Killed airport dog was still in training

Grizz, the airport security dog who shot dead at Auckland Airport on Friday, had been taking part in socialisation training at the time of his death. Photo: Facebook

The Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed the security dog who was shot and killed at Auckland Airport was still in training at the time of his death.

According to the authority, the 10-month-old trainee detector dog named ‘Grizz' escaped his handler while being loaded into the back of car at the airport on Friday at about 4.30am.

The Bearded Collie/German short haired Pointer cross was at the airport at the time of the shooting as part of a socialisation programme that was part of his on-the-job training.

After escaping his handler, Grizz managed to get through the security area when a gate opened to let a truck through.

The CAA says they tried multiple methods, including food, toys and other dogs, to capture Grizz but nothing worked. They were also hampered by the fact it was dark at the time of the incident, and because the trainee dog didn't have a permanent handler.

Airport staff then directed police officers to shoot Grizz after three hours of trying to catch him. The decision has been described as a ‘last resort'.

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.

Animal rights group SAFE's ambassador Hans Kriek says he is “appalled and bewildered” and that the use of a tranquilliser 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.”

There were lessons to be learnt, he added, saying the airport had to get a tranquilliser gun.

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

The cost of training dogs like Grizz, who was only six months away from graduating, is about $100,000.

About 16 domestic and international flights were delayed due to the incident.



8 Comments

Handler?

Posted on 18-03-2017 23:34 | By waiknot

The dog did not have a permanent handler. There's your problem, it didn't have a buddy it trusted. If my dog was in an uncertain situation she would come flying to me.

You're kidding right?

Posted on 18-03-2017 22:50 | By GreertonBoy

What mayhem would it have caused on a runway? The crew of an A380 cant see the ground so there is no way, in the dark, they would see this tiny puppy and swerve the plane and roll it into a ditch? They could run over a parked car and wouldn't notice.... a puppy would cause no damage. Besides, the puppy had gone out of the gate which had opened to let a truck thru. The prop plane drivers don't look out of the window much when taxying, so they would have just thought they ran over a pot hole if it was unlucky enough to get under a wheel. I just thought Police/Customs dogs were equal to police/customs officers? If a Police dog gets killed on duty, they are recognised like an officer... here, a 'recruit' (dog) was shot intentionally by its masters.... that was wrong imo

They tried

Posted on 18-03-2017 21:19 | By chewy

3 hours of trying to save it was a good effort. Should they have waited longer til planes started running out of fuel as there were only humans on board? Safe better get sorted out soon before the hunting season starts otherwise there will be more animals killed.

@Darth Vader

Posted on 18-03-2017 20:25 | By morepork

Any collision between a jet carrying 850 people and a 10 month old puppy would pass largely unnoticed by the jet. What's interesting to me is that they had a gun handy, but not a tranquilizer or net-gun...

Greerton Boy spot on

Posted on 18-03-2017 20:13 | By stokey

Darth Vader you have got to be joking,I suppose youre one of these plonkers that enjoys killing deer or shooting birds. Get some humanity or become an SPCA volunteer!

Darth Vader, you're kidding right!

Posted on 18-03-2017 16:03 | By Murray.Guy

There is only ONE plane capable of carrying 853 passengers BUT NONE are! You post is about as credible as the excuse of 'no option but to kill the dog'. An international airport that is transporting all manner of domestic animals, cats, dogs, daily and the best they can do after a three hour effort is shoot to kill. Tranquillisers, cargo nets, ....? As for the assertion that this dog had the potential to put at risk passengers on a 200-500 ton aircraft - 'spare me, you're dreaming mate'. Forget the diversion PC spin, whoever was calling the shots shouldn't be. Not an uncommon phenomenon.

you're kidding right ?

Posted on 18-03-2017 13:45 | By Darth Vader NZ

@GreertonBoy you're kidding right? "imagine the carnage it could of caused if it was allowed to live" So the dog causing mayhem on a runway or near one is okay? Imagine the carnage of a prop plane or a jet of which some do carry 853 human lives far outweighs the life of a single dog on a runway or within the vicinity of a runway any day of the week

Wow...

Posted on 18-03-2017 12:50 | By GreertonBoy

Lucky we were protected from this escaped, wild beast. Imagine the carnage it could have caused if it were allowed to have lived? I mean, it could very well have licked several school children to death? [sarcasm] Why on earth shoot the poor thing? Surely everyone could have just gone about their business and waited for it to calm down or get hungry.... if people at the airport and the public were notified, someone would eventually have managed to pick him up? I suppose this should be a warning to new rookie police offices... don't let the pressure get to you, if there is a hiccup in your training or you loose the plot.... look out.... Seriously though, who's idea was it to shoot the wee thing? Hope you are proud of yourself?

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