Dog electrocuted during walk

May 25, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
A woman says her dog was electrocuted when she took her pet on a walk in Queens. And parents in the neighborhood now worry the next victim could be a child.The owner of a Siberian husky named Sebastian claims the dog was killed by stray voltage from a lamp post in Long Island City.

Eyewitness News reporter Nina Pineda has the exclusive story.

The city was at the scene Monday morning to replace the entire lamppost from base to bulb. The move came after a weekend tragedy, in which a woman, walking her dog, passed the post. The dog was shocked to death.

"This is one of him in the kitchen, upside down, waiting for a belly rub," owner Cecelia Sing said, showing a picture of her beloved dog. "There was nothing wrong with my baby."

Out for his nighttime walk, Sebastian made contact with the base of the lamppost and died instantly.

"As soon as he got to the lamppost, he jumped and he dropped," she said. "And he starting shaking wildly, and I'm like, 'Go on. Get up, Sebastian, get up,' And he wouldn't move. And he just shook. And then, all of the sudden, he stopped shaking and he was dead. My dog was dead."

The horrific incident left Sing shaken and devastated. She and neighbors frantically called ConEd's emergency hotline, but so far, no one has explained what went wrong.

"The past two days, they've been out here day and night," Sing said. "But no one has called me to tell me 'I'm sorry your dog is gone.'"

"I came through here early this morning, and I saw that there was a lightpost being replaced," neighbor Jesus Burgos said.

Eyewitness News contacted the Department of Transportation. Sidewalk lampposts are under its jurisdiction, while ConEd handles electricity up to the post only.

A spokesperson told us, "We are not able to confirm if it was ConEd or DOT...there was stray voltage, but we don't know how much at this point."

"They never got here, and it was too late for Sebastian," neighbor Steve Morena said. "And I hope they get here before it's too late for the rest of us."

Now, a neighborhood fixture is gone, and Sing is blaming herself for crossing the street so that her beloved boy wouldn't bother the cats on one side of the street. She had no idea Sebastian would be electrocuted on the other.

"Please, I need answers," she said. "I want to know what happened, and I don't want this to happen to anybody else. It could happen to a person, another animal, a kid."

DOT officials say they should have more answers later this week.

To help the owner with burial costs and an autopsy, click here