Westminster Dog's Death Surrounded by Mystery

UPDATED 03/02/2013 at 04:00 PM EST Originally published 03/01/2013 at 03:25 PM EST

Westminster Dog Cruz Dies of Possible Poisoning
Samoyed believed to be Cruz
Courtesy Polar Mist Samoyeds
Two weeks after the conclusion of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a new controversy surrounds the storied competition: the death of Samoyed Cruz.

Only days after he strutted his stuff at Madison Square Garden, the white-haired furball passed away from symptoms that bear resemblance to ingesting rat or mouse poison, says the veterinarian who treated him. Cruz began coughing up blood on Feb. 16, and just a few hours after being hooked up to an intravenous drip and receiving oxygen, he was dead.

Though there is no evidence to support that he was poisoned intentionally, his handler, Robert Chaffin, and one of his owners, Lynette Blue, are not ready to rule out the possibility.

"It would have been easy for someone to throw something in his cage," Chaffin said, noting that dog shows have a history of drawing the ire of animal activists.



During his time in New York, Chaffin was at Cruz's side every step of the way, including thoroughly checking their hotel accommodations to ensure that the Samoyed did not accidentally ingest something harmful. While it is most likely that Cruz stumbled upon the poisonous substance elsewhere, his owner, Blue, laments, "It's starting to feel like something we may never know … It's devastating."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Lupita Nyong'o: Most Beautiful!
  • Chelsea Clinton is Pregnant!
  • Exclusive Royal Tour Diary

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Latest Photos

Stars and Their Pets

Gavin's Pooch Pick-Me-Up

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters