February 23rd, 2007
NYC DOG OWNERS: TIPS TO KEEP PETS SAFE FROM STRAY VOLTAGEby ASPCA
The death of a one-year old Boston terrier who walked over an icy New York City manhole cover last Wednesday has raised concerns about the phenomenon of stray voltage. Although the cause of death has not yet been determined, and Con Edison officials haven’t confirmed that the cover or other nearby metal objects had been electrified, the dog’s sudden death could be the latest in a series of episodes in which pets and their handlers have been harmed by stray voltage—a hazard of wet, winter weather.The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you avoid potentially hazardous areas, and advice on what to do if your pet has suffered from electric shock:
- – Steer your dog away from metal fixtures, such as lampposts, grates or manhole covers that may potentially conduct electricity. If your dog avoids certain areas, that could be an indicator that the area is unsafe.- Invest in rubber-soled dog boots, which may also offer protection from other hazards.- Watch your dog’s behavior. If she appears skittish, frightened, angry or upset without warning, this could be an indication of electric shock.
– If your dog is unable to move due to shock, do not attempt to move her without protective gear. Use a nonconductive material such as wood or plastic, and take care to cover your own hands and skin. Remember, the electric shock may injure you as well.
– If you come across an area made dangerous by stray voltage, it’s best to call the city’s 311 service.