Owner trying to figure out what’s shocking her dog

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O'FALLON, MO (KTVI)-- An O'Fallon, Missouri resident is trying to solve a mystery. Her dogs are being shocked in and around her home and she's trying to figure out why.

The pet owner says she's conducted research online, has considered every possibility and has come to one conclusion that may be causing the problem.

Mandy Wissman believes the water meter reading device in her front yard is shocking her dogs.

The animals wear collars that work with an invisible fence that surrounds the perimeter of her home.

Wissman believes the water meter is transmitting electrical pulses that are affecting her pets' collars.

She placed them on the floor to show how they react in every room of her home where water lines run.

Wissman says her animals are shocked inside and outside of her house, wherever there are water pipes.

When Wissman called the city to voice concern about the water meter an official contacted the manufacturer of the water meter device.

“We found out essentially that whatever is interfering with her dog collar system, it cannot possibly be our water meters,” said Tom Drabelle, Communications Director City of O’Fallon. “Our system uses a specifically dedicated FCC radio frequency which means it is completely separate from all of those public systems that may be interfering with her system.”

Despite that, Wissman no longer wants the water meter reading device.

The manufacturer of the water meter device released a statement saying in part “That there is no aspect of the technology that would cause a shock, such as what is inherent in an invisible fence designed to keep pets in yard.”

O’Fallon made it clear it will check the device to make sure it is functioning properly.

40 comments

  • Shaniqua Jefferson

    Honey, it could be them extra terrestrial things bothering your dog.
    I would watch out from gettin’ abducted and probed by them big eyed creatures.
    That dog is warning you !

  • ricki

    Really Shaniqua, I think this is horrible and the city doesn’t want to take responsibility. Remove the box and see if it continues to happen! if it quits then we know….its the box. Why are they afraid to prove its not their fault?! Probably cause they will have to spend money to replace them. What if it effects more things like pace makers?? then I guess it would be a bigger issue?

    • Nannie of 4 Cuties

      Great point Ricki! Why is the City of O’Fallon afraid to send someone by to do a quick check. I’ll bet they’d send someone right over if it were disconnected by the owner. It’s sad to see how the City of O’Fallon has changed over the years, there was a time you would have called and gotten service because they were concerned. I guess these folks don’t live in one the “important” subdivision in south O’Fallon. Just my opinion.

  • Jo

    Oh my god, RF frequencies are disbursed via the airwaves, they are not carried by water so I am not sure why the owner thinks the rooms that have water in them is relevant. If, and I mean if, the transmitters were on the same frequency it would be the whole front yard, or five feet away or ten, but it wouldn’t follow the water lines. Those dogs you showed running around in front would be twitching.

    Has she shut the system down? Does it still happen? The collars are receivers so you can shut the system down and they will still receive he signal if the water meter is sending a signal.

    Is it a slow news night? Why is this news? Makes me wonder what our world is coming to that every hair brained idea is reported by the news.

    • Jeremy

      It is picking up the signal from the fence and sending it through the water pipes in the house. Doesn’t shock them everywhere just where they walk over where water lines are running through sub floor. That’s exactly why we want them to turn it off to see if it stops because it was never a problem until the new meters were installed

      • Jo

        That is simply not possible! It is a RF signal, it cannot be carried via water, it is not electrical! I am sorry you don’t understand science but your theory simply is not possible. You are speaking of a non conductive RF signal. That is why it can be set to go so far from the wire and that distance is on both sides of the wire. It just goes outward, equally, from where it is being transmitted, It seems quite clear whoever installed the fence did it wrong. Contact them, it was you, contact the company you purchased it from.

        It is just not not not NOT possible that it is your water meter. Your attitude in the video is odd. Why go after the water company with a half baked theory before making sure the system is properly installed and functioning properly? You should do the chore yourself or pay the money to have your equipment checked before going to the media.

      • Jo

        Does any part of your transmitter or wire come in contact with your copper pipes? In theory if YOUR system is improperly installed or malfunctioning it could use the copper pipes to transmit a signal. YOUR transmitter would have to be physically connected to your water pipes.

      • Diane

        Please call us, Dog Guard of St. Louis at 636-397-3323. We do underground fencing and think we know the problem. we run into this all the time.

    • Ken

      Sorry to tell you,”JO”, but while the water may not be conducted much of the RF signal, the copper pipes certainly could, particularly if a short circuit exists between the invisible fence antenna and the water line. Since the water company recently installed new equipment, their dimwits probably damaged the invisible fence.

      • Jo

        “Ken” perhaps if you had bothered to read my other response I said that! It would still be an issue that the homeowners improperly installed the fence. Have you actually seen them install one of those water meter transmitters? Ever seen one up close? I have one on my meter, it is a self contained unit no where near the wires(antenna as you want to call it) that run around their yard. They could have done the worst job on earth installing the meter reader but it still would not have caused this issue because the meter is not on the fence line and they work within the well. They drill a hole in the cap, attach the transmitter, connect a small wire to the contacts on the meter.

        By the way, since you felt the need to put my name in quotes I assume you want to believe I work for the water company? Nope, I am an accountant, completely different industry. I just happen to have had a fence like this and actually researched it before I installed someone that shocks my dogs! Shame everyone doesn’t do that.

  • Tyler

    I use to work for a for a water utility, and personally installed thousands of transmitters like the ones in her yard. They use a dedicated frequency, and didn’t even transmit a signal until they were “woken up” by the electronic reader we used. I think it is a safer bet that the problem is with her electric fence system.

  • middleman

    I like a nice fence to keep my dogs in the yard. I had a neighbor who trained her dog to stay in her yard. Many times I watched Heidi chase squirrels right to the edge of her yard and stop dead in her tracks. She loved to chase the UPS truck as it turned past their corner lot. She stayed in her yard, but ran from one end to the other until the truck past their property. One time a woman driving past saw the dog running inside her yard keeping up with the UPS truck, and called animal control. The men came and saw that the fence did not go around the whole yard. My neighbor tried to explain that Heidi was trained, but they would not believe her. I said, “Why don’t you test her?” They did everything they could to lure her out of the yard, but she wouldn’t do it. She was friendly, but would not leave that yard. The men finally were convinced and left. Later my neighbor told me how shocked and worried my suggestion to test Heidi made her. But I had seen Heidi time and time again stop at her property border, constrained by love.

    • Nannie of 4 Cuties

      Really? These people live in a subdivision where dogs should be able to roam in their own yards, not in the city where dogs have to be walked on leashes. Dogs love to run and play with their owners and children.

    • Nannie of 4 Cuties

      Ashley, fences aren’t allowed unless you have a pool. HOAs have made it nearly impossible for dog owners to allow their dogs to run free within the boundaries of their own yard, hence all the underground fences.

  • Ameren UE problem?

    Last weekend I received a frantic call from my renters. All of the power went out and fire, smoke, and sparks were erupting from the middle of the front yard. Ameren came out and restored power but refused to provide an explanation for what happened. Whatever happened there was enough current running underground that it finally broke through and erupted in so much smoke it filled the house causing the renters to call the fire department. I left a golf ball sized hole deep into the ground in the front yard. Still trying to get a straight answer out of Ameren. This occurred in St. Peters and both communities have underground power lines. I don’t know if this is relevant but I would sure give Ameren a call and have them come out and investigate.

  • Kirsten

    This happened to our dog. It was because our neighbors invisible fence was on the same frequency as ours. Once we changed the frequency of ours the problem went away. Worth talking to your neighbors

  • laura

    That dog should not have that collar on; no dog owner should have an invisible fence. They are awful, cruel and not effective for the safety of your dog. Get a real fence.

  • r walters

    Jo,
    As I have been reading through all of these comments, you seem to portray yourself as a very educated individual (for this I am glad). However, it’s too bad you let your arrogance get in the way in learning anything about common courtesy or respect towards others and their concerns and or comments. Sure hope you feel better about yourself knowing that you think you have made all else feel dumb. Here is my applaud to you on a job well done. Keep up the negative comments and the belittling of others!! Perhaps next time you could find another way to express your knowledge and opinions without such rudeness. Remember, not everyone holds the same degree of knowledge as you like to think you do, but that does not mean that they are any less of a person. Have a great day!!

    • Jo

      I started out simply saying what they think happened could not have. Because it cannot. Once a RF signal is broadcast it can only be picked up by a receiver on the same frequency. Even if the water meter was on the same frequency it is only programmed to receive and respond to a command to send information back. It is just not programmed to take a signal and rebroadcast it. It is also dormant until the signal to send is sent.

      I offered some trouble shooting ideas. They responded and yes I said again there is just no way. Yes I questioned why this wasn’t discussed with their fence company before going after the water company and the news. Perhaps I should not have but I actually wanted to know. Although I don’t see how, other than grounding their transmitter to a water pipe, the wire could cross a pipe I suggested looking for a wire in contact with their pipes. Then “Ken” got rather snotty with me and yes I got snotty back.

      I was trying to be helpful but I got frustrated. I guess I am human. It is just if my fence was malfunctioning I would rather have solutions, not people blowing sunshine while I chase my tail. It isn’t the water meter so why shouldn’t people encourage them to move on from that theory.

    • Come on now.

      I believe you meant to say “applause” – “applaud” is a verb. And this whole article is nothing short of un-researched asinine rambling, so I don’t understand why you’re against calling it out as such.

  • JayHobeSound

    I wonder if any part of the electric fence is touching a water pipe under the yard? The buried ‘fence’ sends a signal to the dog collars so I wonder if somehow the pipes are acting as an extension of the electric fence?

  • bob

    well use to be a lot of things were grounded to the water pipes if the dog fence is grounded to it then that might be the problem, if the dog fence has a short it would through it back at the water lines.

  • Elizabeth

    Let me get this straight….it’s ok for HER to shock the dogs, just not anyone or anything else. Did I,get that right? Clearly it’s not the SHOCKING that bothers her, just the source. She’s a hypocrite.

  • Mandy

    The fence and collars have been replaced, if you watched the story. The fence was installed years before the meters without issue- but obviously we’ve considered that if we’ve replaced them.
    They’re not cruel if your dogs don’t get shocked- and our dogs don’t (or shouldn’t) get shocked because we’ve trained them to stay inside the perimeters of the fence. An invisible fence only sends a shock if the dog crosses the ACTUAL WIRE (or encounters a frequency interference) while wearing the collar, they only get a BEEP if close to wire. This means there shouldn’t be any other shock occurring. So because the dogs are trained not to cross the wire, they don’t get shocked.
    We’ve researched every avenue. Very thoroughly. Willing to suggestions, but nothing is impossible, & many things run at varying levels outside of the stated frequency. And have interference. It very well could pick up signal and send it through. The fence is installed properly. We’ve spoken with professionals who see this frequently.
    Additionally, these meters pose numerous health risks as well as many other reported issues (fires, etc), and this particular brand has been banned in numerous places across the country. These dogs clearly like to run and play throughout the yard- staking them in place isn’t fair to them!
    I have taken the collars off and marked every location where the collars beep and vibrate/shock (you can see & hear it happening) with painters tape- guess what is the only consistent factor? Water pipes! Did anyone actually read the article or understand that you get little or NO time to show everything you’ve done and all of your documented research? Why not just unplug the meter and see if stops? That’s all I asked. O’Fallon’s response was that, “it’s nothing personal.” This is very personal. Throw it out sounds simple until the kids watch their dogs get loose and have a car hit them or worse! Come on.

  • t

    the concern should be the actual plastic meter…it is a mag flow meter, that creates a magnetic field and when water flows through the field in creates a voltage…could this voltage be traveling on the line….well yes.

  • Rob

    I’d locate a Licensed Ham Radio “Amature Radio Operator ” class Advanced or Extra class licensee,. Have him use an Ossilliscope or Spectum analizeser,. with a RF Freqency reader / detector ,. find out what frequencees these transmitters are using.. both the meter and the Dog Collers are on.. it could be the collers are accepting Spurious RF signals from the meter or another sorce.. like your WIFI systems for the internet ,. when changeing to another coller system make certin they are far apart from the collers “” Recivers / Reciving Freqency ” this might cure the problem .. now if the meter is and confrimed to be emmiting harmful Spurious Transmissions ,. You can report “complaine” to the city and manufacture to correct this problem,. and allow in your Email and real snail mail warn them If they don’t corrrect or fix there systems errors of emmiting harmful and Spurious Transmissions that you will persue the matter by Submitting a Complaint to the FCC Your city/county Goverment I beleave has some type of License from the FCC for there wireless meter system,. and if the Matter can’t be Resloved with Fcc action or In-action you will pursue the matter in a Federal Cival Lawsuit,. read the Surface of the law on this link below: as Im’ not experianced in this type of RFI EMI complaint.. I did get the Power company here to fix there Equipment on the Poles in the neihborhood one time due to the amount of RFI / EMI a faulty transformer and lighting arrestors were casuing .. it was even starting to get into the cable Tv system in the Neiborhood,.

    http://www.arrl.org/part-15-radio-frequency-devices

  • M

    Isn’t anyone concerned that the dog is receiving shocks to begin with? Take off the collar! Its meant to cause pain and discomfort to in order to comply to the “house rules.” I hope she at least took it off when the dog kept receiving additional shocks. Build a real fence, or if money is an issue – spend some time outside with your dog on a leash. Think of the animal welfare here. I think this woman should put on the collar and walk around to see what her dog is feeling – just because the dog has fur, doesn’t mean he can’t feel every last bit of that shock. If this keeps happening she’ll need to take that dog to the vet for electric burns.

  • Nicole

    There are many brand names of electronic pet containment systems. 98% of these brands are not current, modern technology. The Invisible Fence Brand, which is the leader in the industry, and Dogwatch represent the highest levels of modern technology. Based on what I see in this picture, this collar is from a “brand x” low cost, self install system. Invisible Fence Brand collars are the only fully digital, not analog, systems in the pet containment industry. They are computer-controlled to protect dogs from such interference or false activations. The other 98% are old-fashioned analog technologies that have existed for over 25 years. These systems have virtually no filtering and have been randomly shocking dogs as long as they have existed. This is why the Invisible Fence Brand and Dogwatch have continued to upgrade their technology and are sold by dealers and not as self-install products at a store. What is actually occurring here is that the radio signal generated by the owner’s fence itself is inducting on any metallic utilities that are entering the home. Water pipes are often the worst. The wire in the yard is sending a strong radio signal that is being conducted through the copper pipe throughout the home. The fastest way to prove this is to get the collar activating over a water pipe and have someone else unplug the electronic fence, completely turning off power. The collar should shut off immediately. If that collar continues to activate it is then very likely that a neighbor close by has a similar electronic fence that is contaminating the waterlines near their home. Other electronic devices like the meter reading device are regulated by the FCC and are of much more modern technology than that dog fence is. It is not at all likely to be the cause of this event. Radio signal induction occurs the worst when the water pipe or utility line runs parallel to the electronic fence wire for any given distance as opposed to crossing each other perpendicularly. Sometimes cable TV lines are the direct cause of the induction, but because the cable line is grounded for lightning strike protection to water pipes, the path for the radio fence signal enters the home and follow the water pipes throughout the house.
    Sometimes disconnecting the grounding connection to the cable TV system can fix this problem. Many people think that an invisible fence is an invisible fence, but the truth is that the Invisible Fence Brand created the electronic pet containment industry forty years ago, and they have produced and continually produce all the newest innovations that truly keep dog safe. Many other brands have just repackaged the same old technology and keep selling it. There is a huge difference in technology for underground dog containment systems. It’s the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”

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