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Fury at airport after trainee dog shot

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/03/2017

Auckland Airport has been inundated with criticism after a 10-month-old aviation security dog was shot dead.

Trainee detector dog Grizz escaped from his handler while being loaded into the back of an Avsex Explosive Detector Dog van on Friday morning.

The Civil Aviation Authority says it did everything it could to catch Grizz but after three hours, and 16 domestic and international flight interruptions airport staff directed police to shoot him.

Hundreds of people have taken to the airport's social media pages to criticised the decision, labelling the decision "despicable, disgraceful and disgusting".

"Disgusted by the choice that was made. A dog that lives to serve its human is murdered because other humans panicked. Surely a tranquilizer (sic) could have been used?!" Carolyne McCourtie said.

"Nice work murdering a frightened puppy to make sure the planes stayed on time. You should be proud of yourselves," Dylan-Beth Clements-Mosley added.

Others have called for the decision-maker to lose their job.

"I hope somebody's head rolls for this," Olwyn Smith said on Facebook.

Animal rights group have also questioned why a tranquilliser wasn't made available, including SAFE ambassador Hans Kriek who said it would have been a simple solution.

"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've got one from Auckland Zoo," he said.

"There was a non-lethal solution, they were not prepared. We expect that something is now put in place for future incidents, Mr Kriek said.

But police and Auckland Airport maintain shooting the Bearded Collie-German short haired Pointer cross was the right decision.

Staff found it difficult to locate him as it was dark and he did not have a permanent handler so didn't respond as well as a dog who does.

"We tried everything, food, toys, other dogs, but nothing would work. The area is too vast and too open to try and use mobile fencing," the CAA said.

"All of Auckland's Avsec off duty dog handlers were called in and there was a massive effort to locate and retrieve him."

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