Dog gets shocked from Oakland street grate

An Oakland woman was horrified to watch her dog get shocked from a metal grate while on a walk on Harrison Street.
April 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
A dog in Oakland nearly died after stepping onto a PG&E sidewalk grate that had electricity flowing through it. The bloodhound's owner wants to know how this happened.

A solid metal grate on Harrison Street shocked Mickey. It is safe to the touch now, but on Friday the strength of the current had the 110 pound howling and yelping in pain.

A small bandage on the dog's right leg is the only visible sign of the horror Mickey experienced. Shubha Ramani says the image of her bloodhound's pain will haunt her forever.

"Live current literally went right through his paws," said Ramani. "He went into this ballistic freak out of just collapsing and flailing and screaming and yelping and poop flying everywhere. He was biting his tongue and he was having a serious seizure."

As Ramani stood on the Harrison Street sidewalk paralyzed by fear, a man heard her screams and came running.

"He risked his life to pull Mickey's collar off of him and push him off the grid," said Ramani.

Mickey spent the night at a local veterinary clinic. The lethargic dog Ramani brought home Saturday morning isn't like the 2-year-old she raised.

"I want that obnoxious, high-maintenance puppy that was literally very difficult to control, I want him back," said Ramani.

Ramani says PG&E offered to pay Mickey's $3,000 vet bill, but she doesn't feel that's enough.

"They can't bring old Mickey back. No amount of money can fix that," said Ramani.

The company released a statement saying in part, "Our preliminary investigation shows that someone outside PG&E may have illegally accessed our equipment, resulting in an unsafe situation. We will conduct a full investigation."

"Shouldn't they lock it down? Secure it down so that it can't be tampered with?" said Ramani.

The incident has other Oakland dog owners worried.

"Right now, I pay attention to broken glass a lot, but I would never have thought to watch out for a grate," said dog owner Sarah Mealor.

Mickey isn't supposed to exercise for three weeks; hopefully time will help him heal.

"I'm surprised he's alive," said Ramani.


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