AUSTIN, Texas - On Thursday the Austin City Council authorized a five-year, nearly $1.5 million contract to manage and treat toxic algae.
A toxin produced by blue-green algae was detected in Lady Bird Lake and Lake Austin in March. Last week, bi-weekly surveillance for the harmful substance began. Testing is still underway.
Mia Mihalic’s dog Koda died after a swim at the popular off-leash dog park at Red Bud Isle. "I don’t really have any other words to say besides he was really the best dog ever. I feel like we all have a soul puppy, you know, one dog in our lifetime that we really connect with and Koda was mine… I wish I could have him forever, I always think that. I wish Koda could be my dog until I die."
Mihalic has spent the past two years warning others about the dangers of toxic algae.
"This wasn’t being talked about. This wasn’t something that was on our radar that we knew was harmful to our dogs," she said.
Mihalic says Thursday's vote was bittersweet. But she finds comfort knowing Koda didn’t die in vain.
"I do feel like in some way everything happens for a reason and although we miss our three dogs, and it was just a tragedy, I think we did speak up. We did take action. We did make this a well-known topic of discussion here in Austin and I think we saved a lot of dogs' lives by doing that."