Pets suffering from ailments amid Porter Ranch gas leak

PORTER RANCH, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There have been many accounts of people being impacted by the Porter Ranch gas leak - but it's also affecting many pets, too.

Suzie, a tiny Yorkshire Terrier, is another potential victim of the massive gas leak. The 7-year-old suddenly developed a rash on her rear leg. This is just one of the symptoms in a growing list of ailments and patients Dr. David Smith is seeing at Northridge Animal Hospital.

"We're seeing probably several hundred total and it's been going on for around three months now, so quite a few," Smith said.

Smith said it started shortly after Southern California Gas Company first reported the leak in October.

Attorneys for area residents say infrared video shows the natural gas spewing into the air.

MORE: New video allegedly shows gas still spewing in Porter Ranch

The ailments affecting the animals are similar to those for their owners - nose bleeds, nausea and rashes.

Paige Hemmis, a co-host of the former ABC series, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," showed us last month how sick her dog Juneau had gotten with lesions on her face and mouth.

"They said it could be the gas exposure. We just, we don't know," Hemmis said.

Like so many other pets, Suzie's owners had to leave her behind with other family members after they were relocated out of the area since the hotel would not allow animals.

Nearly 2,500 households have been relocated out of Porter Ranch and according to SoCal Gas, 40 percent of those residents have pets.

Smith said he has serious concerns about the health risks for the animals.

"I've never run into anything like this, and I'm a little dubious about these reassurances that it's not a long term thing when they don't know," Smith said.

Smith said the best advice is to keep your pets indoors and don't allow them to spend any lengthy time outside. If you spot any signs of trouble, get them in to see a vet as soon as possible.

Meantime, SoCal Gas announced Monday that the leak, which the company originally said would be capped by March, will likely be fixed by late February.
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