Goodbye Sammy

Hi, my name is Lisa, this blog was started in memoriam of my beloved dog Sammy, who I just lost in a terrible tragedy.  This goes out to all dog/pet lovers, owners and anyone who would like to help spread the word in keeping our pets safe while walking on the streets.
On Thanksgiving Day my beloved Sammy died, a victim of electric shock from the street.  Needless to say, I am devastated beyond words and heartbroken.   He was my best friend, my soul mate.   He was tragically killed  from electrocution standing near a metal lamp-post and power plate on the sidewalk on Queen Anne Ave., near Oslo’s and Bricco.   I witnessed him being electrocuted and in excruciating pain while so painful for me to watch I could do nothing to help and save him.   He died instantly.  When I stuck my hand in his mouth I felt a shock from the electric waves emanating from his mouth.  My poor baby! 
My vet, Dr. Spencer at Queen Anne Animal Clinic was shocked to hear of Sam’s  story and will be having a meeting with fellow vets in the entire practice to discuss this deadly hazard that not many, including himself are aware of.   Sam was the best, he didn’t deserve to die. 
I want to spread the word out there, bring awareness to people to be extremely cautious of the possibility of metal lamp posts leaking electricity, as well as power plates on sidewalks with faulty wiring not visible to walkers.   I have filed a claim, incident report with the Seattle Police and will meet with them this week.  We don’t want to see any more victims, adult, child, or pet of this terrible hazard.  This is a horrible horrible tragedy and should not happen to anyone else and their dogs.  
I would like to obtain as much information about electric shock from streets to help people and their pets avoid this type of catastrophe, one that cost Sammy his life.   It seems that not many people are aware of this deadly hazard, so I want to help prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone and their beloved pets.  This information will go to animal agencies, vet offices, pet stores, general public and any other animal-affiliated organizations.  I have a couple of links to post and will post more as I do my research.
Sammy, monkey-man, we will always love you, you were so special to us.  I hope you are safe and can chase wabbits, ducks and gulls, I know how much you loved to hunt and to smell the scent of birch and anise in your nose works class.  I miss you so much…..Love, me.
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110 Responses to Goodbye Sammy

  1. Catie Bankston says:

    Lisa, I am so glad that you have started this blog to inform more people about this horrific phenomenon. I was there on Thanksgiving in Queen Anne; my boyfriend’s father was the RN on site. We were all deeply affected and want to spread the knowledge and information about how to prevent such happenings. I work as a dog walker for a local company and I have informed them of the situation and how to prevent it. They have sent out information to the other walkers and owners who we serve. Let me know if there is anything we can do to help. We are all thinking of you and Sammy.

    • Dear Catie,
      Thank you for your post and thank you for your support. I was in such hysterics watching Sam being electrocuted and then dying in my arms, I do remember the nice RN trying to help Sam with CPR. I am very thankful that there were people around to come to Sam’s aid. I had no idea what was happening to him, I thought he’d stepped on something sharp until he started to go into convulsions. Feeling the shock come from his mouth just sent me over the edge. I want to bring awareness to others and thank you so much for helping me to do this and informing your work and other pet owners. I volunteer at the Seattle Animal Shelter and will see if they can put something about stray voltage, leaky electricity (perhaps my blog) in their newsletter. I don’t want this to happen again to anyone or any pet. I will alos be following up with the City Of Seattle Monday, an incident report was filed as well as a claim. Sam should never have died, especially in this way, he was such a strong dog that gave me the world with his love and constant happiness. There wasn’t a day that went by that I did not tell him how much I loved him. Thank god on that day, I told him I loved him before his death and after. I will love and miss him forever. Thanks again, I would like to stay in touch.

  2. Lori Moniz says:

    Lisa, I have already spread your very helpful information to friends here with pets, in California! So you and Sammy, have opened many eyes to things that we all need to know! See, this just may have been his calling in his short life! Here’s to you and to Sammy, and all the joy he brought you and will bring others in the future, just due to this sad, sad accident! This is a great thing you are doing!
    Love you!

  3. I just want to say I am so sorry for your loss. Losing your dog is heartbreaking, and I am horrified at how this happened. My thoughts are with with you as you grieve your beautiful pet and remember him!

  4. roger lane says:

    Please go to the site
    I created this website in my dauughter’s memory as she was electrocuted in NYC in 2004 by “Stray Voltage”.
    The site offers a great deal of info. Stray Voltage is a widespread problem in many US cities.

    • Dear Roger,
      Thank you very much for your post and most especially for sharing your daughter’s memory with me and everyone. This is so tragic, I am so very sorry for your loss. Creating this site is great way to bring awareness to others and to those who can possibly help fix this widespread problem so that tragedy does not strike anyone else. Thank you again, I wish you all the best.

    • Hi Roger,
      I just wanted to let you know that I have been reading your website this evening and I am just amazed, I never knew any of this, I don’t think many of us do. This is certainly going to help me in furthering my cause. I still have not gotten my incident report (Monday) and will then take it up with Seattle City Light. I know my dog was a victim of stray voltage, I felt an electric shock come from his mouth! I do not want this to happen to anyone, families, children and more pets. This is just unbelievable and again I am so sorry for your daughter’s loss. I am supposed to have a TV interview tomorrow about sammy’s death and stray voltage. I will continue to read your site, I am becoming more and more educated, wish I knew earlier, maybe my Sammy would be alive. I signed your petition on the site too. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Lindsay says:


    My heart is breaking for you, Sammy and your entire family. There is little in this world as tragic as losing a pet, especially in such a horrific way.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I live on Queen Anne Ave and have a small dog that I frequently walk along the sidewalks. I can tell you now, after reading this, I will not be walking him on these sidewalks.

    This is a serious problem that is unacceptable and needs to be corrected immediately before tragedy strikes again. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

    Again, my sincere condolences to you all and Sammy, RIP baby dog.

  6. Kremena Tobin says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I have no words to tell you how sad I am at the news about Sammy’s tragic death.
    I tried to explain to my little boy Keenan and showed him a picture of Sammy…then Keenan said:”Oh gosh,then we will not go to the park anymore,Mom,please remind me not to step on these metal plates ever again(he likes to stump on them with his brother and sing songs,this is their “musical instrument”)”
    Thank you for letting us all know about this hazard,Lisa.
    Love and prayers to you and your family,dear Lisa.

    • Hi Kremena,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and support. It means so much, Sammy was such a special dog to us, he was wonderful and just a very sweet boy who loved to hike, eat and just be happy. I wish we could all be this way 🙂

      Yes, it is important to spread the word about the dangerous hazard of stray voltage, especially in hot and cold months (snow, slush), we need to maintain light structures and electrical power units more regularly and efficiently. What if I had been electrocuted with Sam? A child? It’s crazy! I’m so glad to bring this to everyone’s attention, we need to keep everyone and our animals safe. Thank you again, I appreciate it so much. xoxo Lisa

  7. Jozie's Mommy says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sammy was such a handsome, handsome boy.

    Thanks for spreading the word and helping to keep others from losing their loved ones in this way.

  8. Tricia James says:


    You should reach out to this company>>>>>>>>>

    They have technology that is used in cities across the country to find these problems and prevent these tragic incidents.


    • Thank you Tricia for sending me these links. These are great, I wrote to the Power Survey Org. I just read the story about a dog killed from stray voltage in downtown Albuquerque. I am just so saddened by this, I have never even heard of this term before, I had no idea about this deadly hazard. Had I been informed, perhaps Sammy would be alive. This is why I want to educate and inform people out there so they can keep safe. Thank you again.

  9. AP619 says:

    I just cannot believe something like this exists today. I am SO sorry to hear of your loss. I had no idea. I don’t have a dog, but I do have indoor cats and just cannot fathom losing my babies.

    I live in QA but cannot quite picture the source of the tragedy. Is it the metal grates on the ground, or? Seems like they are everywhere! Maybe eventually someone could post a picture of the source of this tragedy, not necessarily the one in this accident. I will bookmark this website and peruse it as more information comes in.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks so much for your post and thoughts for Sammy. I just posted the photos of the site where Sam was killed, the metal plates and lamp post. Hope this helps people become more aware of stray voltage around these units and structures. Thak you again, this could happen to anyone and any animal. Horses have been electrocuted in NYC from stray voltage, very sad indeed.

  10. Oh my gosh, I just read your story and I am SO sorry for your loss. I had no idea this type of thing could happen. I know how difficult it is to lose a beloved pet, and even more so in this fashion. I can’t even imagine…

    I do hope you find some comfort in helping others by spreading awareness of this serious problem. We’re happy to help spread the word. We’re in Atlanta, but are connected to an amazing pet community around the world.

    Again, so, so sorry for your loss. RIP sweet Sammy and hugs to your family.

    Diane and Cosmo Havanese

  11. frank moss says:

    this story strikes me cold ..I have two german shorthairs maggie 12 dazy 6. we have just moved to Queen Anne nov 1st 9th crockett. and have had a few walks in the neighborhood.. wow ..I feel so bad for you I hope some good can come of this horriable loss..

  12. Betsy says:

    My heart aches for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. My son and I witnessed this tragedy while walking my dog on QA that day. We were just feet away from you and Sammy when it occured. You have been in our thoughts and prayers ever since. Thank you for bringing public awareness to this hazard in your beloved Sammy’s memory.

    • Hi Betsy,
      Thank you very much, I do remember you and your son and dog. I am grateful that no one else was seriously hurt, WE were all at risk that day. My sweet baby boy didn’t deserve to die, he perhaps saved us all, “taking the bullet” for all of us, he is truly an angel, a hero to us all. That’s how he was, always loving everyone first, a true love and hero for sure. I can’t tell you how much this tragedy has impacted my life. I feel like I lost my child, he was that important and special to me. I can’t stop sobbing over this loss, I will never be the same. Thank you again.

    • Hi Betsy,
      This is Lisa McKibbin, I lost my beloved dog Sammy from street electrocution. I have filed a claim against the City and have an attorney that would like to speak with you regarding witnessing Sammy’s death. Would you be willing to help Sammy? Please let me know how I can get a hold of you. My personal email to give me your contact info is: Thank you so much. I hope to hear from you. Peace~Lisa
      Lisa and Sammy

  13. Pingback: Dog gets electrocuted on Queen Anne Ave — Goodbye Sammy (via sammysbigheart) | ballwalkparkseattledogwalker

  14. Tristan Thielman says:

    I dont know what to say. I am so heartbroken and deeply saddened by you loss. I will pray for you and pray that soon another beautiful puppy will enlighten your beautiful world!

  15. Kelley Greene says:

    Hi, Lisa.
    I just saw you on the news and was so sad- I recognized you from my days at Frank and Dunya and I did a portrait of your beloved Sammy!! 😦 As soon as they put the picture up I felt sick to my stomach! I remember that sweet face!! I’m so so sorry to hear of this crazy tragedy!

    Hugs to you and I hope your message saves other dogs’ lives, at least!! I’m so sorry!

    Love, Kelley

    • Oh Kelley, thanks so much for getting in touch. God, my mom and I love that portrait you painted so much, we can’t believe Sammy’s gone. You’re right he had the sweetest face ever. He was also the sweestest most lovable boy, I miss him tremendously. Losing him has really hit me hard to say the least, I will never be the same. I watched him die, I’m traumatized forever. Thanks for your sweet thoughts, and we love our beautiful painting that you did. Hope you’re doing well, thanks again.

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  17. Dan Burke says:

    Hi Lisa,
    My condolensces for your tragedy. I can’t even imagine the pain you are in having lost Sammy. We walk our Scooter on that same sidewalk all the time and, in fact, take him to Oslos and tie him outside of Briccos while we enjoy a quick eat. We had no idea that there was such a lethal risk in us doing so. This should just not be happening in this day and age. The response from the city was that we shouldn’t worry but that sounds silly unless they have the facts behind an investigation that proves why we shouldn’t worry. A horrible death of a wonderful, happy, loving life occurred here and their statements so far just aren’t good enough for me. Just a quick google search or a look at your blog indicates that this is more likely a chronic, albeit rare, problem and not just a fluke as the city would have us believe. The city’s job should be to inform us of these risks so that we make educated decisions. Are these “time bombs” ticking all over our city? What specifically are we to look for on the sidewalks that may cause electric shock? Is it too much to ask the city to adequately inform us, or at the very least, the pet care/vet industry of these risks and how to avoid them? Is there any way the city can use some technology to eliminate these risks?

    We are very lucky that you are such a caring, strong person in doing interviews and putting together this blog so we can protect ourselves against something we took for granted. Good luck in your dealings with the city and I will definately be following your blog as news happens. Thanks so much for helping everyone become aware of something that the Seattle City Light should long ago have done. Lastly, please know that our hearts go out to you as you mourn your loss and we will always think of you and Sammy while walking thru our neighborhood.


    • Hi Dan,
      Thank you very much for your sweet thoughts for Sammy. He was my sweet loving boy, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss him, he was always so happy. He meant the world to me. I am trying to be strong for him, it’s very hard, but I loved him so much I’d do anything for him and I am going to get justice for him so that this does not ever happen again to another animal or human. We (the people who came to Sam’s aid) were all at risk that day, Sammy protected me (us), he saved my life, he is an angel and hero in my eyes, and I will take this as far as I can, this should’ve never happened. I still need to meet with Seattle City Light. I am picking up the police incident report today and then will meet with Seattle City Light. According to my TV news interview, SCL has turned off the power to that particular light pole and apparently going to fix it today? This is NOT good enough for me!! I will fight this so this never happens to anyone again. Yes, to answer your question about being able to detect stray voltage, there is technology that is used and can reduce the risks of people and animals from contact voltage. Please check out websites,, there is also We should all be aware of this and be informed and I am going to make sure that people get the information they need to keep safe. I would give anything to bring my Sammy back. This traumatic experience has changed me, I will never be the same. Sammy was the best, the sweetest boy. I miss him so much.

  18. MartinV12 says:


    Sorry to read about your dog. This problem is, as you point out, nationwide. I’m not sure if this is the place for this, but may I direct you to a local expert on this subject in Everett?

  19. Barbara Raisbeck says:


    I heard about Sammy. It is such a sad story and i am so sorry for your loss. Dogs are the truest loyal friends; it is hard when they leave us. And this was even more tragic because it never should have happened. I wanted you to know i am thinking of you and your daughter.

    Blessings ~ Barbara

    • Thank you for the link. Great information to know, I didn’t even know or understand what was happening to my dog during his whole ordeal, I thought he stepped on something sharp, when I went to help him, he took a good bite to my thumb, poor baby, was reacting to the pain he was having. Traumatic to say the least. I read on a pet health link that when a dog is electrically shocked, they go into severe convulsions, seizure and lash out on the owner due to the extreme pain it is having. This is tragic, should never have happened.

  20. Lisa says:

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. I want to thank you for sharing your story, even in your grief, so that others can avoid the same fate. I have passed on this information to my other dog friends, and will never again travel a Seattle street with my much-loved dog without Sammy in mind.

    I am sure he is very proud of you.

  21. JG says:

    Sammy’s story is so sad. I hope that your voice is heard loud and clear so that this type of tragedy can be avoided it the future. Aside from avoiding areas and reporting faulty systems, is there anything else we can do? I know this may sound silly, but would rubber-soled dog booties help, if the source of electrocution was through the feet?

  22. John McDowell says:


    I was terribly saddened this morning to learn about Sammy’s death and the incident on Thursday. It is doubly painful, since on Wednesday morning, Oslo and I walked to work due to the snow, we wanted to toss our doggie waste in the garbage a bit south of ProRobics on the east side of the Avenue, we then crossed the street, stepping onto the sidewalk right in front of ProNails. Suddenly Oslo fell to the ground and started yelping/screaming and twisting… I fell to my knees and comforted him, and I know in doing so, he slid further away from the metal plate on the ground. I recalled the metal plate as I looked around to see if there were any sharp items or even a grating he might have stepped on. I scooped him up in my arms and carried him into our store and sat with him until he stopped shaking … I realize now I made the unaware assumption that he just slid in the slush and off a piece of ice, and twisted his leg, when in fact, he probably received an electric shock.

    We did head down to see Dr. Spencer, who upon examining him thought he might have pinched a nerve. Although I thought in the moment that he appeared to be oddly possessed, as he was convulsing, like a bolt of electricity, it did not completey come together in my head that he was recieving an electrical shock.

    So now I am heartwrenched that I almost lost Oslo and unknowingly, never thought about voltage coming out of the submerged boxes. Oslo is okay, however we are all very, very sad about Sammy’s death on our block. Seattle City light have been out on the street today. Please keep us aware of your efforts over the next few weeks. I know how heavy your heart.

    With sincere condolences,
    John McDowell

  23. jason says:

    I saw your story on the news. I am a fellow gsp owner & am soo sorry. I lost my old girl to a freak accident. I just am so sorry

  24. Debi Fortin says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I am so sad and horrified to hear about Sammy and your loss. I often walk my dog Shorty along that route, and have never even given it a thought that something might happen to us. I cried after reading your story. My dog means the world to me, he is my best friend. Thank you for letting the rest of us know about the danger.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I will be following your blog, shout out if you need help.

    Sweet little Sammy. Good dog.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this with us. I tear up every time I read this story. I am so sorry for your loss. I cant even believe this happened, I am in utter shock. I am a dog lover/owner and cant even imagine the sorrow you are going through.

    I am also a dog walker and am spreading the word on my facebook, blog and website. I will make sure everyone I meet at the dog parks hears about this also!

    Sammy is watching from above and is going to help all of us dog owners spread the word so this accident doesn’t happen ever again.

  27. Pingback: Sammys memory is going to save lives! « The Dog Care Expert's Blog

  28. Pingback: Pet tragically electrocuted on Thanksgiving Day | DogPostDaily

  29. mary hart says:

    I am so, so sorry for you loss of Sammie and in such a horrible, surprising way. I just lost my beloved dog Chance, a pit bull/lab mix of 14 years on October 28th while we were out of town and although he was very old, it was still a big hole in both my husbands and my life. I am just now getting use to not seeing his dog bed next to mine. It is so painful to lose such a loving friend and my heart goes out to you. I hope that with your help, this won’t happen to anyone else, although the news said that you have already been contacted by other people who have lost pets in the same place. If there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Again, I am so sorry and hope that with time, you can be comforted by your wonderful memories of Sammie.

    Thinking of you, Mary Kay Hart

    • Thank you so much. I miss Sammy so much, he was my best buddy. I am so sorry about your loss, any loss is so hard, I feel your pain. Only time heals….but we still will never forget our special buddies. Thanks for writing me. Please refer to my blog regularly, I will be working hard to make changes….Sammy and I want to keep people and their pets safe.

  30. Jennifer says:

    I just saw your story on the news and my heart goes out to you. You are in my prayers.

  31. kevinseattle says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Sammy; my deepest condolences. Thanks for sharing your story and driving awareness about this danger I was not aware of.

  32. isabella says:

    thank you for your interview on king5 tonight. i quickly found you online so i could understand all of the details. i had no clue and was surprised to learn of so many other similar incidents as i read thru the comments.

    i will forever remember sammy and you as i walk my own boy (a rescue’d boxer named, jimi). i will also spread the word to my apartment manager so he can alert all of the dog parents that live in my apartment here on capitol hill. may god be with you during such a sad time. i said a prayer for sammy to find many things to chase in heaven as he waits for us all.

    • Thank you so much. I miss Sammy so much, he was my best buddy. Please refer to my blog regularly, I will be working hard to make changes….Sammy and I want to keep people and their pets safe.

  33. Janet says:

    Thank you for bringing this to the public’s attention. It broke my heart when I heard this story on the news here in Portland tonight. My co-worker’s dog died from a similar accident just a few months ago in Vancouver. The electric companies should be required to prevent this sort of accident from ever happening again. I’m uplifted to see so much love and support out there! My thoughts and prayers are with you and Sammie.

    • Thank you so much, that’s horrible about your friend’s dog, so sad. I am so devastated to say the least. I am going to take this far, this should not be happening. Please refer to my blog regularly, I am going to fight this so that no one else or any animal is a victim of this tragedy.

  34. Lisa says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about this. Actually, I’m outraged to hear about this! I had no idea about the dangers of these plates until reading about your horrific ordeal. This makes no sense to me. At the very least, shouldn’t the city insulate the plates in some way?

    I am a dogmommy myself, and will be extra careful when taking my babies on their walks. I lost my boy, also the love of my life, over the summer to a rare and sudden disease. I understand the agony you’re in right now. For what it’s worth, I know there’s a pet loss support group held at the Seattle Animal Shelter every Thursday.

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. You and Sammy are in my thoughts.


  35. Rufushexe says:

    Such a devastating loss. A friend recently witnessed the death of their pet so your tragic story really touched us. Our sympathies

  36. mary hart says:

    Please be assured I will continue to follow your blog regularly to see how your mission is progressing and for any way to help!

    All my best, Mary Kay Hart

  37. Kelley Greene says:

    You’re very welcome, glad you love the portrait! I just heard on 107.7 “the End” the DJ mentioned your story and said that if YOU called and talked about your tragedy you would win tickets to their “Deck the Hall Ball”?! Just thought I’d let you know.

  38. Barb Blanco says:

    Thank you so VERY much for sharing this information to warn us all at such a hard time for you. Our pets are also best friends & it is so hard when something happens to them. Especially like with Sammy. This kind of tragic accident was something I couldn’t have even imagined. I hope you don’t mind but I put the info on our blog & a link to yours to get the word spread even further. From other comments this is a bigger problem than one would ever imagine.
    Love and warmest thoughts to you all.
    Ernie,Sasha,Chica’s Mom Barb

    • Thank you so much. Sammy meant the world to me, I miss him so much. I will work hard to make changes so that this trype of tragedy never happens again. Thank you for cross-posting on your blogs, spread the word….Sammy needs this, all of us and our beloved pets need this.

  39. I’m so sorry to hear of your tragic loss! I was made aware of this ongoing and widespread danger through incidents reported in the Boston area. I’m happy to support you in your efforts to make a difference and see that no one, person or dog, has to suffer.

  40. Rebecca Duffy says:

    I’m sorry this happened to you and Sammy. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Peace.

  41. Blair Sorrel says:

    Please accept my profound condolences on the loss of beloved Sammy. Unfortunately, some dog owners discover this danger, only sadly, when victimized and so I wanted to inform you of StreetZaps, a timely and useful tool intended to reduce the year round risk of injury and fatality from contact voltage. I confer with Con Edison’s Stray Voltage and Public Affairs Units and contribute to Wet Nose Guide and New York Dog Chat. It is my firm wish that Sammysbigheart visitors will disseminate this vital public service as quickly and as widely as possible to preclude more tragedies. Further, the predictable seasonal incidents surge is imminent.

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you. Happy safe holidays!

    In appreciation and with best regards,

    Blair Sorrel

  42. Hi,

    we’re so sorry to hear what happened to you and Sammy. We’re thankful you’re doing an effort to prevent something like this happening to someone else.

  43. Cheryl says:

    I just read about poor Sammy in the Seattle Times at work. I am so very very sorry about what happened. It is beyond tragic, and it cuts straight to the heart.
    I work for an Electrical Co. so you can be sure this situation will create an awareness for those experienced working with Electricity.
    You and Sammy will be in my Prayers…he will live on through your love and memories.
    If you need supporters for your cause, you can Call on me!
    Take Care…

  44. Christine J. Smith says:

    Dear Lisa and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I empathize with the terrible grief you are going through. I have a German Shorthair who I love dearly and the thought of losing him is unimaginable. I had read an account of this happening to a dog in New York City, but I attributed it to faulty maintenance and never thought about it happening here. If there is anything I can do to assist in preventing another unnecessary and tragic death, I am here to help.

    I send you my prayers and sympathy.

  45. Janice Winchester says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I am so sorry to hear of your tragic loss. No one should ever have to experience what you did. How brave of you, during this very sad time for you, to take the time to speak out in an effort to help prevent any further incidents. Your actions are a wonderful Memorial to Sammy.

    Pets are family, and I know how hard this must be for you. You & Sammy have touched many of us deeply.


  46. Brit says:

    Dear Lisa,

    My heart absolutely goes out to you. What you and your poor Sammy had to go through is just unthinkable. I have two labs and they are, as you know, like family. This could have happened to anyone, and I’m so sorry that it happened at all. You’re wonderful for posting your story and trying to create awareness. I walk my boys all over the place and never even thought that something like this could happen – especially in the area where it happened to you. I hope that you know that your story touched me, and that even a total stranger is keeping you and Sammy in my thoughts.

  47. houndstooth4 says:

    I just wanted to say that I am terribly sorry for your loss! We had a friend whose Greyhound was electrocuted in an elevator during a storm while we were all on vacation several years ago. It’s not the same thing as what I’m gathering happened to you, though. I had no idea that such a thing was even possible. Our hearts and prayers go out to you!

  48. Todd Sieben says:

    My Deepest Sympathies to you and your beloved BFF Sammy.

    We lost our BFF Golden, Sport the day before Thanksgiving due to cancer and oh how we miss him. He was also 6 and taken way to early.

    It’s sad when something like this needs to happen for possibly something good to come from it. I applaud everything your doing to make certain this problem has some light shed on it.

  49. Our hearts go out to you! We are so sorry that you lost your beautiful boy this way.

    Love ya lots
    Maggie and Mitch

  50. Maggie says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this. I never have heard of such a thing, but am thankful that you shared this story as a warning. We do live right outside of a city, and though my dogs have not been downtown before that does not mean they never will. Now we will know to be extra careful. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Your family is in my thoughts in this difficult time.

  51. Scott McKibbin says:

    Hi Lisa- I am very sorry for your loss. Your story stuck me with its tragedy and your love for your dog to which I completely get and can’t imagine losing my sweet Lab Luna. The other thing that struck me was we have the same last name. I even had folks at work asking me if this was my dog! Anyway – our heart goes out to you.

  52. Larry Fidler says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I don’t know you but we share a common bond–the love for our pets. I was so saddened to learn of Sammy’s tragic accident. As the owner of 2 Golden Retrievers and 1 Smooth Fox Terrier whom I love so much, I can only imagine the grief you are feeling at this time. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Larry Fidler

  53. Dianne says:

    My heart aches for you. It is hard enough to lose them when you know it’s coming. To lose them suddenly is devastating. I lost my Heidi when she was in the prime of her life. One day she was a beautiful, vibrant creature. The next day I watched her die on the vet’s table. She was like my child. The void was so vast and deep, sometimes I thought I would fall in, and never come out. It took six months before I could get through a day without crying.
    When she died, I wrote for days. Writing is very cathartic. I wrote down everything–every thing she did, everything we did together, all the goofy names I used to call her–everything I could think of. I guess it was my way of trying to keep her with me. And it kept me from going insane for the first few days.
    Well, I’ve probably said too much already. I just wanted you to know that I feel your pain and to assure you that things will get better–Slowly–but they will get better.
    — We are so lucky to have them in our lives.

  54. We are so sorry for your loss –

    AND so touched you’ve made this Sammy’s Legacy –

    I can’t say we’ve ever heard of such a thing happening –

    Thanks for sharing the information and the pain –

    It could have been any of us –

    We are sorry it had to be you and Sammy –

    Khyra and Her Mom

  55. Greg says:

    I think we’ve met while I was walking my GSP, Remy during lunch (this past summer). Sorry for your loss.

  56. We are so sorry to hear about this; what a terrible and unexpected tragedy. We do thank you for spreading the word to help others and make more people aware of this.

  57. eldima says:

    How can this be?
    I am so very sorry for your loss and the horrible trauma you had to endure watching your beloved pet suffer. As if we don’t have enough risks in life, this? I had absolutely no idea about this issue and it is an absolute outrage that this happened to your sweet dog. I am in tears thinking of what you went through.
    If I am to understand this, it is the actual metal plate that emits the voltage, correct? Or can light-post’s do so as well? The city is absolutely at fault here and needs a swift and meaningful penalty to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t kill another animal or child.
    Please hang in there and know that many people are thinking of you and Sammy.

  58. Ken Cochran says:

    Lisa, so sorry and sad for your loss..found a nice site on line several years ago after a loss of my westie. pls google “rainbow bridge poem” if you haven’t already heard of it..Thanks for your efforts to bring the problem of stray voltage to the public

  59. Stacie Zane says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I wanted to give you my condolences on the loss of your beloved dog Sammy. What a tragic thing to have happen to a family member. Sammy should have never had to suffer a death like this. My dog is my baby too and means the world to me. My heart goes out to you.

    Take care,

  60. Teddy Bear says:

    We are so so sorry to hear about your Baby Sammy. Our pups are our worlds and my heart aches for your loss.

  61. Eric says:

    Lisa I am so sorry for what you are going through!!! I know how you feel losing your best friend. I had to put my 6 year old choc. lab Maddy to rest in October, she was my world and I miss her so much!!!!!! I am so sad for you!!!!

    • Hi Eric~Thank you so much, I’m so sorry to hear about Maddy, same age as my Sammy, so young to leave us. It’s not fair. I feel your pain, I know Sam knew how much I loved him, I made sure to tell and show him everyday, I’m sure your Maddy felt the same way. I know how you feel, I miss Sam sooooo much, words cannot describe, I sit here in my house wishing he was here by my side like he used to do. God, I miss him. OK, pet loss therapy for me Thursday at Seattle Animal Shelter, 6pm, if you’re interested in going, you should try it. Thanks again. ~Lisa

      • Eric says:

        Thank you Lisa!!! How you feel is exactly the way I feel! Being at home and not having her at my side is soooo hard!! Hang in there Lisa and always remember that Sammy only had eyes for you! Pet loss therapy sounds like a great idea, I hope it helps you!! I live and work in the Auburn/Kent area, if I was closer to Seattle I would go for sure. Sorry again for your loss!!!!!!!! Eric

  62. Sawdust says:

    So sorry for your loss. What makes this sader is that it was most likely preventable. The term “Stray Voltage” is really incorrect in this case. It is hard to be certain without looking at the vault under the steel cover, but I suspect that it was a improper or insufficient insulation on the electrical connections that are in there. From our recent damp weather , water may have entered the vault and caused the electrical current to leak out and onto the plate. If the plate was properly grounded, this would not be a problem. In your case, your dog was most likely the path to ground.

    I live in a municipality that required the developer of a tract of homes to buy the light poles from the city, pay an independent contractor to install them and after inspection, took possession of the equipment and now charges the homeowners association monthly for the power the light poles use. In the past and in one instance in in the installation of the homeowners associations light poles, the city/ county inspector seldom got out of his truck.

    The point to my rambling on is. Get someone to inspect that box before the City alters it. Find out who inspected it when it was installed, Find the name of the contractor who installed it and ask him if he was present when the inspection was done by the city. The botton line is someone failed to do their job. Unless the pole or installation was damaged by a car running into it, electricity should have NEVER leaked out of it to injure someone or something

  63. Bill & Jill says:

    we were horrified to learn of your tragic loss of Sammy and how avoidable it should be. I’d heard of stray voltage before but had forgotten about it; hopefully, this sad event will help others avoid it and the City will do something.

    We know what it’s like to lose a dog suddenly – two years ago, we lost Sadie, a 7 year old Golden Retreiver-Australian Shepard mix to a neurological disorder. She was fine at the park, later that evening seemed confused, then couldn’t stand. A few days later she was gone. Our vet said it was maybe encephalitis from a mosquito bite or she might have eaten a piece of mushroom in the woods. It was so very sad and we were devastated. I (Bill) grieve still because Sadie was the happiest dog I’ve ever known, just one positive pup full of Life and Love.

    Sammy is with God now and we pray for both of you.

    Be well, and know that many hearts are connected to yours in this painful time.


    Bill & Jill

  64. RAHUSKY says:

    We came to pay or respects, soft husky wooos,

    RA & Isis

  65. FiveSibesMom says:

    Lisa, we are so sorry to hear of this horrible accident. I saw the story on TV while visiting my Mom and just could not believe it. Then I saw the post on The Clampets’ blog and just wanted to stop over and offer our support and sincerest condolences on the loss of your beautiful Sammy. So tragic. I had no idea about stray voltage, and thank you for taking the time after your loss to post to let us know about it. My heart breaks for you. We are glad you are OK and did not get electrocuted as well, but are at a loss what to say about Sammy. Please know we are here for you, supporting you and hoping something like this never happens again. I will share your posting with others so that through Sammy, we can carry on his name and memory by keeping others safe. Again, I am so sorry for your unimaginable loss.

  66. i am so sorry to hear about this tragedy. i live in everett, and heard about it on the news. i know how it is to have a dog who is your soulmate, and i can’t imagine the horrible feelings of loss you are experiencing. i hope you can find some comfort in your wonderful memories and know that your sweet pup will always be with you in your heart.

  67. Tom says:

    Contact voltage and stray voltage are two terms used to describe these incidents but are not entirely correct. This condition is a common occurrence, and in fact a person died from it in Las Vegas, standing on a metal handhole (HH) cover in the rain.

    In an electrical circuit, the electrons leave the source (SCL transformer) go thru a overcurrent device (fuse or circuit breaker), to the load (light) and return to the source, all on insulated wires. Whats happening in these situations is one of the insulated wires is probably damaged and and touching the HH box or frame. The HH is then energized at (probably) 120 volts. Typically the utilities do not have a return path (green wire) for the electrons to back to the source. If the green wire was in place, the damaged bare wire would energize the HH, and the electrons would return back on the green wire and open the fuse or circuit breaker.

    Utilities work under the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) and it does not require a green wire as the National Electrical Code does. Even if the green wire was in place, it could be damaged or corroded and not do its job, but normally the green wire will cause the overcurrent device to open quickly if there is a electrical fault.

    Sometimes I see “ground rods” installed at metal lighting poles where there is no green wire, in an attempt to make the installation safe, but it does nothing. One might think the ground rod would cause the fuse or circuit breaker to open, but not enough current (electrons) will go via the earth back to the source to make a difference.

    We’ve been incorrectly taught that electricity takes the path of least resistance, but it takes all paths back to its source. Your dog and its paws offered a low resistance and just enough electrons flowed back to the source thru the earth to cause a fatal shock.

    In the State of Illinois, in 1970 a male dog got shocked at a lighting pole doing what male dogs do. They were sued and spent millions installing ground rods. In 2000, a male dog with a female lawyer owner again got shocked, and sued. Illinois discovered they solution was to install a green safety wire back to the source.

    The City of Philadelphia has 100,000 street lights, 18,000 with out the green safety wire. A person got shocked and their solution was to install non metallic light poles.

    I wrote an article about the NESC and NEC with a good illustration of dog getting shocked by an energized pole. I also have an article on Light Pole Safety testing that gives data on energized light poles and HHs. Email me and I will send you the articles.

    The solution is for utilities to wire their system per the NEC with its clear rules on grounding, and to test for “stray voltage” and promptly correct and issues found. After the Jodi Lane incident in NYC, the public utility commission made the utilities search for and correct “stray voltage”

  68. John Wahlborg says:

    Lisa, I wish that there was something that I could say or do to ease the pain of losing your best pal. I have a Golden Retriever Mix named Jasper whose love & affection brings a lot of joy, not just to me but to most of the those he crosses paths with….I bet Sammy was like that too. I hope you find some comfort from your efforts to warn people of this danger and save other animals from a similar fate. Take care.

  69. Ed Glover says:

    Lisa, may I express my most sincere condolences over your loss of Sammy. As I read the postings I feel the same hurt as you do. As a grown man, I cry as if I have just lost my dog too. I have a 3 1/2 yr.old English pointer/Lab mix named Peanut. He too is such a sweet, lovable boy. He gives me lots of love everyday, even though I tell him that I love him on a daily basis. I know he can spare some of that love to you in your time grieve. Maybe it would help, don’t know tho. Don’t ever forget Sammy, he was your best buddy. He is still with you, by your side, looking up at you.

  70. My goodness! I had no idea something like that could happen! I’m so very sorry that you and your loved dog went through such a tragic…I don’t even know what to call it!
    What a nightmare. I’m so sorry.

  71. Trella says:

    Wow, I had never heard of stray voltage! That is really scary! I am so very, very sorry for Sammy having to go through such a terrible death. It was so unnecessary. I want to thank you for bringing this to light to the public, through your pain and loss. A couple of years ago I was walking my dog in Mercer Island when he stepped onto a street grate, covered by leaves and unseen by us. His small feet went right through the grate openings and he struggled to get up out of it. After I helped him, he could barely stand and limped all the way home. There are so many ‘traps’ out there waiting for an accident to happen. The utilities need to be more responsible and mindful of the public’s safety. Again, I feel your pain on the loss of your beloved Sammy.

  72. Lisa from Ocean shores says:

    condolences! roxy the doxy and me send heartfelt hugs & prayers on the killing of your sweet sammy mr cute pointer!
    I feel your pain!
    I rescue dogs from paws.
    I had a short haired red doxy named murphy who was killed last dec 22 when i invited him to come with me to get more wood for the fire…he was found chasing cars & thats how he died…..he got hit when the neighbor was coming home. It was my fault & I’ll forever feel bad bout that…(these neighbors are great!)
    may all our animal friends & the people that love & care for them know they are being prayed for & white light to protect!
    lisa & roxy

  73. Brenda says:

    Dear Lisa,

    My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry about Sammy. It was shocking and hurt my heart to read about it, I can’t imagine how you felt going through it. As many people have posted here, I lost a beloved dog too, a pug named Chewie to a neurological disease unique to pugs. But I did have a few days to say good bye. I hope the words everyone has posted here can bring you some comfort, and I hope above all the city can prevent this from happening to someone else.
    God bless Sammy. He is in heaven with my Chewie.


  74. David says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I’m sorry for your loss.

  75. Frank Adams says:


    I recently lost my dog after 17 years,it was extremely difficult.In my case,I could see her gradually declining.It must have been extremely traumatic for you.
    Here is website link that discusses what Con Edison in N.Y. did several years ago to deal with this shock issue and hopefully your utility group will wake up and get into the real world sometime soon too.

  76. tweedles says:

    I am sooo sorry. I just heard about this terrible accident, by reading some of my bloggy friends.. blogs.
    I cannot believe my eyes, and I know your heart is so broken.
    What you are doing will help many many other doggies.
    Your love for Sammy is shining through,,, as you go on and do this for his legacy.
    Run free brave Sammy,, you will never be forgotten,,,, not ever.
    And mama of Sammy, let me put my paws around your neck in the circle of love

  77. Pingback: A Prayer for Sammy — DOG Is My Shepherd

  78. Linda Jackson says:

    Dear Lisa
    I am so sorry for your loss of Sammy. Our fur children become so entwined around
    our hearts. It is so heartbreaking when they leave us. If you can, please look at When my darling Katie passed, I was so upset I cried all the time. She had a medical situation and was in the hospital for 8 days. I brought her home on a Friday and she passed on the following Monday. I was told to check Rainbows Bridge and found great support from others suffering losses. A memorial can be placed online. It brings me great comfort to see her immorialized for all to see how much love I have for her. Many people emailed me notes of sympathy, kind words, poems. Please take a look at this site it is for all to come together who have loved and lost. My sympathy and thoughts go out to you. May Sammy rest in peace and believe that one day you will be together again. Take Care God Bless Linda Jackson Kenmore Wa.

    • Hi there Linda,
      Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers, your message touched my heart so much, I understand your pain and I’m very sorry for your loss of Katie (I had a Golden Retriever named Katie, love that sweet name, she passed away in 2001) I truly believe our pets are our family, my kids, they are our best friends, they give so much to us, I truly believe they help us undertsand what love really is…. if they only knew that they have this effect on us humans, maybe they do 🙂
      I know of the Rainbow’s Bridge, thank you, I have been looking for rainbows on my hikes with all the rain we’ve been having 🙂 I feel like Sammy is still with me, I know he’s gone physically, but there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of (and cry) him, I look at pictures missing him, but he will live in my heart forever, just like your Katie.
      Thank you again for your kindness and here’s to all the dogs we’ve loved and will always love forever….

  79. Thanks for the marvelous posting at! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back later in life. I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

    • Hi Kiersten,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I will continue to post on my blog, it is the least I can do to honor my beloved sweet boy Sam.
      I hope you have a great weekend and thank you kindly again,
      All my best,

  80. Amanda vogel says:

    Dear Lisa
    i cried when I read your story. My sister has a GSP age 13 and we love him to bits. They are such special dogs. i cant imagine what you felt. i hope that time has helped you to heal a little. I just hope the council has done something to make sure this doesnt happen again. Our pets are so precious to us……Sending love your way xxxxxx

    • Hi Amanda~
      Thanks so much for your post, sadly, time has not helped me heal so much, I still miss Sam very much, not a day goes by that I don’t think of him, he was so very special to me, my first boy (dog), he was so sweet, everyone loved him, I wish he was still here with us….I take one day at a time…
      I am including a small excerpt from Seattle City Light’s annual report:
      “In the fall of 2010, a dog was electrocuted after stepping on an energized handhole cover. A combination of factors contributed to the touch potential voltage that caused the structure to be electrified. Shortly after the discovery, City Light was notified of six other incidents of dogs receiving non-lethal shocks from conductive structures in the public right-of-way. These incidences, along with further investigations into the streetlight system, identified potential issues with contact voltage. City Light responded by instituting an annual detection program along with a number of maintenance improvements and internal business process improvements”.

      FYI: “The combination of factors” that contributed to my dog’s death are: Seattle City Light did not follow through the inspection process of the deadly lightpole when it was initially installed in 2006, it was only after Sam’s death that they found the faulty wiring and it not being properly grounded. Basically, they didn’t do their job properly, costing my dog his life. Other factors also not mentioned by them include rain, water, ice, snow and rock salt that were present at the time of Sam’s death which are all conductors for electricity which as we know can be a deadly mix….thank you again. ~Lisa

  81. Tom Baker says:

    There is a presentation Monday Feb 13 at the Seatac Double Tree by Seattle City Light on stray voltage testing as part of the ITE/IMSA (Traffic Signal engineers and technicians) seminar/trade show.I think its at 1:00 PM and its free to attend. I will report back with some comments.

  82. Ryan says:

    this is so sad! what city did this happen in?

  83. Gina Macfarlane (Couser) says:

    Been looking for u online my friend…it’s been years!!!

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