Following the death of an Irish setter allegedly fed poisoned chunks of beef, the Crufts dog-poisoning scandal appears to be escalating.
Amid claims that up to six further dogs may have been poisoned at the British dog show, The Daily Beast has spoken to a top British breeder who believes that her sheepdog was poisoned along with another mutt that pipped it to first place in the sheepdog class.
Mylee Thomas told the Beast that her dog, Myter Eye to Eye, was violently sick in her cage on Friday, just as she was getting ready for the final judging. In the event her dog placed second, and the dog that won, Singing the Blues, was also throwing up, Thomas says. The official Crufts vet came and examined both the dogs, and told her he believed they had both been given something toxic.
“It was extremely suspicious they were both taken ill at the same time, just as they were about to get their prizes,” said Thomas, who is membership secretary for the official English Shetland Sheepdog Society.
The Kennel Club, the competition organizer, told the media on Tuesday that it has had no official complaints from owners. But Thomas said the Kennel Club did know about the incident with the sheepdogs, as she filled in an official complaint form given to her by the chief veterinary officer at the event.
While Thomas was adamant that her dog had been poisoned, she said she has “no idea” who would have done such a thing, whether a member of the public or a rival.
Thomas, who has been breeding 16 years, said she has no intention of giving up, adding that in the future “we just need to be more vigilant.”
There are unconfirmed rumors that a Shih Tzu has died as a result of poisoning after the event.
Crufts is the oldest dog show in Britain, with a 123-year history that has not always been entirely controversy-free. Animal welfare campaigners have often criticized the event, saying breeding pedigree animals is cruel.
Jagger, an Irish setter who worked as a therapy dog, died after returning home to Belgium after appearing at Crufts. The owners said a vet’s preliminary investigation found poison laced in chunks of beef inside the animal. A toxicology report is due this week.