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Sarasota dog dies after being electrocuted after stepping on utility box during evening walk

Posted: 6:10 PM, Sep 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-27 00:00:15Z
Dog dies after being electrocuted by utility box
Dog dies after being electrocuted by utility box
Dog dies after being electrocuted by utility box

SARASOTA, Fla. — Lynn and Debbie McDermott walked their Great Pyrenees puppy, Charlie, down Dade Avenue every day.  

“It was a walk that we have done many times before,” said Debbie McDermott.

Lynn was walking Charlie past a street light utility box in the rain on Saturday when Charlie was electrocuted.

“He collapsed immediately and his whole body covered this grate, he’s just going into convulsions,” said Lynn McDermott.

She tried to rescue him.

"My hand touched this grate and it shocked me," Lynn McDermott said. "And then I realize he was being electrocuted and by that time I just tried to scoot him off of there and by then he was foaming out the mouth."

Charlie died shortly after touching the grate.

"We are just heartbroken that we don't have him anymore he was our son," she said.

The City of Sarasota maintains the utility box. City leaders say an underground wire got loose, touched the metal and made the box electric.

Public Works Director Doug Jeffcoat released the following statement about the incident:

"The City’s after-hours response team responded to a call around 10:50 p.m. Saturday regarding the street lights on Fruitville Road near Dade Avenue. Upon inspection, the metal pull box lid for the FDOT lights had become electrified. The power was de-energized, and it was determined there was a burnt wire underground in the pull box that had come in contact with the metal lid. From the street view, there was no indication of a faulty system. The wire has been repaired along with grounding the metal lid, and staff are performing precautionary safety inspections on other boxes in the vicinity.”

The McDermott’s are hoping this doesn’t happen to any other family.

"This story has to get out so others are aware for your pets and children,” said Lynn McDermott.