By: Jodi Westrick
After competing in a preliminary competition at the Crufts dog show, a 3-year-old Irish Setter became ill and passed away Friday shortly after returning home to Belgium.
Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, placed second in his breed at the famous dog show, NBC News reports, then collapsed upon his return home. A veterinarian who performed a postmortem examination found poison-laced pieces of meat in the dog's stomach, CTV News reports.
"We are led to believe that there's no doubt the dog was maliciously poisoned," the dog's U.K.-based co-owner Dee Milligan-Bott told BBC radio on Monday. "We are all devastated."
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Milligan-Bott wrote, "We can't and we won't think that this was the act of another exhibitor, 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, And let's continue to produce and breed our gorgeous dogs who we are all so proud of."
Crufts' organizers, The Kennel Club, are awaiting the results of a toxicology test on the dog's death, which could take several days. Authorities in England and Belgium are aware of the situation, but have not yet been asked to investigate.
In a statement, The Kennel Club said it was "deeply shocked and saddened," but wouldn't be able to move forward until the results were in from the toxicology report.
Milligan-Bott also wrote on her Facebook page: "The timings from the autopsy make it clear the only place this could have been given to Jagger was while on his bench at Crufts."
She told "Dog World" that she believes another Irish Setter she owns, Thendara Pot Noodle, may have actually been the target of the alleged attack. The dog had just won best in breed at Crufts, while Jagger finished second in a preliminary competition.
Learn more about the Irish Setter breed: