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Pet tragically electrocuted on Thanksgiving Day

November 27th, 2010 by Thea

Queen Anne resident Nancy Bostdorff and her daughter, Lisa McKibbin, have just lost a beloved friend—their dog Sammy. While walking Sammy along Queen Anne Ave N on Thanksgiving Day, he was tragically electrocuted. The unpredictable accident upset his family, and inspired them to help inform residents in the hopes of preventing other animals from being killed in the same way.

“He was walking along QA Ave, near Bricco, my daughter stepped aside to let another dog pass, and moved onto the electric plate near a lamp post.  He started screaming and went into convulsions, and died.  We took him to the emergency hospital, where they gave him CPR for 30 minutes, to no avail.  Seattle PD cordoned off the street, and Seattle City Light cut power to the block to investigate.  I just don’t want anything to happen to another dog,” Nancy Bostdorff wrote. “It is so painful.”

“The metal lamp posts may be leaking electricity, or there could be faulty wiring in the power plate that is not visible to walkers. I witnessed my dog being electrocuted, needless to say, it was excruciatingly painful for him and for me to watch. 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!” Lisa wrote.

According to Lisa, electrical leakages on city streets are more common of an occurrence than most people realize.

“My mom and I would just like to spread the word out there, bring awareness to people to be extremely cautious of the possibility that the metal lamp posts on the Ave (or anywhere for that matter) could be leaking electricity, as well as steel plates on the sidewalk possibly having faulty wiring underneath the surface. We just don’t want to see any more victims, adult, child, or dog of this terrible hazard. This is a horrible horrible tragedy and should not happen to anyone else and their dogs,” she said.

Nancy and Lisa shared their story with Dr. Spencer at the Queen Anne Animal Clinic, who they say is planning to hold a meeting with fellow vets to discuss this deadly hazard. The family also filed a police incident report, which Lisa says they will be following up on this week.

“The police and Seattle City Light had shut down the power on the block and were checking the area,” she wrote. “We hope to find out if there was faulty wiring, leaking electricity, etc., next week.”

In the meantime, Nancy and Lisa offer a couple of resources on electrical leakages, termed “stray voltage”, which are unfortunately often only discovered after a pet has been lost. Read more about how to prevent your dog from becoming a victim of electrical shock on the street, and how to protect pedestrian, children and pets from such accidents.

Lisa is also starting a blog on Sammy’s behalf. “I want to cover the prevention of electrocution and dogs. I am learning not many people are aware of this, back east it has happened quite a bit, perhaps because they get much worse weather than we do, but lately we’ve been hit hard by Mother Nature,” she wrote. “Maybe together we can spread the word and save lives.” You can visit Lisa’s blog here.

Update: Seattle City Light has responded to the story here.

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