Massive SoCal Gas Leak Is Affecting Animals Too, Porter Ranch Pet Owners Fear

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Amy and Maury Masliah and Clyde, their lab and Australian Ridgeback mix, live four miles from the leak site. Clyde's sister died recently of a lung tumor. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

As she visited her American quarter horse at stables just east of Porter Ranch, Debra Zavatto came across a frightening sight: blood coming out of the animal’s nose.

In the 13 years she’s cared for Scarlett, Zavatto had never seen anything like that.

“People were saying, ‘Oh, this stuff is giving nosebleeds,'” she said of the natural gas leak that has sickened residents of Porter Ranch. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, I wonder if my horse got a nosebleed from the gas.'”

The experience is not unique. In Porter Ranch and the nearby communities of Chatsworth and Granada Hills, animal owners are seeing unexplained ailments and behaviors in their pets. Many are questioning whether the methane and odorants escaping from the leak in nearby Aliso Canyon may be to blame.

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