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March 26, 2006

Boston, The City That Electrocutes Dogs

But not killers.

The city will begin regularly inspecting electrical lines and junction boxes in an effort to eradicate stray voltage hazards like those that have killed several dogs, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday.

Starting this month, city departments -- including public works, transportation, and fire -- will begin a program of inspections that aims to survey a third of the city's electrical lines each year, adding up to a complete inspection of the city's electrical infrastructure every three years. The inspection schedule is based on recommendations issued by a city-appointed task force on electrical safety in July.

The city is also replacing metal housings on Boston's 30,000 traffic light control boxes with fiberglass covers, which don't conduct electricity.

Stray voltage has killed three dogs since 2000, including a 1-year-old boxer that was electrocuted in March while being walked by his 13-year-old owner. It also became an issue in the mayoral campaign when challenger Maura A. Hennigan accused Menino of neglecting the city.

Menino yesterday portrayed the program as an example of quick action by the city.

''When the issue of stray voltage was brought to the city's attention, we immediately took action," Menino said in a statement.

Quick action. "We immediately took action."

The first dog was electrified in 2000, and there have been two other since.

Inspections will begin "later this month."

Liberal government. Is there anything it can't do?

Thanks to cutaway.

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posted by Ace at 02:44 PM

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