Tuesday 12 November 2019

Mystery as champion dog dies after poisoning at Crufts

A Yorkshire Terrier in hair curlers watches competitors on the fourth and final day of Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images
A Yorkshire Terrier in hair curlers watches competitors on the fourth and final day of Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Francesca Washtell

An award-winning dog has died at home in Belgium after being poisoned while competing at famous British show Crufts.

The three-year-old Irish Setter Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, collapsed and died on Friday after competing at the tournament. He had come second in his class at the dog show.

His vet's initial findings showed he was poisoned, while a full autopsy and toxicology report which will identify the poison is expected today.

A police investigation is also under way.

Jagger's co-owner and breeder, Dee Milligan Bott, does not believe a fellow dog shower would have poisoned another dog, believing instead that it is more likely to have been a member of the public.

"They have so many people who are just from the general public visiting, which you don't get at every show," Milligan Bott said.

"We're at dog shows week-in week-out. Everyone goes to Crufts and I think it was just some mad dog person, some dog hater.

"I don't believe for a moment it was anyone who shows dogs. They would never want to do something like this."

She believes it was most likely a pre-meditated act in which someone fed Jagger small, poisoned cubes of meat.

The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, has said it is unclear what had happened but would do all they could to support police enquiries.

"The Kennel Club is deeply shocked and saddened to hear that Jagger the Irish Setter died some 26 hours after leaving Crufts," said spokeswoman Caroline Kisko.

"We have spoken to his owners and our heartfelt sympathies go out to them. We understand that the toxicology report is due and until that time we cannot know the cause of this tragic incident."

Presenter Claire Balding tweeted her shock at Jagger's poisoning, saying everyone at Crufts was "horrified" at his death. (© Independent News Service)

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