SARASOTA, Fla. (CBS Local) — Lynn McDermott took his dog out for a routine walk on Saturday night in Sarasota, Florida, just as it started to rain.
But tragedy struck when his Great Pyrenees, Charlie, was electrocuted.
“His walking path went right over this grate,” McDermott recalled. “As soon as his paws hit it, he’s so big, at 71 pounds, he collapsed immediately.”
Charlie’s wet paws were electrocuted as he stepped on a metal pull box lid that contained wires for a nearby light pole. Lynn and Debbie McDermott brought Charlie home just four months ago.
“He was our home, he was our family, he was the love, he was the joy,” Debbie said.
The City of Sarasota says somehow a burnt wire underground in the pull box came in contact with the metal lid, electrifying it. Following Charlie’s death, the city fixed the faulty wire and grounded the the metal lid. It also inspected similar boxes in the area.
The McDermott family hopes Charlie’s death will prevent similar tragedies.
“Nationwide, everyone needs to be aware that this manhole cover or something has potential live current or voltage coming through it,” Lynn said. “There has to be something put into place to where it’s protecting the public from outside — whether it’s human or canine.”