A Boston terrier died yesterday while walking on Rector Street, seemingly from an electrical shock. The dog, named Boston Bob, was being walked by his dog-walker when he stepped on a sidewalk near a manhole. The NY Times reports the 16 pound dog "suddenly lifted his paws, yelped in pain and went limp in the dog walker’s arms." And the dog walker told a witness that Bob was bleeding after the shock.
Pet store owner Tazz Latifi tried to give the dog CPR for 20 minutes, but the Battery Park Veterinary Hospital declared him dead. Bob's owner, Beth Boyer, told the Daily News that Bob was healthy during a recent checkup. She also said the dog had been a gift from her fiance and that the dog was going to be part of their wedding. Boyer added that her roommate's cat (and Bob's playmate) had recently died, telling the Times, "This is the worst Valentine's Day."
Con Ed said they checked for stray voltage in the area, but found none. The utility also said the manhole cover didn't belong to them; the DEP, which apparently does own the manhole, says they don't think the manhole was the cause of the shock. Con Ed says that stray voltage can come and go. Boyer, though, was furious with Con Ed, telling the Daily News, "Something like this seems to happen every winter. They need some sort of solution for this."
In 2004, graduate student Jodie Lane died after being shocked in the East Village. Since then, there have been many incidents of people (here's another) and dogs being shocked. In fact, last year, a dog was electrocuted to death in Brooklyn; Con Ed initially denied they were at fault, but it turned out that they were to blame. And uptown, a dog was shocked at First Avenue near 80th. Con Ed did detect stray voltage there and repaired it.
Semi-related update: A manhole exploded in Brooklyn, causing the evacuation of a day care center. Per 1010WINS: "Con Edison says smoldering cables caused a fire in the manhole, and the resulting blast."