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Sarpy Lakes Closed

Sarpy County authorities have shut down several lakes after the deaths of three dogs. The 300 people who live in the area are being told to stay out of the water.

For the second time in as many weeks, Nebraska lake water is killing pets.

Last week, Buccaneer Bay Lake tested positive for a toxic form of algae that killed three dogs.

Now the attention turns to the area of Hanson Lakes, just two miles north of Buccaneer Bay Lake.

There are three Hanson Lakes, along with Betty Lake and Chris Lake and the water there smells like the waters of Buccaneer Bay smelled a couple of weeks ago.

On Sunday, Connie Ryba's son Greg lost his yellow lab after the dog went running into the water.

"My son said he come up to the dock and the dog was foaming at the mouth," Connie told us. "He thinks he got a hold of a toad. Then 15 minutes later the dog went down in the yard and collapsed with seizures."

The dog died a few minutes later.

The same thing happened to a sheepdog on Saturday.

Neighbors are so concerned that signs were posted at the entrance to the lakes urging everyone to keep their pets out of the water.

Dave Schumacher works for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and he's trying to determine what killed the dogs.

As was the case at Buccaneer Bay Lake, Schumacher suspects the water might carry a toxic form of blue-green algae that attacks the liver after being swallowed.

He says, "Ingesting the water is key. As to how much water needs to be ingested before death, that all depends on the toxins, the weight of the child or animal, that sort of thing."

With Memorial Day approaching, many are wondering when it will safe to venture out to Chris Lake or the other Hanson Lakes again.

The answer to that is unclear. Buccaneer Bay Lake has still not reopened and that problem surfaced two weeks ago.


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