Contact voltage claims another four-legged victim…..

Her name was Luna, a 10-month old Labrador. Like Sam, she was out on a walk with her owner. Last Thursday in Providence RI, Luna walked over a manhole cover which had frayed and faulty wiring died from electrocution.

My heart goes out to Luna and her owner.  I know and understand the pain and sorrow of such a loss.  Luna and Sammy are heaven, free from all dangers…RIP Luna and Sam….

A friend of mine emailed me today concerned about the problem of contact voltage and utility companies:
“You know what I don’t understand is that the industry is aware of this problem so why the lack of standards where they are required to routinely test for stray voltage? I don’t get it? They have conferences and if municipal-runned, then they have public safety regulating them”.

Utility companies are very much aware of contact voltage and the problems that exist, but as we can see, monitoring these problems is not a priority for them. They don’t want to incorporate in their budget a comprehensive public safety program to include routine inspections and regular monitoring of contact voltage problems. It costs money for them to do this! Only does it seem that when tragedy strikes is when utility companies seem to take action. Contact voltage needs to be taken seriously and utility companies need to do more in reducing these problems to make streets and sidewalks safe for everyone. We have seen that our city has invested in contact voltage testing (only after Sam’s death) through a team of experts using a high-tech testing device, but whether our city decides to continue with this form of testing on a regular basis is another story.

***When you have time, please take a moment to read the below stories included in this post. If you are at all concerned with public safety relating to contact voltage and feel that utility companies should place higher importance on this hidden danger with regular monitoring and inspections, the information provided below is to help bring awareness to you, your family and for your beloved pets and friends.  I feel it’s important to mention again that if contact voltage can easily kill a dog, it can also easily kill a person—a child and it already has.   Children and dogs can be of similar size and if enough voltage is present, it will kill….

Please help me to spread the word and keep our city streets and sidewalks safe! Thank you very much~

From Dog News Examiner and to subscribe for alerts please register at:
“Providence, R.I.* – A dog died on Thanksgiving Day in Seattle after being electrocuted by stray voltage from the base of a light pole. Yesterday,thousands of miles away on the East Coast, another dog died after walking over a manhole in Providence.  Stray voltage occurs when there is a fault the power system -dangerous voltage is present in a place that it should not be. In this case,the manhole cover.  The unlucky victim in this incident was a 10 month-old Labrador named Luna.  According to an MSNBC news report, Luna was on a walk with her owner when tragedy struck.  The owner felt the current and her dog lost consciousness. Despite desperate attempts to resuscitate the young dog, she passed away at a vet clinic 35 minutes later. According to the report, an inspection by National Grid revealed the sourceof the problem – a frayed wire. Though the problem was remedied, it came too late for Luna and her now grieving owner. Though these accidents are random and unlikely, it is best to avoid citylight poles, metal grates, and manhole covers when walking your dog (or when with children). By looking, there is absolutely no way to tell if there is stray voltage present – no way to foresee potential danger to you or your companion. Stray voltage is at its worse when there is salt and snow present. Electricity is conducted more easily in these conditions. Please be aware of your surroundings, for your sake, and for the sake of your dog.”

I am also including a few more stories/links related to other recent contact voltage incidences, involving people and not just dogs:
Detroit, 12/28- ‘Man Shocked After He Steps in Hole”
Delaware, 12/28-‘Woman Shocked by Electrified Grate’
Philadelphia, 1/18/11-‘More Dog Shockings’

‘Dog shocking sidewalk mystery explained’-

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8 Responses to Contact voltage claims another four-legged victim…..

  1. JRZGRL1 says:

    This makes me so sad and also angry. Many people do not realize, or perhaps do not care, about how important our 4-legged family members are. Dogs are so incredibly special and have such a deep connection with their owners. I know this Rhode Island family will miss Luna forever. As I know you know, Lisa, this family cannot just get another dog to replace their beloved Luna. Each dog is different and wonderful in their own way. It is always sad to lose a dog (or other pet), but there is consolation is seeing a dog grow old and live a full life. There is no consolation in losing a beautiful young animal to carelessness.

  2. TanyaH says:

    The victims are not just dogs but people too. Several children have been killed by this problem in my state.

    • Hi,
      Thank you, yes, I know that people have been killed and injured from contact voltage. I also have a special tribute on my blog to Jodie Lane who was killed in NYC in 2004 while walking her dogs. It is an issue that I am trying to bring more attention and awareness to. I also included some articles of some recent contact voltage incidences, injuries suffered by people. My hope and goal is to see utility companies do more in eliminating this problem.

  3. Frank Adams says:

    You may want to look at these comments from this guide dog group.

  4. Thmas A. Marks, Ph.D, DABT says:

    Faulty wiring is not necessary for shocks and even electrocutions to occur. The Earth is a major conduit for current flowing back to power stations as throughout the country and elsewhere our electrical circuit utilize grounds, which like the neutral wire steadily provide passage. Such currents enter the ground and follow paths of least resistence as they seek out power substations. Underground pipes, water tables, lakes, streams, rail road tracks, etc. serve as carriers of such currents. Concrete, especially if where rods or wire mesh has been employed, is a good conductor of such currents. Four-legged domestic/farm animals are highly susceptible to spikes/surges that regularly occur where electric currents are present. If interested I suggest one read Russ Allen’s book entitled “Electrocution of America; Is Your Utility Company Out to Kill You” or my publication in the journal Veterinary and Human Toxicology, volumn 37, issue 2, page 163-172, April 1995, entitled “Controversies in Toxicology; Stray Voltage and Developmental, Reproductive and Other Toxicology Problems in Dogs, Cats and Cows: A Discussion.

  5. Frank Adams says:

    Another link to a “proactive utility” concerned with electrical public safety.

    There are a few holes in this program ,but it is at least a start.

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