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Dog that competed at Westminster Show has died

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (FOX) — A prize-winning Samoyed dog which competed at the Westminster Dog Show has died — and his handler thinks the death was due to mysterious circumstances.

Cruz the dog passed away while in Manhattan for the dog show. His cause of death remains unclear. But veterinarians say he showed symptoms of a dog that had ingested rat poison. Others think he had a rare blood disease.

The dog’s owners and handlers believe Cruz may have been deliberately poisoned.

“Never had a dog poisoned before. Never, never had a dog die in my arms like that,” said Robert Chaffin. “He was with me everywhere, so I know what he ate, I know how he felt, and the night before he was just bouncing on my bed eating out of a jello cup, eating the rest of my chocolate pudding out of a cup. He showed no symptoms of anything.”

Why someone would poison the three-year-old dog remains unclear. Some suggest it was due to jealousy or because Cruz had been de-barked, a show practice which many find cruel to the animals.

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