Making rounds to homes one wet spring morning, veterinarian Dr. Kate Turner rescues a family's hamster from a vacuum cleaner then visits an estate whose owners breed champion Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Instead of sharing traditional tea with the couple, she confronts a bloody scene of bodies and 27 blue-ribbon dogs running wild. Police initially suspect a murder-suicide, but when Dr. Kate proves the famous best-in-show champion is missing, a darker reality intrudes.
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Dr. Kate Turner is happy with her new life in Oak Falls in upstate New York. Working as a relief veterinarian at a small house-call practice, she truly enjoys helping her patients. All that changes when client Claire Birnham is found dead, an apparent suicide. A talented artist, Claire had everything to live for: a new job; a Manhattan apartment; her cairn terrier, Toto. As feisty as the Wizard of Oz's Toto, he and Claire were devoted to each other. Kate can't imagine Claire simply abandoning her pet. Was her death murder?