'Murder at Crufts' poisoning claim hits world's biggest dog show

Mon Mar 9, 2015 11:19am EDT
 
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By Karolin Schaps

LONDON (Reuters) - The world’s biggest dog show was thrust into a murder mystery fit for an Agatha Christie novel when a champion Irish setter died after its owner said it had been fed steak laced with poison.

The death of three-year-old Jagger rocked Britain's Crufts show, held annually since the reign of Queen Victoria, and unnerved a dog-showing world that some fear may have just become too competitive.

Dee Milligan-Bott, co-owner of Jagger, whose pedigree name was Thendara Satisfaction, said an autopsy had concluded he had eaten steak laced with several types of poison that led to a painful death for the dog on his return to Belgium.

She called on fellow breeders to track down the poisoner.

"I ask you all to unite in finding the perpetrator who did this," Milligan-Bott, an experienced Irish setter and Afghan Hound kennel owner who has officiated at Crufts, told reporters at her home in central England.

Although she said the autopsy showed the poisoning must have taken place at Crufts, she refused to point the blame at rivals.

"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," Milligan-Bott said.

"I therefore need you all to know that we can't, and we won't think this was an act of another exhibitor. If we thought this we couldn't go."   Continued...

 
Dee Milligan-Bott (2nd R) co-owner of Irish setter Jagger and her husband Jeremy Bott (R) speak to members of the media outside their home in Kilby, central England March 9, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer