BC Hydro service box shocks 2 dogs in Vancouver
Published Friday, December 28, 2012 6:14PM PST
Last Updated Friday, December 28, 2012 9:08PM PST
Pet owners in Vancouver are outraged after two dogs were jolted with electricity while passing a BC Hydro service box in the West End neighbourhood.
Josh Brown and Karyn Lauridsen were walking home with their two-year-old South African mastiff on Wednesday when the dog stepped in a puddle near Bute and Davie streets and fell to the ground.
“She just dropped like someone had shot her,” Brown said. “She just lied there and her eyes rolled up in her head and she was screaming.”
“I can’t even describe the sound, it was the worst sound I’ve ever heard in my life,” Lauridsen added. “It was terrifying. She’s our baby.”
The dog seized up and lost consciousness. Brown tried holding the animal, but was shocked with electricity every time he touched her.
He eventually dragged the 130-pound dog across the street by her leash to protect her.
Veterinarians told the couple that Abby most likely suffered deep cellular damage, and could experience muscle and organ deterioration down the road.
“This shouldn’t happen. You shouldn’t have to worry about this when you go for a walk,” Lauridsen said.
“I have nieces and nephews. The first thing that popped into my mind was one of them with a toy and they drop their toy in the puddle and go to pick it up. It makes me sick.”
Witnesses say another dog, a Husky, was jolted in the same spot just 10 minutes before Abby, but managed to get away from the puddle.
BC Hydro said it has never experienced a problem like this before, and is investigating to determine what went wrong.
“We immediately cordoned off the area, repairs started right away,” said spokeswoman Donna McGeachie. “Crews have actually been working through the night the last two nights. The box has now been repaired but we’re continuing to monitor it and keep an eye on it.”
McGeachie said humans wouldn’t be affected by the charged puddle if wearing shoes, but animals don’t have such protection.
The company has yet to determine the cause of the problem, but said it has replaced a number of parts in the service box and will be inspecting them for issues.
BC Hydro has also implemented a new inspection program for service boxes in the area.
Similar situations have been reported in Toronto, where two dogs were killed by electricity last year, but BC Hydro insists it has a different system and that the public is safe.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s St. John Alexander