City receiving reports of dogs possibly being 'electrically shocked' while walking on Lake View sidewalk

Questions are swirling about what may be causing injuries to dogs on a stretch of sidewalk on the Northeast corner of Orchard Avenue and Diversey Parkway in Lakeview.  

The city has received several reports of dogs possibly being electrically shocked while being walked.  

While nothing has been confirmed, the situation has prompted responses from both CDOT and ComEd.

"We walked out of our apartment, and we heard this dog screaming in this intersection, and it was really unclear what was going on," said nearby resident and dog owner Jensen Byrd, who says she witnessed the first incident after Chicago's first major snowfall earlier this month.

"[Wednesday] morning, I went back outside, I was going to Trader Joe's to get breakfast, and the same exact thing was happening in that spot," Byrd said.

Similar to the first incident, Byrd describes a dog shrieking in pain, and the dog's owner traumatized.  

"At one point she was like, 'I'm not sure if I'm going crazy, but I felt a weird vibration, or almost like electricity coming off the sidewalk,'" Byrd said.

Several similar complaints sent CDOT crews out to investigate, along with ComEd, who, as of yet, haven't found anything wrong. 

In a statement, ComEd said, "ComEd was onsite [Wednesday] at the intersection of Diversey and Orchard to investigate and found all electrical equipment is working properly."


"We walk on this part of the sidewalk literally twice a day every day. Never had any issues," said Jai, a dog owner. 

Over the years, several cities have reported incidents of so-called "stray-voltage" impacting pedestrians and dogs, exacerbated by wet pavement, but so far there is no evidence of that in this case.

And while someone did post a flier warning dog owners not to walk here, it's since been removed and the stretch is not blocked.

"I'm kind of rattled that this is being dealt with so casually after what I saw. It was really disturbing," said Byrd. 

Ald. Tom Tunney's office is aware of the situation. 

So far, there have been no reports of any permanent injuries to any dogs or people.  

CDOT will be back out Friday to follow up.