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USACE: Pet owners should not let their dogs, other animals drink from or enter Belton Lake

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-09 09:04:51-05

MORGAN'S POINT, TX — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials at Belton Lake are urging pet owners to use caution after receiving reports that dogs have died after being on USACE property in Morgan's Point.

The USACE says personnel conducted a site visit to assess the water and shoreline. Officials say the lake water "appeared normal with no visual indication of a harmful algae bloom and nothing unusual was observed on the adjacent shoreline and land."

It’s never easy losing a loved one, even the ones on four-legs.

“It’s just hard leaving him there, knowing that he wasn’t going to leave with us,” said Temple Resident Delaney Presley.

Presley and her boyfriend Terrance Aguoru are devastated after their 6-month-old dog Koda died Sunday.

“He was always next to me whether I’m doing homework or playing a game. He was always trying to crawl up my back,” said Aguoru.

“Waking up without him. Having reminders everywhere. His food, his dog hair all over our clothes, it’s just hard,” said Presley.

The couple took Koda to Belton lake Sunday afternoon for some fun at Morgans point Marina, but their trip took a turn after Koda drank some of the water. A few moments later he began seizing and lost all his strength.

With no time to spare, the couple rushed him to the nearest emergency veterinarian clinic but it was too late.

“Within 10 minutes of him being there he passed. We only had a little bit of time to spend with him,” said Aguoru.

Presley said the cause of Koda’s death is unknown, but after learning about a similar incident of dogs getting sick and dying at Lake Travis. She believes they’ve found the answer, blue-green algae.

“I read it and I talked about how it caused them to seize and they went into cardiac arrest and they died. That’s exactly how it happened to him,” said Presley.

Presley said the vet clinic told Them they operated on two other dogs who also died after going to Belton Lake.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who maintain the lake, released a statement warning people and pets to stay away from the lake while they do test and analysis on the water.

The two are hoping to find answers soon and want other dog owners to heed the warnings and stay away from Lake Belton, because losing a friend is a tough burden to bare.

Members are coordinating with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials along with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for help with water sampling, testing and analysis to determine if there is an environmental cause.

Until the tests return, the USACE is cautioning adjacent landowners and visitors who let their pets run loose on government property. Dogs or other pets should also be restricted from drinking or entering the lake until further investigation is done.

Concerns or questions may be addressed by calling the Belton Lake office at 254-939-2461.