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

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Crufts Organizers: Heads Will Roll If Sabotage Proven Behind Jagger's Death

Officials of the prestigious dog show, Crufts, said there would be no stones left unturned in the ongoing probe into the death of Irish setter Jagger, as they verify reports that other dogs were poisoned as well.

The Kennel Club, the group that organized the Crufts, warned anyone proven to have deliberately sabotaged another competitor's performance -- particularly if the dog's well being was put at risk -- will face severe disciplinary action.  The Club further stressed that the punishment may go as far as banning them from competing in all Kennel Club licensed events.

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The Club admits that rumors of sabotage are not new to the world of dog competitions.

"As with any international competition rumors of sabotage do occasionally surface," the group said. "This of course is not in the spirit of competition and will not be tolerated."

While Cruft organizers are not disregarding reports of a sabotage, rumors that other dogs fell sick remain as mere speculations.

Cruft says there are many reasons that could cause a dog to get sick during the competition. The club assured that veterinarians are at the site to examine dogs right away in case they develop symptoms of any sickness. 

Jagger fell ill after coming home to Belgium from the Crufts competition held in Birmingham.  His owners reported he had difficulty breathing.  Jagger died even before veterinarians arrived.  An autopsy report revealed Jagger was fed with meat laced with slug killer combined with another industrial poison. 

Jagger's owner and breeder, Dee Milligan-Bott and her husband Jeremy, are appealing for privacy as they grieve for Jagger. But the couple promised to return to the competition next year.

Bott had earlier said he did not believe the dog was the target of the poisoning. But he did say the culprit may have been acting on a grudge against dogs or the show itself.

Jagger won second in his class. This year, 21,500 dogs participated in the competition with nearly 3,000 coming for other parts of the world. 

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