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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 15, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Juneau woman seeks answers after pug electrocuted on sidewalk

The Associated Press

JUNEAU — A Juneau woman, whose dog was electrocuted on a city sidewalk earlier this month, is seeking answers about the incident.

Cheryl Buchanan was walking her dog, Siri, when the 3 ½-year-old pug stepped on an electrically charged junction box near a construction site downtown. A junction box encloses the junction of electric wires and cables. This one had a metal lid over it.

“It happened so fast, it was like a minute maybe,” Buchanan, told the Juneau Empire. Two men across the street ran over to help.

“One man bent over to pick her up, and he jumped up and said, ‘Wow! Did you see that? I got shocked,’” she said. “So he couldn’t pick her up. He took off his jacket and wrapped it around her to be able to pick her up. But she was already gone.”

The city’s risk manager, who is investigating liability, said the investigation could be concluded by early next week.

City officials have said they fixed the immediate problem with the electrically charged street lighting junction box, which is city property, but did not know why it was left charged. A similar incident happened in Seattle in 2010.

Buchanan also has questioned why she was handcuffed by police at the scene for threatening or intimidating an officer. She said she “can be a real smart mouth” and was upset. But she said she wasn’t a threat. She was not arrested and is not facing charges.

Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Erann Kalwara said she could not discuss why Buchanan was handcuffed. But she spoke to general circumstances in which an officer might do that that, such as when someone is agitated or not listening and their behavior may put someone in danger.

An Animal Control officer who arrived on scene obtained permission to take Siri’s remains for a necropsy. Buchanan was waiting for the remains to be returned.

She said it is family tradition to bury pets in the yard with a ceremony.

Related: More stories and features about pets

Comments | More in General news | Topics: dog electrocuted, Juneau

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