The staid world of dog shows is shaken this week after the poisoning of an award-winning Irish setter at Crufts. The Guardian reports that the dog, three-year-old Thendara Satisfaction (known as Jagger) died the day after the prestigious dog show in Birmingham, England. "The vet did an immediate autopsy because the death was very suspicious," said Jagger's co-owner Dee Milligan-Bott. "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 … on the bench at Crufts while the judging of our other dogs was taking place." While the world of dog-breeding is highly competitive and accustomed to dirty tricks "such as deliberately placing a bitch on heat near a male to distract him, or the subversive snipping at a competitor's coiffure," the actual killing of a dog is a new low. "I’ve been showing for 40 years and its hugely competitive," said one breeder. "But I would not believe that somebody involved in this would be that malicious. We are all considered to be dog lovers and at the end of the day you take home your pets and love them, whether they won or lost."
The mystery deepens as there is speculation that Jagger was not the intended target, but rather her half-brother Noodle, who went on to win best in breed. Owners are now taking extra precautions with their pampered pooches. "I take no chances. I am just wary. I don’t trust anybody," said the owner of a Pomeranian who won first in class, while another Pomeranian breeder recalled a poisoning of a different kind from twenty years ago. "Once, I had one dog that was given a hallucinatory drug 20 years ago. It wasn’t at Crufts, and it took her out of that show."
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