Fylde coast dog owners say the alleged poisoning of an Irish setter at Crufts would not put them off entering the show.
The dog, Jagger, died after leaving the show and its owners are convinced it had been fed poisoned meat in a random attack while at the NEC in Birmingham.
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
Dee Milligan-Bott said she was certain her Irish setter was poisoned.
But the distraught breeder said: “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.”
Three-year-old Irish setter Thendara Satisfaction, known as Jagger, collapsed and died on returning to Belgium from the show after coming second in his class.
But owners on The Fylde which has a formidable record in providing winners for the world famous show, said the incident would not put them off.
Gill Reid, of Dogs Life Grooming in Bispham, whose Estrela Mountain Dog, Womble, won best puppy in 2013 said the incident was unheard of.
She said: “It is absolutely tragic that these people have lost a beloved dog like that.
“We have yet to see the full toxicology reports yet so we can’t say it happened at Crufts and I think it is more likely to have happened afterwards.
“I know a lot of the Irish setter people and I can say they are a friendly bunch, so it is unlikely to have been a rival doing this as some reports have suggested.
“When I am at Crufts, if I need to leave my dog, I always make sure there is someone to keep an eye on them.
“It is tragic but it would certainly not put me off from entering again.”
Bill Rogerson secretary of the Fleetwood and District Canine Club said: “As a dog owner I am shocked at what happened.
“We will have to wait for the full reports before we can know the true details, this dog travelled to Belgium after the show so something could have happened in the meantime.
“It is hard to believe it could have happened at Crufts. Most dog owners know that the other competitors area sincere and would not do anything of the sort, so I don’t think it will put anyone off from entering in future.”
West Midlands police are liaising with Crufts officials and the NEC to secure potential evidence.
Kennel Club 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.
“We understand that the toxicology report is due next week and until that time we cannot know the cause of this tragic incident.”