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AUCKLAND, AUSTRALIA- Australia is in an uproar after a bomb sniffing dog was shot by Auckland airport staff, following the pups escape onto the airfield of the airport.
The bomb detection dog, Grizz, was shot dead by police on Friday morning after he was spooked on the job and escaped about 4am. Pilots refused to risk passenger safety by taking off with the dog on the loose, reports the Guardian.
The New Zealand Herald reports that Grizz was not on the tarmac, rather he was on the outer perimeter of the airfield. Airport staff tried to catch him for three hours without success before instructing police to shoot him.
Grizz reportedly caused the delaying of 16 international and domestic flights, says the Guardian.
Staff had done “everything they could”, spokeswoman Lisa Mulitalo told Fairfax New Zealand. “We’re really upset about it”.
The Guardian reports that the airport initially tweeted out that Grizz had “now been caught” but later posted a clarification that the dog had been shot.
— Frank Chung (@franks_chung) March 16, 2017
Inspector Tracy Phillips of Counties Manukau District Police said Aviation Security Service (Avsec) had made “considerable efforts” to catch Grizz, according to the Guardian.
“Our thoughts are with the Avsec dog handler involved. This is not an outcome which anyone wanted, and police were only asked to be involved as a last resort.”
Unfortunately an Aviation Security dog was shot this morn @AKL_Airport staff had tried for 3 hours to catch it our thoughts are with handler
— Auckland Airport (@AKL_Airport) March 16, 2017
According to the Guardian, authorities are investigating the incident and what triggered the dog to run off.
Auckland Airport has been wearing the brunt of the loss of the dog, as commenters have relentless posted their thoughts about the incident on their Facebook.
The Guardian explained that the incident also left Hilary Barry, a popular breakfast television host, upset on while she was on air.
“One of them got spooked at Auckland airport and went a bit cray-cray and was running around on the tarmac. So? It’s only Auckland airport. Sixteen flights were delayed. So?
“So they shot it! They shot it dead. They’ve got to have tranquiliser guns, surely. They shot the dog dead. I don’t care if your plane was delayed, they don’t need to shoot the dog.”
Told that Avsec was reviewing the incident, Barry said, “Oh, forget the review. Don’t shoot the dog,” reports the Guardian.
A spokesman for the animal welfare group SAFE, Hans Kriek, said he was “appalled and bewildered” that the dog had to die, AAP reported, via the Guardian.
“I suppose they didn’t have one [a tranquilliser], but that’s not an excuse. They said they were chasing the dog for three hours, surely they could have got one from Auckland Zoo.”
There were lessons to be learnt from the incident, he said. “There was a non-lethal solution, they were not prepared. We expect that something is now put in place for future incidents.”
Trained to detect explosives, Grizz joined Avsec in May last year and was reportedly “just six months away from graduating,” according to the Guardian.