Irish Setter Poisoned, Dies Amid Crufts Dog Show ‘Rivalry’ Investigation

Belgium police are trying to determine why an Irish Setter was poisoned at a Crufts dog show Thursday. The prized show dog, Thendara Satisfaction, affectionately called Jagger by his owners, died after placing second in class among his dog peers, citing a Telegraph report. Some theories abound: the Setter was killed by jealous rivals or was given poison by a crazed fan.

United Kingdom authorities investigating the mysterious death of the award-winning Irish Setter say he died just 24 hours after the conclusion of the dog contest at Crufts. His owners, Aleksandra and Willem Lauwers, are in deep mourning over the loss of their canine companion.

The Lauwers are accomplished dog breeders in their hometown of Belgium. They told authorities that at about midnight on Friday, Jagger collapsed. After the scheduled event, they celebrated the successful showing with friends in Kilby, Wigston, and took the train back home. That’s when evidence of a poisoning with the Irish Setter first emerged.

“I prepared food for the dogs and I called Jagger to come over. He just collapsed and started shaking, it looked like a fit,” Mrs Lauwers said.

“We called our vet immediately. He started having diarrhea and urinating on himself. It looked like a heart attack. He went into a coma a minute later and died. I called the vet and she said it looked like poison.”

In their opinion, the Irish Setter was deliberately poisoned, likely by jealous rivals who were trying to steal a victory or merely deny one for them and their beloved dog. Mr. Lauwers shared his thoughts.

“There is no other option, it had to have happened [at Crufts]. How can you mistakenly poison a dog? Jagger was such a promising dog. He was just three years old but he was well-known around the world. Of course if you are successful, success doesn’t make you a whole lot of friends.”

The grieving man’s wife agreed. She too thought someone “purposefully targeted” their dog at the show. “I am convinced it happened at the dog show. There wasn’t any other opportunity. It looked like a jealousy act,” the woman said. She further explains why something foul is likely at play.

“The confirmation of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cards for the dogs went missing after he won at one show. Then at the Richmond Dog Show in London at another competition somebody let his brother Pot Noodle out of his cage and he went missing for an hour.”

After they suspected the Irish Setter was poisoned, they transported the dog to their vet. There, an autopsy was performed. Early results confirmed their suspicions: Jagger died from ingesting an unknown toxic substance. Results are pending on what the actual poisoning was, but inside the dog’s digestive tract were different colors of meat cubes.

A judge at Crufts, who asked not to be identified, said there were at least two other dogs that suddenly fell at the show. However, they recovered.

Another dog breeder said they suspect the Irish Setter poisoned was killed by a lunatic. They don’t believe any owner/breeder that participates in AKC-sanctioned dog shows would ever do such a thing. Jagger’s owners are hopeful it was accidental for the sake of the show’s integrity and animal safety.

[Photo credit: Spencer Platt]