Cause of canine death a concern

The toxicology report for Seaman, the Lewis and Clark dog, is expected next week.
Friday, June 25, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:40 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 5, 2008

The necropsy report on Seaman, the dog of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, found no definitive cause of death, Waverly Police Chief Jesse Coslet said Thursday.

The 20-month-old dog was in the group of re-enactors traveling the Missouri River to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was found dead about 6 a.m. June 16, while the expedition was in Waverly.

The report said Seaman had a congenital hernia and that he was in initial stages of decomposition when his body was examined, Coslet said. The report said overheating could not be ruled out as a cause of death, Coslet said.

The toxicology report is expected by the middle of next week, Coslet said. Once both reports are on his desk, he will decide whether to investigate the expedition dog’s death.

“I want to know more than anybody,” Coslet said.

Seaman was last seen alive about four hours before his body was found. Expedition members buried him in a nearby park — following the tradition of the original explorers, Coslet said.

A talk between the police chief and Seaman’s owner, Scott Mandrell, who portrays Capt. Meriwether Lewis, later persuaded Mandrell to exhume the dog and send him for testing at the MU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The police chief drove the body to the laboratory June 17.

Seaman’s body has been cremated; the remains are still at MU, Coslet said.

The police chief is waiting for Mandrell’s decision on taking care of the remains.

“It’s a pretty critical personality to the story,” Sue Schneider, spokeswoman of the expedition, said of the dog.Seaman was re-enacting the role of explorer Lewis’ dog, of the same name.

Mandrell, who was in Kansas City on Thursday with the re-enactment group, said he will get another dog but declined further comment.

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