Dead Westminster Show Dog Might Have Been Poisoned

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A dog who competed in Westminster earlier this month was dead four days after the competition, and now his handler and owners say the dog might have been poisoned, according to the Daily Mail U.K.

Cruz was a 3-year-old Samoyed show dog who competed in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show this year. Four days after that event, Cruz was in Colorado competing in another dog show when he began coughing up blood. The dog was rushed to a veterinarian, but died later that day. No official cause of death was determined, but his symptoms resembled those of a dog who had ingested rat poison.

Cruz's owners and his handler say the dog had no medical history to indicate that this would happen, nor does his bloodline contain genetic blood disorders or other diseases. They believe poisoning the more likely cause of Cruz's death.

Veterinarians who treated Cruz say that the most likely scenario was an accidental poisoning, not a deliberate attack. "Dogs are dogs," said Molly Comiskey, one of Cruz's doctors. "It's not anyone's fault. They eat stuff; they get into things; they make bad decisions."

Cruz's handler, Robert Chaffin, says he suspects that animal-rights extremists, who are known to have a presence at Westminster to protest the dog show, could be the culprits. Chaffin says he was by Cruz's side at all times, thoroughly checked their hotel room for possible poisons, and watched everything the dog ate before the competition, but that it would have been easy for someone to throw something in Cruz's crate.

Even if Cruz was intentionally poisoned, it would not be an unprecedented act. All the way back in 1895, eight dogs were poisoned the morning before the competition. And more recently, in 2010, a man was accused of drugging a Siberian Husky at the Wheaton Dog Show in Illinois, where his girlfriend was showing another dog in the same category. He was found not guilty of the crime.


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