Service dog killed for delayed flights

  • Service dog killed for delayed flights

Service dog killed for delayed flights

Animal rights activists and other dog lovers condemned the actions of police after Grizz, a 10-month-old border collie and German shorthair pointer cross, was shot and killed Thursday morning when he escaped his handler, Noel Thorburn, and roamed airport runways for three hours.

The dog had been training with the Aviation Security Service at Auckland Airport, and was just six months away from graduating.

Aviation Security Service (Avsec) spokesman Mike Richards told Sky News that off duty dog handlers were called in to help search for Grizz.

Grizz was ushered off the tarmac after he delayed more than a dozen flights and airport staff asked police to shoot him soon after.

Mr Richards said a "massive effort" was launched to try to track the dog down in pitch black conditions but two hours Grizz had still not been found.

Aviation Security Service has released more details around the fatal shooting of one of its dogs at Auckland International Airport this morning. "This is not an outcome which anyone wanted", he said.

The dog got loose as he "was being loaded into a van by his handler in the public area", reported Sky News.

The lengthy dog-chase disrupted at least 16 flights.

Grizz's death has sparked an outpouring of outrage, with many questioning why airport staff didn't attempt non-lethal methods to capture the dog.

After three hours of trying to retrieve the dog in the dark - airport staff used toys, dogs, food, and handlers tried to coax the dog back to safety - police were told to shoot it. "If such a gun was not available - which it should - then they could have borrowed one from Auckland Zoo or elsewhere", he added.

She said the issue of tranquillisation would be part of a review of the incident undertaken by Avsec.

Ms Williams said they would have assessed its ability to detect scent, screen luggage, be safe around passengers and cope with the noisy airport environment.

Eventually airport officials ordered police to shoot Grizz.

"Our dog teams search for any explosives in auto parks, navigation facilities, unattended cars and unattended items/bags, cargo, and aircraft", the website said.