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
Alex Underwood, the county’s first African-American sheriff, said he left A.J., his 19-month-old German shepherd, in the yard Sunday while attending a Martin Luther King Jr. parade.
Shortly after he got home, the dog started acting oddly and foaming at the mouth.
He died early Monday, according to a report in The Herald.
A.J. was in training to become a sheriff’s department K-9, and he frequently visited area schools, Underwood said.
“The kids loved him. We always took him around to different places,” he said. A.J. spent much of his time at the sheriff’s office.”Everybody knew him, I mean he was here. He’d be in 911, sometimes he’d be in my office, sometimes he’d be back in narcotics, he was just kind of, he was part of the family here,” said Underwood.
He said there are some possible suspects, but he wouldn’t elaborate.
“It’s like taking a child, he didn’t bother anybody,” said Underwood.
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
Firefighters rushed the dog — named Ethan — to an animal hospital, where he is recovering, according to the Associated Press.
Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal association in Charleville-Mezieres, 125 miles northeast of Paris, said the dog was dug up by a pedestrian who noticed the ground wiggling along a lakeside pedestrian path.
Veterinarian Philippe Michon said when firemen brought the terrier to his office “he was completely cold, he was barely breathing.”
Michon used hot water bottles to warm up Ethan’s body and hydrated him with intravenous fluids. Within 24 hours, he was back on his feet. The vet said convulsions from being poisoned may have been what led to his grave being noticed.
Ethan was identified through a microchip that also revealed he’d been buried alive on his third birthday.
His owner told police he had given the dog away earlier, but police are continuing their investigation.
(Photo: Sabrina Zamora, president of an animal protection association, holds Ethan at Ligue Interet a la Societe et de l’Animal; Associated Press)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, animals, buried, Charleville-Mezieres, dog, dogs, dug, ethan, france, grave, ground, jack russell terrier, Ligue Interet a la Societe et de l'Animal, moved, pets, Philippe Michon, poisoned, recovering, rescued, Sabrina Zamora, saved, shovel, unearthed
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
The poisonings are similar to those attempted last year at Tarheel Tamaskan, a Tamaskan dog breeder outside of Elizabeth City, N.C.
In that case, the parents and two siblings of Tuffy survived.
Last week, five dogs were poisoned, again using bowls of fish doused in antifreeze that were buried in the animals’ owners’ yard, according to FoxSports.
Two of the dogs, including Tuffy’s father, were euthanized this week, according to Tarheel Tamaskan’s Facebook page.
Tuffy’s mother died in October after choking on a sock.
No charges have been filed, in either the year-old case or the recent one, but police say they have some leads.
Pasquitank County Sheriff Randy Cartright said officers found fingerprints on a buried dog bowl, and that they suspect the same person or group commited both crimes.
The owners of Tarheel Tamaskan, John and Christina Bannow, weren’t available for comment.
After ingesting the poison, the dogs were taken to Chesapeake Animal Hospital in Virginia, but were later transferred to Greenbrier Emergency Hospital in Charlottesville, Va., where Tuffy’s father, Blaze, and his 6-month-old cousin, Nusia, were put to sleep.
The other three poisoned dogs returned home Monday evening and are expected to recover.
N.C. State, though it had used costumed humans for mascots, switched to a live dog in 2010 at the suggestion of athletic director Debbie Yow. A Tamaskan dog was chosen because it most resembles a wolf.
(Photo of Tuffy by Peyton Williams / North Carolina State Athletic Association)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, antifreeze, blaze, bowls, breeder, buried, college, dogs, father, fish, investigation, mascot, mascots, nc state, north carolina, north carolina state university, Pasquitank County, pets, poisoned, siblings, tamaskan, tarheel tamaskan, tuffy, wolfpack
Maybe it’s a case of man’s best friend making for an even better scientific paper.
Maybe, as much as I write about my dog, I have no room to talk.
In any event, at least as reported by Discover magazine, a UC Davis veterinarian’s dog got into the lab trash and consumed 15 agar plates containing thallium.
Thallium is a poisonous compound used in labs to isolate Mycoplasma fungi. (As the article points out, it has also been used by murderers, and was a favorite of Saddam Hussein.)
Being a vet, the dog’s owner did what he could, including administering intravenous fluids and, eventually, a gastric feeding tube. He took notes, ran tests and documented the one-year-old shepherd mix’s slow death in a study entitled, “Thallium toxicosis in a dog consequent to ingestion of Mycoplasma agar plates.”
According to an abstract of the paper: “Clinical signs over the course of 2-3 weeks included vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, alopecia, dysphonia, ataxia, paresthesia, intension tremors, megaesophagus with subsequent aspiration pneumonia, and several seizure episodes.”
The owner/scientist measured Thallium concentrations in the dog’s hair and took blood samples at regular intervals.
After the dog’s death, the scientist/owner concluded, “Hair and blood samples are useful specimens to reach an accurate diagnosis even if taken several weeks post exposure. The postexposure blood and hair thallium concentrations reported in this case are useful data for diagnosticians investigating dogs with potential thallium poisoning.”
Not exactly the stuff of Jack London, but then again, this was a paper written for the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. Still, that the dog’s name is never acknowledged, despite her accidental contribution to scientific knowledge, is troubling.
Why does science have to be so cold? What would it lose by showing some heart?
The Discover magazine article, while putting things in slightly more understandable form, isn’t exactly touchy-feely, either:
“At the onset, the dog refused to eat and lost weight. And then things only got worse over several weeks as she lost control of her muscles, seized, caught pneumonia twice, and lost a third of her fur. She had to be fed through a tube. It took 10 months for her to even bark again…”
“While we’re glad this dog’s suffering was not in vain, we had to wonder how common thallium poisoning really is. Thallium used to be a common pesticide, but that’s been banned because it’s also such a potent human-cide. Outside of biology labs, thallium can be found in electronics and glass manufacturing or nuclear reactors, so please don’t bring your dog to work if your job is in any of those places.”
To me, the bigger question in all this, outside of whether anyone was neglectful, is how much and how long the anonymous dog suffered — whether she was kept alive for the purposes of gathering a little more data.
It wouldn’t be the first time.
It’s amazing how much scientists learn from dogs. What’s more amazing is how much they don’t.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 17th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agar, animals, blood, davis, death, documented, dogs, ethics, experiment, hair, journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation, journals, lab, laboratory, pain, painful, paper, pesticide, pets, plates, poisoned, poisoning, research, samples, science, scientific, taken, thallium, toxic, university of california, veterinarian, veterinary
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
Bob Barker has made a new public service annoucement for PETA, aimed at calling attention to the suffering of animals used for product testing.
Many animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year in product tests for cosmetics, personal-care products, and household cleaning products — even though non-animal tests are available.
On top of that, the results of animal tests are often unreliable or not applicable to humans, PETA says.
Barker urges consumers to research before they buy, and suggests visiting PETA’s website to order the organization’s free cruelty-free shopper’s guide.
“The price is never right on products tested on animals,” Barker says.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 16th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal testing, animals, blinded, bob barker, cleaning, cosmetics, cruelty free, free, killed, laboratory, peta, pets, poisoned, price is right, products, psa, public service annoucement, shopping guide, testing, tests
Kane, a 10-year-old American bulldog was found alive in Bucks County, Pa., as we reported yesterday, but had to be euthanized.
On Tuesday, Kane’s owner, Paul Bevan-Xenelis, the former superintendent of the Doylestown Country Club’s golf course, was arraigned on animal-cruelty charges. He’d adopted the dog about five months earlier as a pet for his family.
Doylestown Township Police Chief Stephen White told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he found the case “mind-boggling … I don’t know how that kind of cruelty gets into somebody, but this is not a mistake. When you shoot a dog 30-plus times and then leave the dog to suffer, it’s just nuts.”
Bevan-Xenelis, 39, told police that the dog had become aggressive and had bitten a coworker. He said he had shot the dog only once and thought he had killed it.
His defense attorney, David Knight, said of Bevan-Xenelis, “He’s a little upset … This is all new to him. He’s never had a problem with the law.”
Bevan-Xenelis was fired last week from the country club. He had worked there 10 years and is married with two children, 9 and 6. The police chief said said it appeared that Bevan-Xenelis had been keeping the dog at work with him because he did not want it around his family.
Police were called to the club at 9 a.m. July 24 and found Kane lying beneath a fence behind a maintenance building.
Anne Irwin, executive director of the Bucks County SPCA, said that because of the extent of the dog’s injuries, there was no choice but to euthanize him.
Police confirmed that Kane had bitten a country club employee two days earlier.
Kane had been evaluated as gentle and child-friendly when he was adopted from All4Paws Rescue Inc. of Chester Springs, said director Kristen Schlichtig.
Bevan-Xenelis had been carefully screened before the adoption was approved, she added. Neighbors vouched for him and reference and background checks were conducted, Schlichtig said.
“This has been a nightmare,” she said. “We did nothing wrong, but I have to live with the fact that I handed this guy the leash. I’m not even sleeping.”
(Photo by Larry King / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek August 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopted, all4paws rescue, american bulldog, animal cruelty, animals, anne irwin, bite, bitten, bucks county, bucks county spca, charged, country club, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, doylestown, doylestown country club, euthanized, kane, kristen schlichtig, paul bevan-xenelis, pets, poisoned, police chief, shot, stephen white, superintendent