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WHODUNIT: Show Dog Dead Under Suspicious Circumstances

Illustration for article titled WHODUNIT: Show Dog Dead Under Suspicious Circumstances

Readers, we have on our hands a mystery.

Thendara Satisfaction, a.k.a. Jagger, is a three-year-old Irish red setter and show dog. Or rather he was, until he dropped dead shortly after returning home to Belgium from the prestigious Crufts show in Birmingham, England, NBC News reports.

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Suspicious enough. But the plot thickens: Shortly afterward, Jagger's breeder and co-owner Dee Milligan Bott went on BBC Radio and declared foul play. The vet immediately performed a post-mortem, and "She found—and this is what we've been told—she found an undigested piece of his beef still in his stomach that had been stuffed with poison which as yet is unidentified and we are waiting now for the toxicology report." Bott added: "But we are led to believe that there is no doubt that the dog was maliciously poisoned."

According to Bott, Jagger must've eaten the meat at Crufts, and the only time he was left alone was on his bench while other dogs were being exhibited. (Crufts, meanwhile, has issued a statement saying they warned owners not to leave their dogs unattended, the Telegraph reports.) But she doesn't believe it was a competitor or fellow dog enthusiast: "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. It's not unknown for people to do things like this," she told BBC Radio.

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Her husband Jeremy doubts the culprits will ever be found, the Telegraph says: "You have got people walking around the show so it's quite easy to feed a dog something like that if you want to poison them." For their part, the Kennel Club (which organizes Crufts) told the AP they're waiting for the toxicology report.

So who did it? Could it have been a competitor? A particularly malicious member of the public? Mick Jagger or perhaps his daughter Georgia May? Or perhaps it was just a batch of bad meat? Stay tuned to find out.

Photo via AP.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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DISCUSSION

Background>> I am an ex vet nurse and now journalist (mainly covering pet/animal/veterinary subjects) and I covered the Crufts event for some of my clients.

My general take on this is: The timescale for the dog competing at the show on Thurs and dying on Friday could possibly fit with the poisoning (or accidental ingestion of toxins at the show) scenario, but for a breed of that type, food such as raw meat cubes would be totally digested within 8-10 hours max.

It is unlikely that the dog died prior to meat chunks being fully digested, and so I am not sure why the owner is so sure that meat chunks were responsible; I suspect that this is conjecture.

However, toxicology can still be run post mortem, which should reveal what poisons or toxins were present. I tend to think that the vet identified poisoning (either deliberate or accidental) and gave the owner the chunks of meat explanation as a possible cause, pending the results of the tests.

Also, poisoning is a nasty way to go, and the dog would have been sick and symptomatic prior to death, rather than having just keeled over suddenly, and there has not been any mention that I can find on the news about symptoms prior to death.

I think the owner is getting an audience to discuss their assertions and possible views on what they think may have happened, and these are being woven in with the facts rather than as supposition.