CHICAGO (CNN) – “In a split second, he was spread eagle, all the way down, belly partly on the manhole cover, completely on the ground screaming. I have never heard him scream like that,” said dog owner Jeff Fines.
Fines’ 4-year-old dog Earl was screaming because he says Earl had just stepped on an electrified manhole cover. And the engineer knew it because of a tell-tale feeling. Fines said, “As soon as I grabbed him, I could feel electricity running through my body, and I knew what was happening.”
He knew what was happening because this isn’t the first time. This dog was severely injured just last month when it was shocked for as long as 10 minutes in Lakeview. And a dog in the Fulton Market area suffered the same fate late last year when it put its bare paws on an electrified manhole cover.
Fine said he fears a child could be next. “When the current went through my body, I’m like 190 pounds, a very healthy guy, my body can handle that. Imagine it’s a child, someone who’s elderly, someone who’s frail, who can’t handle it. It could’ve been far worse,” said Fine.
Earl is doing fine. He has a blister on his paw and some burn marks on his belly. But Fine says his Jack Russell Terrier sustained those injuries in a second or two. Fearing that it could have been much worse, he called 311, spoke with police and had a conversation with his Alderman’s office.
Fines said “I want this to stop, you know, I want the city and construction companies and contractors to be aware of the dangers they pose to dogs and kids.”
As of Saturday, there’s been no comment from the Chicago Department of Transportation.