Thendara Satisfaction – known as Jagger – came second in his class at the Birmingham NEC last Thursday. However, the much-loved family pet died soon after returning to his home in Belgium with co-owner Aleksandra Lauwers.

A post-mortem examination revealed that Jagger had eaten cubes of beef which may have been sewn up around two or three types of poison including rat and slug killers. The Daily Telegraph has reported that two other dogs were also taken ill at the show.

The main focus of attention in any investigation is likely to be on the easy access that members of the general public have to competing dogs at shows such as Crufts. CCTV footage may yet shed some light on the sad incident.

Dee Milligan-Bott, the wife of Jagger’s other co-owner, Jeremy Bott, told BBC Radio 5 live: “I don’t believe in my heart of hearts that this was another competitor or anyone involved in the dog world. 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.”

The Kennel Club is currently awaiting a toxicology report from Belgian police. Secretary Caroline Kisko said: “The Kennel Club is deeply shocked and saddened to hear that Jagger the Irish setter died some 26 hours after leaving Crufts. We have spoken to his owners and our heartfelt sympathies go out to them.”

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: “If, following toxicology results in Belgium, the force is formally asked to conduct inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death of the animal, an investigation will take place by officers in conjunction with Crufts and the NEC.”