Deputies investigating if blue-green algae killed K-9

Deputies said 8-year-old Gus jumped into a pond this week and then died on Tuesday.

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A necropsy report is expected following the sudden death of a Hall County K-9.

Officials are looking into whether blue-green algae killed the dog.

“Gus just fell over and couldn’t hold his head up,” Deputy Derreck Booth said.

Content Continues Below

Deputies told Channel 2's Audrey Washington that they couldn't figure it out. One moment, K-9 Gus was healthy, and then the next, he was lethargic and quite sickly.

“The deputies rushed him to the Murryville Veterinarian Clinic,” Booth said.

Earlier in the week, while chasing after a suspect, Gus jumped into a pond and ingested some water, deputies said.

At the vet clinic, doctors tried to nurse Gus back to health. But, just a few hours later, the 8-year-old beloved K-9 died.

On Wednesday, sheriff's deputies held a memorial for Gus.


Now, officials will work to determine whether the blue-green algae toxin, sometimes found in lakes and in ponds, killed Gus.

“It completely kills the cells in the liver. It can also cause neurological damage,” said veterinarian Dr. Sherry Weaver, with the Animal Hospital of Towne Lake.

Washington spoke with Weaver on Monday following the death of another dog at Allatoona Lake.

The dog’s owners believe blue-green algae blooms in the lake killed their dog.

Weaver did not treat that dog but said just a small amount of the toxin can kill an animal.

“One study showed that 58% of dogs die of this straight out,” Weaver said.

Officials didn’t perform a necropsy on the dog at Allatoona Lake, but Gus’ body is under examination.

If the report shows Gus died from blue-green algae, Booth says the officer will “look at that and what we’re doing with K-9s in the department.”

The Sheriff’s Office expects to have the necropsy results back in the next few days.