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Dog electrocuted by light pole after winter storm

Posted at 6:57 AM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 13:03:00-05

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa man witnessed a dog being electrocuted while walking along the street.

Alex Holder is one of many pet owners in the area near 7th and Denver in downtown Tulsa. Across the street from his apartment complex is a dog park.

“All day long there are dogs walking up and down this street," said Holder.

Last Friday, after the winter storm, he says he heard a dog yelp loudly across the street from his apartment. He said when he heard it, he dismissed it thinking a dog's paw probably stepped on the ice. But later that afternoon, he and his wife heard a second dog yelp in the same spot.

“I looked out the window and noticed there was a dog lying on the ground on the sidewalk over here," Holder remembered.

Holder said the owners were clearly upset, but from their apartment, they couldn't make sense of what was happening. A friend later told him, she was leaving the apartment complex and noticed the dog wasn't moving so she jogged across the street and asked what happened. They told her the dog peed on the pole when and started yelping and shaking, then fell over.

“Over time, we realized that the light post was actually smoking from the top and Tulsa Fire came out, the electric company came out, basically the dog had been electrocuted by stray voltage from the wiring of the light post," said Holder.

Holder said TPD, fire crews, Animal Control and PSO responded to the scene.

2 News Oklahoma reached out to the Tulsa Fire Department and Animal Control— both confirmed the dog had been electrocuted.

Just the thought of something like that happening to Bruce, Holder's dog, terrifies him.

“It’s really awful, I mean it’s terrifying, I mean I have a dog and I can’t imagine just walking down the sidewalk, and a risk like that I didn't even know existed,” Holder said.

Concerned for the safety of his dog, Holder began digging a little deeper. He found this is something that can happen with snow melting and salt getting into an electrical system.

Holder also found out that it's happened to other dogs in other states.

“As a Tulsa resident, I want to make sure the electric company is checking on the infrastructure of these lights and that dog owners are aware that, you know, when it’s snowy and icy on the ground," said Holder. "Watch out for dogs trying to go up to streetlights or walking on metal grates.”

PSO confirmed as soon as they heard about a problem crews repaired the connector that burned out in the light pole. They say the light is now safe and incidents like this are rare, but as a precaution, they are doing mechanical checks on the poles in the area.

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