The New York Times has published a report in today's edition regarding the possible poisoning of a Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show candidate.
Cruz, a prizewinning Samoyed, passed away in Lakewood, CO after competing in New York at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Cruz was a special dog who always flew commercial and hardly ever touched the sidewalk.
Cruz shared a steak with his handler at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Later in the week, after the Westminster Show, Cruz died.
The veterinarian who treated Cruz in CO stated that the symptoms were indicative of ingestion of rat poison. A necropsy was not performed but the veterinarian does not feel that this was a case of deliberate poisoning.
Cruz's handler, Robert Chaffin, was literally with Cruz almost every minute of every day. Food was carefully monitored, and although there is no evidence to admit deliberate poisoning, Chaffin did state that it was possible that Cruz had accidentally swallowed poison.
Chaffin feels that perhaps some of the preparations for the Westminster Show were tampered with by animal activists. Cruz had his vocal chords removed, a procedure called debarking. Chaffin stated that someone had made remarks to him at the show regarding the procedure.
Chaffin stated that ,"it would have been easy for someone to throw something into his cage."
Lynette Blue is one of Cruz's owners and has called the New York Police Department. So far no one has returned her call and Lynette is thinking about further action to find out the cause of Cruz's death.
Cruz began to vomit blood on February 16. Chaffin rushed him to Animal Critical Care and Emergency in Lakewood, CO. Oxygen and an intravenous drip was begun, but Cruz died within a few hours.
There may be other reasons that Cruz passed away so quickly including an undiagnosed, rare genetic disorder. There was no history of this disease.
Rat poison is the likely cause and the symptoms usually show within three to five days which would have placed Cruz in New York.
The hotel president and general manager, Ann Peterson, stated that the hotel doesn't use harmful pesticides. There was also an area set up outside for canine guests to exercise safely.
Chaffin also checked every area of the hotel room which he and Cruz shared and said that the accomodations, overall, were safe.
Lynette Blue has received sympathies from the show community but says that the experience was devastating and the reason for Cruz's death may never be known.