Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Voltage Problem Responsible For Zapping Quite A Few Neighborhood Dogs In Front of 329 Smith Street

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On Sunday afternoon, my daughter came back from a walk and reported seeing a dog standing in front of Seersucker at 329 Smith Street with its owner. The dog, who was standing on the steel basement door leading into the restaurant's basement, was in obvious distress and was refusing to move. When the owner tried to approach her dog, she was bitten. She did not know what to do and told passers-by that her dog had never behaved so strangely before.

Just then, one of the vendors of the Greenmarket walked across the street to tell her that this was the second time that day that he had witnessed a dog in distress, standing on the exact spot.  He reported that the other owner had just picked up his dog, which seemed to resolve the situation.
My daughter and I speculated that perhaps, the steel basement door had somehow gotten electrified.

On Monday morning, I received the email below from Andrew, a local resident:
"Just wanted to let you know that a dangerous situation in the neighborhood as supposedly been fixed. As of this morning Con Ed crews were out in front of 329 Smith St. (Seersucker) and said that a stray voltage problem was fixed.For weeks if not months dog owners have been saying that their dogs were getting spooked and possibly shocked in front of this address. I called 911 and Con Ed emergency after it happened to my dog last night. 
At 5 o'clock this morning a crew was out assessing and repairing the problem.I phoned Con Ed at about 10:30 and was told that a crew would be out shortly. The crew told me that an electric feed underground was causing the problem and they were getting voltage readings on the ground and Seersucker's storefront. 
Was very happy to see the problem being fixed and that canines and humans can walk without the risk of getting shocked. I know plenty of dog owners that will be relieved. Who's to say that a child or person would not get shocked as well?"
Con Edison has erected barriers around the work site and around the steel basement door in the sidewalk.
Has this happened to your dog? Has it happened anywhere else in the neighborhood? If so, please call Con Ed emergency number 800 752-6633.

In addition, my friend Mary just sent over the link to Street Zap, which details the many ways pedestrians and their pets can get hurt by stray voltage.  The site also encourages people to report incidents.  Some of these incidents happened in and around our neighborhood. Take a look here.  Who knew!


Kate said...

I saw a dog in great distress in that spot on Sunday.
The poor dog completely freaked out and was howling and I though it had stepped on something. A few people came over to help the owner. It never occurred to me that it would have been due to an electric shock.

Katia said...

I am a bit confused as to why the owner and the staff of the restaurant did not realize that there was something wrong and called Con Ed. Obviously, they must have witnessed this happening a few times.

Lee Crespi said...

My dog collapsed in that very spot on Sunday - that must have been us that you saw Kate -
and I thought his knee had given out ... but when I brought him to my vet there was nothing wrong to be found. Mystery solved. Thank you for posting.

chance bliss said...

a friend of mine said that her border collie experienced the same thing and "always avoids walking near this place. it freaked me out," she says.

Anonymous said...

This is still happening. When my girlfriend happened to be walking our dog past the site today while talking to me on the phone, she mentioned to me that she thought the dog had just gotten a shock. She hadn't read this post or heard about this before, but I told her she was probably right, given what I'd read here. So I guess it's not yet fixed.

Katia said...

Thanks for the info. Will let people know that they should be careful at that spot.