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Home   Deal   News   Article

Dog owner Sam Stanley receives £2k payout after loose wire electrocutes pet in Sandwich puddle

25 January 2014
by Beth Robson

Sam Stanley’s border collie cross Bonnie walked into a puddle on Boxing Day, looked back at her owner, and dropped down dead during a family stroll from Sandwich to Worth.

The image will remain with Miss Stanley for ever and the ordeal not only ruined her Christmas but has impacted on her dog walking business.

Bonnie the border collie

Bonnie the border collie

UK Power Networks agreed the payment with Miss Stanley, 23, but the firm has not admitted liability.

Instead, they sent her flowers with a note attached saying: “We are sorry for your loss.”

Miss Stanley said: “They could have offered me £2 million but I would rather have my dog back.”

Bonnie was given to her as a pup when she was just 14. Miss Stanley said: “She was my life.

“I have no doubt the only reason UK Power Networks were so keen to get in touch with me was because the Mercury was writing a story. It could have been any of the other dogs or a person that walked in that puddle.”

The cable went along the road and into the puddle, electrocuting Bonnie

The cable went along the road and into the puddle, electrocuting Bonnie

The power cable came loose from a telegraph pole on a section of The Street in Worth, close to Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, during the storm on Christmas Eve.

Vernon Bloomfield, who lives in The Street, phoned UK Power Networks hourly because it was swishing and snaking in the wind and warned them that something terrible could happen.

But when the organisation’s assessor turned up at 1pm on Christmas Eve he said the live cable was not a priority.

It was when it hit the puddle and rested in there that it became deadly.

One of Miss Stanley’s three dogs tried to go to Bonnie and was paralysed. She managed to revive her and rush her to the duty vet in Canterbury.

The danger to life warning on the telegraph pole where Bonnie the border collie cross was killed

The danger to life warning on the telegraph pole where Bonnie the border collie cross was killed

The payment will go some way to covering her £500 costs, but Miss Stanley said it will never bring Bonnie back.

“The whole thing is made so much worse because it could have been avoided,” she said.

“They could have offered me £2 million but I would rather have my dog back” - Sam Stanley

A statement from UK Power Networks said: “UK Power Networks was very concerned to hear of an incident on December 26 resulting, sadly, in the death of one dog and injuries to another, following damage to overhead power lines caused by the severe storms.

“The owner of the dogs has accepted an ex-gratia payment which was made by UK Power Networks without any admission of liability.

“We would stress that safety is a top priority within UK Power Networks and that this was an extremely rare occurrence.”

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