“Police can confirm that Auckland Airport staff directed police to shoot the AVSEC dog which was loose at the airport this morning”, Counties Manukau Inspector Tracy Phillips said.
About 16 domestic and worldwide flights were delayed after the dog, reportedly named Girzz, broke free into the airfield at about 4am.
“The airport Emergency Operations Centre was activated and a full search was commenced”.
An airport spokesperson said 16 domestic and worldwide flights had been delayed as a result of the dog running loose.
A police marksman killed the 10-month-old bearded-collie and German shorthaired pointer cross called Grizz, which was in training to detect explosives, said Mike Richards, a spokesman for New Zealand’s Aviation Security Service.
“It had been on the outer perimeter of the airfield”.
After several hours trying to capture the canine in the dark, airport authorities made the decision for police to shoot the dog.
He said there will be an investigation into what spooked the dog and how this might affect staff training in the future. They did everything they could, but unfortunately it had to be shot.
The total approximate investment in getting a dog like Grizz to final graduation is $100,000 – once they have been through all of the stages of block and on-the-job training.
An aviation security dog has been shot dead by police after it went rogue at Auckland Airport.
Animal right’s group SAFE’s ambassador, Hans Kriek, said he was “appalled and bewildered” and that the use of a tranquilliser would have been a simple solution.
“Had they gone straight away to Auckland Zoo and borrowed a tranquilliser gun, they could have tranquillised the animal, and would have had it no time”, he said. It is believed the dog at one point escaped onto the tarmac.
Explosive detector dogs are employed at airports to sniff out bombs, rather than drugs.
‘These teams do a very important job protecting travellers, airline crew, airport workers and New Zealand at large by ensuring that no unsafe materials are present on aircraft or in our airports’.
They are at the main airports in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. “By being visible they can act as a deterrent for any wrongdoers”.