Police probe claims of Crufts dog poisoning
Three-year-old Irish setter Thendara Satisfaction – known as Jagger – collapsed and died after returning home to Belgium on Friday
Owner Dee Milligan-Bott, a dog breeder for 30 years, said she believed the three-year-old was poisoned at Crufts the day before his death.
Mrs Milligan-Bott said an autopsy found cubes of beef in Jagger’s stomach that were found “stuffed with two to three different poisons.” She added: “The timings from the autopsy make it clear the only place this could have been given to Jagger while on his bench at Crufts.”
Jagger is co-owned by Aleksandra Lauwers, who had taken the dog home to Belgium following the competition.
Mrs Milligan-Bott said: “They [the Lauwers] got home on Friday night and the dog was ill. By the time the vet got there he was dead.
“The vet did an immediate autopsy because the death was very suspicious. It was found the dog had beef cubes in his stomach that had been poisoned. The only day the dog had been left alone all week was while being left on the bench at Crufts while the judging of our other dogs was taking place.”
The Irish setter – the offspring of Crufts Best of Breed 2010 winner Mr Jingles – had finished second in his class on Thursday.
“I am devastated,” said Mrs Milligan-Bott. “We had probably one of the best days in our showing career and our breeding career. We should be celebrating as Noodle, Jagger’s half-brother, won best in breed.”
The RSCPA and police in Belgium are now investigating the incident.
Yesterday heartbroken co-owner Mrs Lauwers revealed “strange things” had been happening in shows leading up to the prestigious competition at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre.
She added: “I know people take it seriously but If you want to target me, smash my windows or something – don’t go and kill my pet dog.
“Strange things had been happening in the last couple of months so it does all seem to add up.
“The confirmation of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cards for the dogs went missing after he won at one show.
“Then at the Richmond Dog Show in London at another competition somebody let his brother out of his cage and he went missing for an hour. Jagger could have been targeted for being a foreign dog, there’s a lot of ill feeling from some camps towards them for some reason.
The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, said: “Whilst we are unclear of exactly what happened, we understand that a toxicology report is due next week and that this matter has been reported to the police – we will work with them and help however we can.” Crufts presenter Clare Balding, tweeted: “Everyone at #Crufts2015 horrified at death of Irish setter Jagger.”
Despite a dark cloud hanging over the event, Knopa, a Scottish terrier, was announced winner of Best in Show Crufts 2015.