Stray voltage shocks dogs in Brooklyn

Elizabeth Nyce was walking her Siberian husky Marvin home from the dog park in her Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood this week when she says suddenly the dog began to freak out.

"All of a sudden, I didn't see anything, we were just on the pavement, he collapses," she said. "He starts screaming, like in pain."

It happened on Lafayette Street near Throop Avenue on what appeared to be just a wet section of the sidewalk.

"I was terrified," Nyce said. "I thought he was going to die, he was shaking, He would not move off the snow."

Luckily, 9-month-old Marvin was OK, though very shaken up. Turns out he was zapped by stray voltage, which Con Edison says can happen this time of year after a big snowstorm.

Another dog owner wrote on Reddit that his pup was also shocked near the same spot. Nyce said a neighbor told her it has happened to multiple dogs in recent days.

"Who thinks that walking down the sidewalk your dog will get electrocuted?" she said. "I don't know what that did to him. I'm really concerned."

Con Ed apologized and said the source of the shocks is "an abandoned electric service," which has since been deactivated.

A Con Ed spokesperson explained in a statement: "After periods of snow and ice, we may see an uptick in reports of shocks and energized equipment. We conduct stray voltage patrols regularly and our aim is to provide safe, reliable service."

While the shocks may come as an unwelcome surprise to many dogs and their owners, they are nothing new. Last year Con Ed recorded 21 instances of shocks from stray voltage, down substantially from 59 in 2010.

Anyone who suspects stray voltage should call 800-75-CONED.