Watch where you walk

Neglected wiring beneath city streets poses an electrocution threat to dogs, and sometimes people, as detailed in this LA Times article (registration required):

During the snowy months of late winter, when salt mixes with slush, electric current escaping through uninsulated wires can be conducted up to the street through manholes, streetlights, service boxes, grates or cracks in the sidewalk.

Because dogs’ pads make contact with the ground, they can feel shocks that people don’t. They might react by yelping or avoiding certain spots on the sidewalk. One veterinarian quoted in the article has seen dogs with burns on their pads.

Two years ago, a woman was killed while walking her dogs in the East Village. Many other people have received nasty shocks.

This blogger has re-published an AP story that gives more, including a bit about what municipalities and power companies are doing to address the so-called “stray voltage” issue. (NYC and Boston are the riskiest cities, btw.)

More info and links on Daily Slope and Feministe.

The LA Times piece mentions says there are blogs that post information about known hotspots, but I haven’t been able to find them . . .

[tags] dogs, stray voltage [/tags]

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