Health Alert

State officials are warning people of potential toxic algae on private lakes in Saunders County. They were called out after the deaths of two dogs due to the algae in the lake.

The area under the warning is Thomas Lakes subdivision, north of Ashland, near the Platte River. Many of the residents are staying out of the lake and those who are getting out on the water are staying in their boats.

"He had been in the lake, he had green on him," said Carol Johnson, resident. "We washed him off and all of the sudden he started acting very weird his legs stopped working and we knew something was wrong."

Carol Johnson took her one-and-a-half year old dog Alfee to the vet, but they were too late.

"By the time we were there he was dead on my lap in the car," said Johnson. "He went from fine to dead in a half an hour."

Johnson said the veterinarian told her the dog has been poisoned from toxic algae in the lake and the day before the same thing happened to Jason Grahovac's dog.

"They tested and said they were 95 percent sure that it was the green bloom in the algae."

Many of the residents on Thomas Lake say that ever since developers began building new lakes nearby their water level has dropped and it is resulting in higher concentrations of algae.

"I believe fully that the water level in the lake has something to do with it," said Johnson. "It's been going down for two years due to pumping over here."

The residents are frustrated that they received no warning. Thomas Lake is a private lake and the state does not run tests on it unless it is requested.

"It took people's dogs being killed to get the ball rolling," said Grahovac.

"There should have been signs up if they had any suspicion," said Johnson. "The state has already been here, it would have saved out dog's life."

The state has issued a health alert for the lake, but residents say there still has been no warning form the Homeowner's Association or the lake's owner. They have taken it upon themselves to warn neighbors.

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