Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Crufts Dog Was Poisoned With Slug Killer, Autopsy Reveals


(Photo : Reuters) Irish Setters rest on their benches during the first day of the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, central England, March 5, 2015.

An investigation continues into the death of one of the world's best dogs at the Crufts 2015, as the latest autopsy report revealed the dog was poisoned with slug killer.

Three-year-old Irish setter Thendara Satisfaction, known to his family as Jagger, died after coming home from the prestigious Crufts competition held on Thursday at the Birmingham, England's Genting arena. The case has become the biggest controversy in the 124-year history of Crufts.

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Jagger, who won the second prize in his class, was found to have eaten cubes of meat laced with poison.  His owner and breeder, Dee Milligan-Bott, said Jagger became ill after returning to their home in Belgium.   Bott said Jagger had difficulty breathing, and died even before the veterinarians arrived.  

"The vet thought it was suspicious, so carried out an autopsy," Milligan-Bott said. "They found cubes of beef in his stomach that had at least two types of poison inside. Pieces of beef had been stitched together so that the poison didn't come out," she added.

The veterinarian said Jagger had too much of the poisoned meat, enough to kill a horse. Green and black substances were found to have been added up to the meat.  

The autopsy further indicated the time of the poisoning, suggesting that Jagger was killed while he was on his bench at Crufts.

Speculations have emerged on the reason behind Jagger's poisoning.

Co-owner Jeremy Bott said he did not think Jagger was the target of the poisoning, but the killer may have been acting on "a grudge against dogs or the Crufts show".

"We all do this because we love dogs. If you hate me for being successful, then stick a brick through my window or something," Milligan-Bott said of the suspicion that a jealous breeder could have been the culprit. "But why would you involve a dog?"

She said she had been breeding dogs and joining the competition for 30 years and will easily everything up once she finds out that a fellow breeder would kill a dog.

Jagger's owners are devastated by the dog's passing, saying they had lost an important part of their family. Milligan-Bott said Jagger was a very "trustworthy" dog.

Fellow owner Aleksandra Lauwers took to social media the pain of losing Jagger and wrote: "He loved man and he has been killed by a man! To person who has done it, hope you can sleep well knowing you have killed our love, family member and best friend to our son."

A spokesperson for the Kennel Club, organizers of the Crufts dog show, said the group is deeply shocked and saddened to hear the news and expressed their heartfelt sympathies to Jagger's owners. They said there had never been such an incident in the history of the competition, which began in 1891.

A toxicology report is due to come out next week, while police are reviewing CCTV footage of the arena.  The Botts are not too hopeful that the culprit will be tracked down as the general public have full access to the dogs' benches and can easily approach any dog.

This year, 21,500 dogs joined in the 4-day competition, with 2,987 dogs coming from overseas. The winner gets £100, but the organizers say the prestige that comes with the title is priceless. 

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