BPC Dogs
Battery Park City Dog Association
New York City

Electric Shock Danger!

plate coverYou may remember the news from a few years ago about Jodie Lane, the woman on the Lower East Side fatally electrocuted while walking her dog, and that even our neighborhood had a dog electrocution, as reported in the New York Times. A few years later, there was a dog death due to electrical shock on a snowy sidewalk in the East Village, and another electric shock dog death was reported in Brooklyn in late January 2022.

Well, it's that time of year again - electric shocks from poorly insulated ground wiring are not uncommon, particularly on snowy, rainy or slushy days, especially when there is salt on the ground, because both water and salt can act as a conductor.

We have not heard reports of shocks in Battery Park City itself yet this year, but we had a number of incidents a few years ago, when at least 6 dogs suffered serious electric shocks as they stepped on or near electrical box covers in BPC streets like the one pictured here.

If you notice any electric shocks in the streets or sidewalks of BPC, please call 311. Please also let us know at BPC Dogs (email us). And, for good measure, please alert the Battery Park City Authority as well (212-417-2000).

We continue to be concerned, however, that the problem may be inherent in the design and/or maintenance of these street level electrical boxes, which are scattered all over BPC.

Please avoid walking your dogs near lamp posts and street or sidewalk electrical boxes. Although the danger to dogs is most obvious, these electrified boxes are also a hazard to humans, particularly children.

Here are a few tips for avoiding electrical shocks:

  • Keep your dog away from metal fixtures, such as lampposts, grates or manhole covers. While these spots may be your pet’s favorite place to relieve him- or herself, they may also conduct hazardous electricity. Be especially careful when crossing the street, as manhole covers and electrical boxes there may be covered with ice or snow.
  • Your dog's snazzy, rubber rain boots may look good, but they won't protect your pooch from a strong current. Don’t depend on them to keep your pet safe.
  • Observe your dog’s behavior. Is your dog skittish, frightened, angry or upset for no apparent reason? These sudden behavioral changes could be an indication of electric shock.
  • If your dog is incapacitated due to shock, don’t try to touch or move your dog without protective gear. Your pooch may pass the current to you, rendering you both incapable of seeking help. Instead, call 911 immediately.

Once again, if you have had similar experiences or know of any similar or other dangers to pets in BPC, please call 311, and email your information to Paula Galloway.

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