Guide Dogs Shocked by Trains, Reps Say

February 6, 2008 | By Matt Van Hoven | Category: Care & Safety | 817 comments
Tags: dogs, care & safety

PORTLAND, Or. – According to The Associated Press, a number of guide dogs are being affected by mild electric shocks as they wait on wet public train platforms.

TriMet representatives say they have no idea why dogs are getting shocked, but as a result, the highly trained canines’ ability to perform diminishes.

One guide dog owner said she witnessed her dog stumble from a shock as they boarded a train, but that was the most severe physical reaction that’s been reported.

For most dogs, forgetting how to sit and stay is an easy enough remedy to fix. However, training a guide dog costs upwards of $50,000 – a cost that falls on train management. And should a dog need to go back to school for retraining, its owner loses not only a helping hand, but a close friend for that period of time.

About 10 years ago, TriMet experienced a similar situation, where dogs that stepped on the train tracks suffered memory loss after getting lightly zapped.

TriMet representatives say that problem has been fixed by rail capacitors that soak up the extra voltage. Nonetheless, the problem has arisen again. Since Portland is no stranger to rain, resolving the issue should be an immediate need for the city.

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Comments (481)

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5 years ago

This is so unfortunate. I hope they figured out a solution.

Good Point | Reply ›

Connie  C.

Connie C.
6 years ago

Gosh, couldn't they at least put rubber matting up the stairs and down the aisles? So unfair to these animals who lives are dedicated to helping their masters! I hope they get it resolved for their sake.

Good Point | Reply ›

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