Birmingham & Black Country

Crufts poison claim: 'Truth never known' over death, say owners

Jagger Image copyright Dee Milligan-Bott
Image caption Jagger's owners say they will never know the "true facts" around his death

The owners of a dog who wrongly claimed their pet was poisoned at Crufts have said they will never know the true circumstances about how he died.

Toxicology tests showed the Irish setter, who died in Belgium, could not have ingested two "fast-acting" poisons at the event in Birmingham.

The animal's owners said they wanted to "draw a line under this tragedy".

However, they criticised the Kennel Club's handling of the "media circus" following the death.

'Cold and impersonal'

Thendara Satisfaction, which had the pet name Jagger, was jointly owned by Belgian couple Aleksandra and Willem Lauwers and Leicestershire-based Dee Milligan-Bott and her husband Jeremy Bott.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jagger's co-owners previously said they believed the dog must have been given the meat at Crufts

They said they thought the animal ate a piece of beef laced with poison at Crufts.

But in joint statements, they said: "We accept that we will never know the true facts of why, where and when Jagger ingested poison which resulted in his death.

"We wish now to draw a line under this tragedy."

The couples said officials sent "cold" and impersonal emails while the owners said they felt they did "everything possible to quell the media frenzy that was eager to sensationalise this sad situation".

Image copyright Aleksandra Lauwers
Image caption Jagger came second in his class at the annual dog show

They said they would have welcomed expert advice from the organisation on how to deal with the "intrusive worldwide media interest" in the case.

"That would have been helpful, rather than the cold, impersonal emails and their own press comments regretting that Jagger had died after the show (and) may have avoided the terrible media circus that ensued," they said.

In response to the owners' statements, a Crufts spokesperson said they advised the owners of the expected media interest and offered support.

"Both we and the owners have expressed our desire to draw a line under this, so that the owners can grieve privately.

"As dog owners ourselves, we understand how heart-breaking the loss of a beloved dog is and we have continually offered our sincere sympathies and support to the owners and continue to do so."

A police investigation was now the only way to find out the truth about who poisoned Jagger and why, they added.

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