“If there’s anything to come from this, I only hope it’s that nobody else experiences the same pain I have today.”
Yunue Moore went for a walk in Anderson Lake State Park with her family and their rescue dog, Clue, on Sunday. The pleasant Mother’s Day hike, however, would quickly turn tragic.
The expansive Washington State Park has 8 miles of hiking trails as well as horseback riding and biking roads. The family decided to walk down a dry and safe trail. However, they noticed that the lake intersected the trail at several points along the way.
Clue, a lively Australian Kelpie, wanted to go exploring and tugged on her leash.
Moore wrote on Facebook, “We walked along one [trail] that had some marshy areas along the lakefront.” “Clue splashed around in the marshy areas and even fell in at one point, but I quickly pulled her out.”
“She was in the water for less than a minute and maybe had one mouthful of water from when she fell in,” Moore added.
The dog’s misadventure appeared to be innocent at the time, but irreversible damage had already been done.
“What we didn’t know was that the lake contains an algae known as ‘blue-green algae,’ which is extremely toxic to dogs,” Moore wrote. “A couple passing by warned us to be cautious because other dogs had died from algae exposure.”
Only three days before, the lake had been closed due to the presence of anatoxin-a, a fast-acting neurotoxin found in stagnant bodies of water that can cause illness and death in both animals and humans. Due to toxic algae, signs were posted prohibiting fishing and swimming, and the boat ramp was roped off. However, as Moore points out, “the park is advertised as dog-friendly online.”
The family rushed Clue to the car, but by the time they arrived, the symptoms had begun. Moore told The Dodo, “She seemed entirely fine for about 30 minutes after exposure to the water, and then had slight tremors immediately before getting into the car.” “I’d never heard of this toxin before, and I never want anyone, animal or human, to go through what we did.”
Clue died two hours later at the emergency vet. Moore, too, had to go to the ER after being exposed while driving with Clue on her lap.
Moore described Clue as “an angel full of joy and light.” “When she met people, she hugged them and kissed them gently.”
Moore had just lost her best friend — but she refused to let her grief stop her from protecting other pet parents from a similarly heartbreaking fate. She took to Facebook that night and opened up about the experience. Since Sunday, her post has been shared over 10,000 times.
“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.”