South Portland officials are warning residents about an algae bloom that could be toxic to dogs. Credit: South Portland Parks and Recreation | via WGME

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — South Portland Parks and Recreation in Maine is warning pet owners that a green algae bloom could produce toxins harmful to dogs.

The recreation department warned pet owners Friday not to let dogs swim or drink from the pond when visiting Hinckley Park.

[Dog-killing toxic algae could surface in Maine’s waters]

Blue-green algae growth, known as cyanobacteria, is made up of microscopic organisms that naturally occur in streams and lakes. Much of it is harmless, but some can produce toxic chemicals that cause sickness in people and pets.

South Portland officials say the algae in the pond is the type that can produce toxins that are fatal to dogs. Officials urged pet owners to consider keeping dogs on leashes or visit other dog-friendly parks until the threat has passed.