And, groundless as the accusations are, the New York Times saw fit to print them.
Cruz, a three-year-old Samoyed, died just a few days after competing at Westminster.
The New York Times calls it, “A whodunit that has rattled the show world and ignited tensions between animal activists and purebred-champion breeders.”
Why point the finger at animal rights rowdies for the death of Cruz?
Robert Chaffin, Cruz’s handler, says simply that they are the most likely suspects.
“Unfortunately, dog shows have been plagued by some of these people for years,” he said. “I’ve heard horror stories about other people’s dogs having their setups tampered with, being poisoned, but I never thought it would come to me.”
While animal rights groups have long protested dog shows, tampering with and poisoning canine contestants — a rare occurence — has traditionally more often been perpetrated by the human competitors, either out of jealousy or to better their chances to win.
Based on known facts so far, Cruz’s humans seem to be making a pretty big leap.
Chaffin accompanied Cruz to New York for the Westminster competition and says he paid close attention to everything the dog ate, including a steak he fed him the night before. Despite his monitoring, he said, “It would have been easy for someone to throw something in his cage.”
On top of that, Chaffin said he remembered a stranger at the Westminster show glaring at him and making a disapproving remark about Cruz having been debarked, a process in which a dog’s vocal cords are removed.
Chaffin admitted there was no evidence that Cruz had been deliberately poisoned, and no confirmation that poisoning was even the cause of death.
No necropsy was performed.
Lynette Blue, one of Cruz’s owners said she declined a necropsy because she was confident that he swallowed poison. Blue says she called New York City police after Cruz died to report possible foul play.
Cruz, 3, died on Feb. 16 in Lakewood, Colo., where he was competing in another show. He began vomiting blood, and Chaffin took him to Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services in Lakewood, where he was hooked up to an intravenous drip and received oxygen, but died shortly thereafter.
“We have been devastated and in shock,” Blue said. “This is one of the most painful experiences of my life.”
Molly Comiskey, the Colorado veterinarian who treated Cruz, said his symptoms resembled those of a poisoned dog, but that his cause of death remains unclear. She saw no reason to believe he’d been intentionally poisoned.
“Dogs are dogs. It’s not anyone’s fault. They eat stuff; they get into things; they make bad decisions,” she said.
The Times article points out the possibility that Cruz may have had an undiagnosed genetic disorder, but quotes Blue as saying he had no history of such. The lack of answers, it seems, is leading to some pretty wild speculation.
“We keep thinking of the various scenarios, and it’s starting to feel like something we may never know,” Blue said.
Given his owners passed on a chance to help solve what they see as a whodunit — namely, having a necrospy performed — that might very well be the case.
(Photo: Lynette Blue)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 28th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: activists, animal rights, animals, blamed, colorado, cruz, death, died, dog, dog shows, dogs, evidence, handler, lakewood, mouse poison, owners, pets, poison, poisoned, purebred, rat poison, robert chaffin, samoyed, suspected, westminster, westminster kennel club dog show, whodunit
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marathon County Courthouse in Wisconsin this week during a hearing for a woman who is accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog and describing her ongoing torture of the animal in her diary.
In a packed courtroom, Sean D. Janas, 20, of Wausau, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony mistreatment of animals, giving poison to an animal and obstructing an officer.
Janas is accused of poisoning and stabbing Mary, a 4-year-old Laborador-shepherd mix in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Janas kept a diary describing her intense hatred for Mary, and detailing the abuse she inflicted on the dog, included forcing her to drink bleach and Drano over the course of several months.
Janas faces more than five years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted. She remained in jail this week on a $2,500 cash bond.
Those attending her hearing — before Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran — were required to walk through metal detectors, and Marathon County Sheriff’s deputies searched briefcases and handbags, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Before and after the hearing, protesters circled the courthouse, seeking justice for Mary and demanding more laws and tougher penalties to combat animal abuse.
“We don’t have tough enough laws that protect animals, and I believe vets should have to report any suspected abuse, just like they would in a child,” said Kelli Obremski, 42, of Mosinee, who brought both her children and her boxer to the protest.
“We’ll come to every appearance we can,” Obremski said. “It’s that important.”
(Photo: Sean D. Janas mugshot)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accounts, animal cruelty, animals, bleach, boyfriend, county, courthouse, cruelty to animals, descriptions, diary, dog, dogs, drano, hatred, marathon, mary, pets, poison, poisoned, poisoning, protest, sean janas, stabbed, stabbing, wausau, wisconsin
Two pit bull puppies died after they were apparently poisoned during a pit bull awareness event in Central Pennsylvania.
The event, sponsored by A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, was held on Saturday at Legion Park in Hollidaysburg.
“The puppies evidently were an easy target,” said Renae Metz, one of the founders of A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue. “We aren’t going to turn people down when they offer to put water in their pen, we never imagined that someone would be this malicious.”
The group regularly takes in abandoned pit bulls and finds them homes.
“There are a lot of people that are against this breed and it’s pure ignorance and lack of knowledge about the breed,” Metz said.
Metz said the organization will no longer bring puppies to the pit bull awareness events, but that its work would continue.
“We want to press on and save as many dogs as we can,” she said. “This just turned us on to the fact that so many people are hateful and we just need to keep spreading the word that these are not bad dogs at all.”
An autopsy confirmed that it was likely a poisonous substance that killed two of the puppies.
Metz said one of the eight-week-old puppies began acting strangely Saturday afternoon during the event: “His stomach was bloated, he had glazy eyes and couldn’t hold his head up.”
“They were at the vet Thursday and all were completely healthy,” said Metz, whose group is offering a $1,000 reward in connection with the case.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A Darrah Bull Bully Rescue, awareness, event, hollidaysburg, legion park, organization, pennsylvania, pit bull awareness, pit bulls, pitbulls, poison, poisoned, renae metz, rescue
We haven’t warned you this year, as Halloween approaches, about chocolate and other candies that can harm your dog, assuming that by now you already know all that.
But you may not know about toxic toads.
It only took about half an hour for Deborah Barrett’s dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Willie, to die after he bit a Bufo marinus toad in his back yard last week.
“It was as big as a salad plate. My dog killed it, and when he came inside, within five minutes he went into convulsions, Barrett told Patch.com in Temple Terrace, which is outside Tampa.
Barrett said Willie died in the car on the way to an animal hospital.
The City of Temple Terrace is cautioning pet owners to watch out for the Bufo marinus toads, an invasive species that has taken hold in Florida. The gray-brown toads secrete a powerful toxin from their glands that can be poisonous to dogs, cats and other animals that bite them, and even people who handle them.
Small dogs are the most at risk, veterinarians say.
“Once they start having seizures, if you don’t address it quickly, it can cause massive brain damage,” said Dr. Paul Langston, of the Temple Terrace Animal & Bird Hospital.”If you can get them (to the vet) quickly, they’ll usually be OK.”
If you suspect your pet has bitten a Bufo toad, veterinarians advise rinsing its mouth and paws with water and seeking veterinary help immediately.
As with the mushrooms we told you about last week, the toads are being seen in higher numbers because of heavy rains.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bufo marinus, caution, dangers, deadly, death, deborah barrett, dogs, florida, halloween, hazard, health, heavy rains, jack russell terrier, marijuana, mushrooms, pets, poison, rain, temple terrace, toad, toads, toxic, toxic toads, toxins, warning, willie
My dog Ace likes to forage — to graze on grass, cruise for crumbs under the backyard grill, and gobble up any leftover vegetables my neighbor puts out for the squirrels and rabbits.
It’s not that he’s a glutton, constantly in search of food, but when no one is around to visit it’s generally how he passes the time. I attribute it to him spending his formative early months as a stray — scavenging meals where he could find them.
While he seems willing to sample just about anything that might be distantly related to food, he has thankfully been avoiding the mushrooms that have been popping up all over in recent weeks.
The ones above seemed to sprout overnight. Ace went over to see what they were this past weekend but turned his nose up at them, almost as if he knew they were not to be messed with.
And they’re not. Certain species of wild mushrooms are fatal to dogs, but rather than bombard you with scientific names I might misspell — like Amanita Phalloides — I’ll keep it simple:
Keep your dog away from any mushrooms growing outdoors. Beautiful as they are, they can be deadly.
It’s the wisest course of action, even if you know a thing or two about fungi. You may know the difference between a toxic species and a non-toxic one, but likely your dog doesn’t. So if he or she gets anywhere close, or starts to sniffing, holler “No!” – in Ace’s case three times usually works, though sometimes I have to add, “I mean it.”
Mushroom poisoning in dogs can cause abdominal pain, drooling, liver and kidney damage, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma and death.
There have been several cases of mushroom poisoning reported in Arizona, including one woman who, in a letter to the editor of her newspaper, reported all three of her dogs became sick from eating them
Earlier this summer, a family in Buffalo lost a second dog to mushroom poisoning. After the first one died, the family got a new dog, gave it the same name, and watched as it too got sick from eating mushrooms in their yard and died.
The ASPCA and other organizations advise making sure your dog avoids all mushrooms growing in the yard.
You, too, no matter how pretty they are.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 1st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, avoid, damage, deadly, dog, dogs, fatal, fungi, fungus, health, kidney, liver, mushroom, mushrooms, pets, poison, poisonous, safety, sick, toxic, vomiting, warning
In honor of his Shiba Inu, 12-year-old Aaron Coash is lobbying the Kansas legislature to pass a law aimed at stemming the number of dogs killed by antifreeze poisoning.
With the help of the Humane Society, he’s proposing a law that would require all antifreeze sold in in the state contain a chemical that turns its sweet taste bitter.
He’s calling it Nikko’s law, in honor of his dog, who died last month.
Antifreeze poisoning kills an estimated 10,000 animals and more than a thousand children each year, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
“The doctor said without a doubt it was antifreeze poisoning,” Aaron told Fox News in Kansas City.
Aaron said Kansas Senator Carolyn McGinn has offered to help with the cause.
“Nikko was a champion, so I want to be a champion,” he explained. You can sign a petition in support of Nikko’s law at his website
Other states that have passed similar legislation are Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Ethylene glycol’s sweet smell and taste makes antifreeze and coolant attractive to animals and children. It costs manufacturers an estimated additional two to three cents per gallon to add the bittering agent.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aaron coash, agent, antifreeze, attracts, bittering, ethylene glyol, humane society, kansas, kills, law, legislature, manufacturers, nikko, nikkos law, poison, poisoning, shiba inu, sweet, taste, toxic
Poisoned meatballs have been found in the yards of at least three Denver homes and have made at least two dogs seriously ill.
Two neighbors reported their dogs had become violently sick. One neighbor, after searching his yard, found meatballs scattered around it. Others, upon searching their yards, did as well.
One woman said her dog began acting strangely, then experiencing symptoms that included vomiting and diarrhea.
All the homes were near the University of Denver campus.
“It’s really sad when someone targets animals,” one of the neighbors said.
Similar incidents have been recently reported in Firestone and Gunnison, 9 News in Denver reported.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, denver, dogs, health, ill, meatballs, neighborhood, pets, poison, poisoned, safety, sick, symptoms, university of denver, yards
Yet another report of jealousy-induced dog abuse has come to light — this one in Austin, where a woman is alleged to have repeatedly slammed her boyfriend’s 12-year-old shih tzu to the ground.
About a week ago, we told you about Patrick Caleb Land, who was sentenced in San Diego to five years in prison for beating his girlfriend’s three dogs to death because, he said, he was jealous of them.
Just three days after that, police in Austin responded to a report of a couple arguing and arrested Maria Martinez on a charge of cruelty to animals.
She’s accused of taking her boyfriend’s dog, Chase, a shih tzu mix, from his truck and throwing him into a Dumpster, KXAN reported.
She then climbed into the Dumpster, according to the boyfriend, lifted the dog above her head and threw him to the ground.
The dog’s owner also told police that Martinez poured bleach into Chase’s dog’s food in an attempt to poison the dog.
According to police, Martinez admitted that she and her boyfriend had argued all day and told officers she was mad and jealous of the dog.
Chase was being treated for his injuries.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, argument, austin, bleach, boyfriend, couple, cruelty to animals, dogs, dumpster, girlfriend, jealous, jealousy, pets, poison, shih-tzu, slammed, texas, thrown
“Absolutely not, no I did not,” Nico Dauphine said after taking the stand in her own defense Wednesday in Superior Court, WJLA reported.
Dauphine is a postdoctoral fellow with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center at the National Zoo.
Prosecutors have presented evidence of her disdain for free-roaming cats, as well as a surveillance tape that they said showed her walking up to a planter where food was kept, reaching into her purse, then reaching into the cat food and leaving.
Dauphine argued in court that she was trying to get rid of the food because it attracted rats: “I went over to the planter, took out the food, put it in a plastic bag and threw it out,” she said.
Prosecutors have entered as evidence a number of quotes and articles in which Dauphine describes cats as an invasive species that should be euthanized. One online lecture by Dauphine is entitled “Apocalypse Meow – Free Ranging Cats and the Destruction of American Wildlife.”
Both sides presented closing arguments in the animal cruelty trial Wednesday and Judge Truman Morrison is scheduled to give his verdict Monday afternoon.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization, says attempts to poison free-roaming cats — not uncommon across the country — often pose a threat to pets and wildlife..
“There are no ‘safe poisons’ and there is no ‘safe way’ to poison,” said Dr. Frank McMillan, director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society.
Says Laura Nirenberg, Best Friends’ legislative analyst for cat initiatives.”The sad truth is that not only is poisoning an indiscriminate and inhumane method of controlling animal populations, it is unnecessary, especially when growing evidence from communities across the country shows that trap-neuter-return, commonly known as TNR, is the most efficient and cost-effective method.”
Posted by jwoestendiek October 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, antifreeze, best friends, birds, cats, dc, feeding, feral, feral cats, free roaming, health, migratory bird center, national zoo, neuter, nico dauphine, poison, poisoning, prey, rat poison, return, safety, smithsonian, tnr, trap, trial, washington, wildlife
No, that’s not the ice cream man rolling down the streets of Lisichansk, a city of 100,000 in Ukraine.
It’s a crematorium on wheels, purchased by the city to more handily dispose of stray dogs — sometimes while they are still alive — as part of the country’s efforts to clean up its streets before next year’s Euro 2012 soccer championship.
(About two and a half minutes into the video above you can see city officials showing off their mobile crematorium.)
The vehicle is staffed by three employees — a driver, an oven operator and another who shoots strays with a syringe gun, paralyzing them.
The crematorium is capable of burning 40 kilos worth of dogs and cats at a time.
Lisichansk is not alone in trying to clear the streets of strays before the soccer championship, being co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
The cities of Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk — all of which are hosting matches — have stray removal programs underway. In Kharkiv and Kiev, plans have been made to open shelters for strays found in the vicinity of Euro 2012 stadiums, but some other cities opt for extermination instead.
Sometimes, Lisichansk lends its mobile crematorium to neighboring jurisdictions. How thoughtful.
Despite protests, from inside and outside the country, the stray removal program continues, and the mobile crematorium — which features temperatures of 900 degrees — keeps rolling.
A petition appealing to Ukrainian authorities to stop cremating live animals can be found on the website Care2.
According to the petition, Ukraine — rather than focusing on spaying and neutering and finding homes for strays — has long opted for less humane practices.
Stray dogs and cats were previously killed using an illegal poison called ditiline that paralyzed their respiratory muscles are paralyzed.
Officials consider the crematorium ” more modern” and “environmentally safe,” the petition says.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, animal control, animal cruelty, animal welfare, animals, burn, burned, burning, championship, crematorium, dogs, euro 2012, football, government, lisichansk, mobile crematorium, oven, petition, pets, poison, poland, soccer, stray dogs, strays, ukraine