Dog Shocked Walking on Metal PG&E Sidewalk Grate

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy
KTVU in San Fransisco is reporting that Mickey, a Bloodhound, was recently shocked when he walked across a metal grate that covers Pacific Gas & Electric’s underground network in downtown Oakland.

Although rare, it is not unheard of for animals and even people to receive a jolt walking across these metal grates, which are common in urban areas. The grates are part of PG&E’s underground network, which provides high voltage power to customers without the necessity of power poles. The underground vaults typically contain transformers which step up or step down the power to the voltage required by customers. They are normally very safe, but rainwater intrusion or customer tampering can cause the metal grates or manhole covers to become energized.

PG&E is investigating, but says their initial investigation points to tampering. They say an extremely low voltage wire was placed in the box last week to provide temporary power to a construction site. The grate should not have become energized from the work done by the company’s line mechanics.

Shubha Ramani says she was out walking with Mickey, and as soon as the dog’s paws hit the metal grate, he began yelping and flailing. Concerned for the dog’s safety, Adrian Morales came out of a nearby building to help, but was himself shocked when he touched the dog’s metal collar and later wound up in the emergency room.

Ramani took Mickey to a nearby veterinary hospital, where he was found to have a little fluid in his lungs. If that’s all that happened, he is one lucky dog! He was treated with oxygen and IV fluids for a day or two and is now resting comfortably at home.

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Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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