The owners of an Irish setter poisoned at Britain’s leading dog show are devastated by his death — but insisted they do not believe another competitor is responsible.
Three-year-old Thendara Satisfaction, also known as Jagger, died on Friday, shortly after returning to Belgium following an appearance at the world- famous Crufts dog show in Birmingham last week. A vet performed an autopsy and found pieces of meat laced with poison in his stomach.
The vet “found cubes of meat, some sort of beef, like steak, and they had been sewn up with poison inside”, said one of the owners, Jeremy Bott. “She thinks there were possibly two or three different types of poison,” one of which was a slug killer.
Police in Belgium and Britain are aware of the incident, but authorities said they have not been asked to investigate. The Kennel Club, which organises Crufts, is awaiting a toxicology report on the dog’s death.
Bott said he does not know what happened, but believes the poisoner is someone with a grudge against dogs in general or the Crufts show in particular.
The owners have ruled out suggestions that another contestant might have poisoned the dog.
“We can’t and we won’t think that this was the act of another exhibitor,” said Dee Milligan Bott. “If we thought this, we couldn’t go on, and the last 30 years would be a complete waste. So I ask all of you to unite in finding the perpetrator who did this.
“He was a typical Irish Setter, totally trustworthy and so loved. We are devastated.”
Dee Milligan-Bott, left, co-owner of Irish Setter Jagger with her husband Jeremy Bott before speaking to the press outside her home in Kilby, England, yesterday. The couple said they are devastated by their dog’s death from poisoning, but they don’t believe that one of the other competitors at Crufts is responsible. Picture: AP Photo/Rui Vieira
She told reporters in a brief statement outside her home that Jagger’s death should not overshadow “the positive sides of Crufts”.“I certainly don’t want our dog shows — the places we work so hard to get to — to become a ground of finger-pointing and suspicion,” she said.She told DogWorld.co.uk that it was possible that the intended target er might have been another dog she owns, Thendara Pot Noodle, which won best of breed at Crufts, while Jagger finished second in a preliminary competition.
The Kennel Club, meanwhile, put out a statement amid reports another dog fell ill after the competition.
“The facts surrounding Jagger’s sad death are still being established and we must stress that any other unsubstantiated rumors about dogs being poisoned are just that,” it said. “There are any number of reasons why a dog may display symptoms such as sickness and should a dog fall sick there are vets at the show who will examine the dog in question and file a report.”
The club insisted, however, that no vets raised concerns about poisoning and “there have been no official complaints from any owners at Crufts 2015”.
Dog shows have long been hit by claims of unscrupulous behaviour — including owners drugging rivals’ dogs. In 1996, a breeder was banned for giving Valium to a Chihuahua at another British show.
Crufts is Britain’s most famous dog show, attracting more than 21,000 competitors from 43 countries this year. It was founded in 1891, about 14 years after New York’s Westminster dog show.The stakes can be high. Though the prizes for such shows are small — the Best in Show title carries a purse of just £100 (€139) — puppies from winners can fetch thousands.The Botts, who run a dog breeding operation in England, were part owners of Jagger. The dog lived as a family pet with their co-owners in Belgium, where he visited care homes for elderly people.
The co-owner in Belgium, Alexandra Lauwers, would not answer questions about the dog’s death when she arrived at her home in Lauw, Belgium on Monday. She referred all questions to a statement by the dog’s co-owner in Britain.RV BS**LON**
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