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Dog dies from stepping on electrified manhole cover

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Posted at 10:07 PM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 22:07:00-04

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - A Florida family is mourning the death of their family pet. They say it was electrocuted when it stepped on a manhole cover with wet paws.

"It's just so hard," said dog owner, Debbie McDermott.

McDermott said she and her husband Lynn bought their 70-pound Great Pyrenees, Charlie, just four months ago.

"He was our home, he was our family, he was the love, he was the joy," McDermott said.

On Saturday, a routine walk turned tragic when Charlie was electrocuted when walking over a street light manhole.

The City of Sarasota, which owns the manhole, said the dog was electrocuted due to a burnt wire underground in the pull box that had come in contact with the metal lid. The wiring has been repaired and staff is performing precautionary inspections of other boxes in the area.

"He had fell to the ground, then his tail was wagging and then Lynn had to try to move him off of (it) that he realized that he got shocked and then Lynn's hand got shocked as he was moving Charlie," McDermott said. "And then Charlie started foaming at the mouth." 

She said paramedics pronounced her dog dead at the scene. Florida Power and Light said once aware of the situation, they shut off that power line until it was fixed.

"To lose your dog in four months from something that could have been - it's negligence," she said. "I feel like we should still have Charlie today."

Through all their grief, Debbie and Lynn say they hope someone can learn from this tragedy.

“The only way that we can wrap our minds around this in our hearts is to know that maybe Charlie, his legacy continues, that he’s going to save other children, human beings, anybody you know from being electrocuted, something that should not have happened,” McDermott said.

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