DOG OWNERS: Avoid This Stretch of West End Avenue

Dog owners, beware! Something in or under the sidewalk is causing dogs to cry out in pain after walking over it. As of writing, the majority of incidents appear to have taken place on West End Avenue between 70th and 72nd streets.

An Upper West Sider named Sarah Sauvayre took to Nextdoor to report the disturbing situation at around 8:00 a.m. on February 3.

“Anyone walking a dog this morning, avoid West End Ave. around 70th and 71st St. On the west side of the street some of the apartment buildings seem to have spread something incredibly painful for dogs. My dog was crying, and as I was trying to figure out whether she had stepped on something, two other dogs walked by and started crying as well. It seems to burn their pads. There was nothing visible at all. The sidewalk looked totally clean. It happened over an hour ago and she is still in some pain even after I washed her feet and put ointment on them.”


Pet owners in the neighborhood shared similar stories, including one on 65th and West End and another at the precise location the original poster indicated.

Another Upper West Sider told us that it happened to her French bulldog on Saturday night outside of Tip Top Shoes on 72nd between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. So the exact boundaries of the impacted area are unclear at this point.

“I saw this happen to a black lab this morning that was carrying an umbrella in its mouth and dropped it suddenly and started dancing around as if its feet were in pain. Not on a grate. It was on the west side of West End between 71st and 72nd just north of where the sidewalk bridge ends. Right across from the street construction,” wrote another dog owner.

Some suggested that the salt used to melt the snow and ice was the culprit. But the group consensus homed in on potential electrocution caused by salt and ice corroding the electrical cables below the sidewalk.

The exact cause is currently unknown. But it was reported that Con Ed was on the scene around 6:30pm and closed off the southbound lane of West End Avenue at West 72nd Street. The energy company was still present at 9:30pm.

Incidents like these make all dog owners uneasy, particularly after the heartbreaking incident in Brooklyn earlier this week where a beloved emotional support dog was killed when she stepped on an electrified metal plate.


Sarah told us this morning that her dog is doing well at home after a stressful and painful day that included a trip to the vet for x-rays. She mentioned that contacting both Con Ed and 311 was beneficial in resolving the issue. Her research also directed her to steer clear of areas where there is active construction. Sarah’s veterinarian advised pet owners to be aware of the possibility of their pets developing pulmonary edema as a result of these incidents.

Con Ed can be contacted here through chat, email, or phone. 311 can be reached through its website here or by dialing 311 from any phone.

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