The Crufts Dog Show is one of the world’s largest and most competitive canine conventions in the world. While most dog owners rely on hard work and discipline to win, others are willing to do whatever it takes. In its 123-year history, it’s seen competitors put chewed gum in dogs’ primped hair, and even laxatives being slipped into food.
Three-year-old, prize-winning Irish Setter Thendara Satisfaction, also known as Jagger, collapsed at home after his showing and died. According to Jagger’s owners, a postmortem examination revealed that the dog had eaten poisoned beef cubes.
Skullduggery is no stranger to the highly competitive world of dog-showing, but an act of such consequence is absolutely unheard of. Competitors have been to take such underhanded tactics as deliberately putting a bitch in heat near a male to distract him, or snipping at competitors’ coiffures in order to win, but could someone have really stooped to such levels?
“It does make you think. Jealousy comes into it. The stakes are very high. If you have got a winning dog, people would become jealous,” said Daniel Marsden, co-owner of an award-winning Yorkshire Terrier.
However, Dee Milligan-Bott, co-owner of the £50,000 ($75,487.50) dog, said in an interview with BBC Radio 5 live that she didn’t believe another competitor was responsible, or that it was anyone involved in the world of dogs who did it.
“I can only imagine that it was a random act that somebody premeditated and wanted to cause total distress at the best dog show in the world,” she said. “It’s not unknown for people to do things like this.”
Worst of all, the co-owners are not optimistic about finding the killer.
“They will hopefully try with CCTV which they have in the halls at Crufts but I don’t think they will be able to find anybody,” Jagger’s other owner, Jeremy Bott, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program. “It’s rather like, you know, the terrorist attacks … They’ve got no information.”