Dogs are getting shocked on Harrison Street

A couple of readers wrote to tell me that there’s a stretch of sidewalk on Harrison Street that’s been electrocuting dogs recently — they have woken up to howls and cries, and last night, it looks like ConEd brought in a crew to try to fix it. They were responding to a report of a dog being shocked on a service box cover in front of 17 Harrison.

M. wrote to say that a patch of the sidewalk on the southside between Hudson and Greenwich had a note on it recently — “Your dog might be sensitive to this sidewalk.” And another neighbor said he walked his Vizsla over that part of the sidewalk last week and his dog almost jumped into his arms and would not stop crying.

This from ConEd: “This is called contact voltage. It is most likely to occur after a snowstorm, as the road salt and melting snow wash into the underground electric delivery system. The salty water – which is great conductor of electricity – can make contact with the copper inside the electric cables and bring current up to the street.

“We regularly scan our system and make a repair when we detect contact voltage. Since that program began in 2004, confirmed shocks from Con Edison equipment have decreased about 90 percent.”

So it’s still something to — somehow — watch out for. A dog was killed in Greenpoint three days ago when it walked over a metal plate — a street lamp had been removed from that exact spot, and the piece of steel over the hole was hot, carrying electric current. A man trying to help the dog was also shocked, but not injured.

And I am still haunted by this story from 2004, when a woman was killed in the East Village after she touched her dogs, who were being electrocuted by a metal plate on the road. To this day I don’t walk on wet manhole covers.


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  1. OMG I heard it last night but couldn’t see anything from my balcony. It sounded like torturing an animal.

  2. Just to add to my previous comment earlier which disappeared…. I hope dog and dog walker/owner are OK.

    What I wrote was that I heard this terrible sound outside last night and ran to my balcony at IPN. I didn’t see anything just the awful sound I hope I never hear again.

  3. Happened to my dog while walking him a few days ago. No yelp but he jumped and ran faster than he ever has over that spot.

  4. It happened to my 2 dogs. We didn’t know what it was a first. My husband came home and said one of my dogs laid on Harrison and didn’t move. He thought it was the salt. Then the other day I took them out pasty Harrison and the other one cried. Someone who owned the building was outside and told me he was calling Con Edison and its been happening. Thank goodness they came.
    very scary.

  5. As a dog owner, this is my biggest fear especially after seeing the Greenpoint incident on local news.

  6. This is really scary. I also heard of a woman who walks an unleashed dog around the neighborhood at night and the dog has attacked leashed dogs on two different occasions recently. I was told she had “wild blonde hair” and her dog is a brown dog that is “pretty big”. Sorry I don’t know more but maybe some other people do and can provide info. I was also told that at least one of the dog owners had filed a report with the police because he was also bitten in the fracas trying to protect his dog. Scary stuff.

    • @Elizabeth. That woman’s name is Toni and her dog’s name is Talia. I believe she’s had mandatory training for the dog but I’ve still seen it attacking dogs and often goes after mine. I typically avoid her if I see her ahead and have seen many other people with dogs do the same. She frequents the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood, dog in tow, and has been kicked out of a few. She lets the dog off the leash often or isn’t paying attention. This is a case where its definitely the owner’s fault.