CBS News Coverage: Contact Voltage-America’s hidden and deadly danger…

Excellent coverage on contact voltage aired on CBS News. Though I wish they would’ve also included animals which are at a very high, and even sometimes higher risk for contact voltage since they are barefoot (barepawed in Sam’s case) 100% of the time (even booties won’t save their precious life), but nonetheless, very informative. It’s a short segment (below link) that will help to keep you and your furkids safe!

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Dog nearly electrocuted in New Jersey this week…

“Hoboken is inspecting light poles and replacing missing plates after dog is nearly electrocuted”.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

“HOBOKEN – The near electrocution of a dog in Church Square Park has spurred Hoboken to repair light poles that are missing the plate that covers the electrical wiring.

A city spokesman announced yesterday that all the light poles in Church Square Park have been checked and caution tape has been placed around the poles that are missing the metal plate, which apparently have been stolen for scrap metal. Repairs will be performed as soon as possible, city spokesman Juan Melli said.

On Thursday, a bull mastiff named Teddy Bear was injured while urinating on the pole in the park and coming into contact with some exposed wires.

Melli said the city is working with PSE&G to check light poles throughout the city and is aiming to have new plates made with a locking system.

If a light pole is missing its plate, it can be reported to Environmental Services at (201) 420-2049.”



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Ode to Sam…..

Sammy, it’s been over 3 months since you were taken from us, just wanted you to know that we think of you everyday and miss you, I know I’ve said this a million times and more, but I can’t help it, you will live in my heart forever my little boy.   Kim wrote me an email last night (remember how you pulled her up the hill at Tiger Mountain last summer?  She is still to this day, forever grateful to you!!), she wished she could take my pain away.  Perhaps my pain will never go away, but I’m sure in time, the pain will subside and get easier, but I will always miss you. 

Today I took my walk at Discovery Park,  I remember how you loved this daily ritual, pointing at the gulls, rabbits, squirrels (turtle too!) and the occasional sea otter that would cross our path and run to swim back to the water.  You watched and pointed ever-so-intently!  I also thought of all the times you used to watch me from the window in the house when I left to go some place you never took your eyes off me until I was out of your sight.  You’d watch me as I did you.  You were the best little boy in the world, I just want you to know how much you are loved and missed, I am trying to stay strong without you…..Here is a little song I heard yesterday that SO reminded me of YOU and your bravery, sweetness and the love you always gave and showed me:

‘I’d Give Anything I Own’  By ‘Bread’ , 1970s

You sheltered me from harm.
Kept me warm, kept me warm.
You gave my life to me.
Set me free, set me free.
The finest years I ever knew,
were all the years I had with you.

And I would give anything I own.
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own,
just to have you back again.

You taught me how to laugh.
What a time, what a time.
You never said too much,
but still you showed you cared.
And I knew from watching you.

Nobody else could ever know,
the part of me that can’t let go.

And I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own,
just to have you back again.

Is there someone you know,
your loving them so,
but taking them all for granted?
You may lose them one day.
Someone takes them away,
and they don’t hear the words you long to say.

I would give anything I own,
I’d give up my life, my heart, my home.
I would give everything I own,
just to have you back again;
just to touch you once again.

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A few wonderful memories of Sam…more to come

This gallery contains 15 photos.

It’s been two months since Sam’s death, I still cry everyday from losing him and in such a tragic way.  I miss him so much.

Gallery | 8 Comments

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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A great quote…..

I just came across this beautiful quote from German Short-haired Pointer Rescue, and wanted to share:

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”

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Deja Vu:There’s no contact voltage here in Vancouver, BC, CA…..

That’s exactly what the the City of Vancouver, Canada would like its citizens to believe. A man and his dog were severely shocked from a light pole last week, 1-12-11 while walking on a wet sidewalk on a downtown street. Luckily and thankfully, they were not injured or killed. Luck must be on the City of Vancouver’s side—this time.

After learning of this recent case, it is evident to me that the City of Vancouver has completely dismissed the fact that contact voltage exists in their city (I guess they have not been paying close attention to what’s been happening in Toronto, ON, CA and parts of the U.S., including neighboring city Seattle, WA) and poses serious danger to the community. The City of Vancouver is calling this incident a “freak accident”, or “isolated incident”, two phrases I am all too familiar with, dealing with my own city’s denial that such a problem existed to which is now being admitted. The City of Seattle, Seattle City Light has taken action since Sam’s death by doing safety testing on 30,000 light poles, metal plates by an expert inspection team, including Power Survey Company. So far, this team has found over 56 contact voltage issues….so much for SCL’s initial response following Sam’s death, “it was NOT stray voltage, it was an isolated incident”.

Moreover, SCL is after the fact with their safety inspections when they KNEW that contact voltage had been a problem (a report in 2009 by a man whose dog experienced a shock), but much like what the City of Vancouver is doing, chose to ignore it, UNTIL a fatality happened. It was my dog that died, a very loved, important and special dog…it could’ve been someone’s son, daughter, mother, father….

The City of Vancouver should not ignore contact voltage, they need to follow other cities’ protocol and implement a contact voltage safety program that includes inspections and monitoring to reduce, if not eliminate the problems. How about being PROACTIVE City of Vancouver, set the stage for other cities around the world and do something about this deadly hazard before it claims another life, eh?!!

Please see this link for the full story:

In addition, in 2002, Vancouver, Canada, a police dog experienced a severe shock and almost died….please see this link
to read the full details. Again, I ask, what is Vancouver, Canada waiting for? A fatality to happen before they will do something to fix this problem so that it won’t happen again? It should NEVER happen to begin with.
Please City of Vancouver, do not wait for a tragedy to happen before taking action. I miss Sam so much.

I would also like to note that it is my goal to see that the City Of Seattle maintains an ongoing contact voltage safety program with routine and regular monitoring and inspecting. Contact voltage just doesn’t go away once repaired…this is an ongoing issue that needs constant attention if we are to have safe streets and sidewalks.

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