When Lisa McKibben took her dog Sammy on a walk on Queen Anne Avenue in Seattle on Thanksgiving Day in 2010, she had no idea that salt and melting snow created the perfect environment for stray voltage leaking from a defective streetlight to electrocute her dog.
Sammy was one of many dogs nationwide that have been killed by stray voltage which occurs when exposed wiring from aging infrastructures electrifies objects around it, especially metal plates, streetlight streetlights.
Sammy stepped on a metal plate next to a streetlight with faulty wiring. The salt and melting snow acted as an efficient conductor for the stray voltage leaking that electrified the metal plate on the sidewalk.
After Sammy died, Seattle City Light eventually decided to test all its streetlights and plates in Seattle, and found 56 of them were electrified by stray voltage. SCL now tests its streetlights and plates every year and usually finds a handful give off stray voltage.
In this video, the NBC’s Jeff Rossen provides comprehensive coverage of what stray voltage is and how it presents a danger to dogs and humans. Lisa McKibben, who now lives in California, is one of the people he interviews about this dangerous problem.
You can read more about stray voltage at streetzaps.com.