positive for blue-green algae, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management has issued a recreational advisory.

State officials say seven lakes have high levels of blue-green algae.

"Hardy Lake has a recreation alert just because the cell counts were really high," said Cyndi Wagner with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

Last week, three dogs in North Carolina died after swimming in a pond that had blooms of blue-green algae. Indiana state officials say that same toxic algae is lurking in Hardy Lake as a potential danger to humans and pets.

"Sometimes, some people feel nauseous just from being in the algae," Wagner said.

Wagner said the toxic algae is especially lethal in animals, because dogs drink the water.

"So if there are toxins present in it, they don't have to drink very much before they are likely to succumb to whatever toxins happen to be present," she said.

Dr. Ragen Greene, DVM, with the St. Clair Veterinary Clinic in Scottsburg, said what happened in North Carolina could happen anywhere.

"It happens everywhere. It's tricky, because all algae looks the same," she said. "That story went viral, but it has happened in almost every state that has standing water, that gets warm enough to produce blue green algae."

Greene said there are some things you can do to protect yourself and your pets.

"Other than keeping your dog on a leash, scan the area really well and bring fresh water so that your dog doesn't try to drink from the lake," she said. "And then, most importantly, heed those advisories. If they warn you, like they do at Hardy Lake, that there's an advisory, take it seriously.

Dogs are not allowed in Hardy Lake, but if people ignore the signs, Property Manager Matt Taylor said they're given a reminder because of what they stand to lose. 

Hardy Lake

Hardy Lake

"A lot of people, their pets are another kid to them, or maybe, their only kid," he said. "And to have anything to happen like that, you have nothing but sympathy for that type of situation."

Click here to read more about blue-green algae and how to minimize the risk.

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