SAFE ’appalled’ at airport dog shooting

Grizz the dog was shot at Auckland Airport today. Photo: Facebook

Animal activists are appalled and bewildered after an aviation security dog that got loose at Auckland Airport was shot dead.

But authorities say they had no choice.

About 16 domestic and international flights were delayed after the dog, reportedly named Girzz, broke free into the airfield at about 4am.

After three hours to trying to catch the canine, airport staff directed police officers to shoot it.

Animal right's 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, Hans says.

World Animal Protection New Zealand said on its Facebook page it was "deeply saddened" to hear of the death of Grizz.

"Our thoughts are also with his handler. The fatal shooting of a working dog cannot be a last resort',"

But police and Auckland Airport say they had no other choice.

"Unfortunately as a last resort they had to shoot him," an airport spokeswoman said.

The airport said its thought's were with the dog's handler.

Police Inspector Tracy Phillips says officers had been directed by airport staff to shoot the dog.

"This is not an outcome which anyone wanted, and police were only asked to be involved as a last resort," she said.

Explosive detector dogs are employed at airports to sniff out bombs, rather than drugs. Each dog is paired with a handler.




Posted on 20-03-2017 16:48 | By Papamoaner

Piggy Muldoon would have said NZer aint done his homework.12.7mm tranquilliser guns are in common use in certain areas and are readily available. They are not generally effective beyond about 75 metres, but that distance would not have been difficult to close in on the dog with a couple of quad bikes and an experienced dog handler/ dog catcher. Darts do however, inflict a lot of stress on large animals, but this was a small dog. They could have taken the dogs handler out on a quad bike and dropped him off near the dog with a dart gun. If he then just sat down on the ground and spoke to the dog, there's a good chance the dog would have eventually come to him. We have to feel a bit sorry for everyone involved due to lack of experience.


Posted on 19-03-2017 13:03 | By BennyBenson

You're quite right, NZ is very limited for acquiring many things readily available in other parts of the world, however, just because you can't acquire something at the local store doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Not being prepared is not a good enough excuse for this shoddy outcome.

Tranquilliser gun

Posted on 19-03-2017 02:18 | By NZer

To all the people suggesting to use a tranquilliser gun go to a firearms shop and see how many tranquilliser guns you can find??? You might as well ask for them to use a moon ray gun....they are just as common.

@ Raptor..........

Posted on 18-03-2017 21:18 | By groutby

you dare to call people that care about animal lives as left wing "snowflakes?"..for me, I would be about as far away from that stupidity as it may be possible to imagine, but your comments re. this is in itself is seriously nutty. All...( of your comments) plus or minus none...suggest that the issue issue is solely with the dog involved..right?...I suggest that if all requirements had been met, procedures followed and outcomes achieved, there would have been no reason to doubt that this dog could have done the job, or would have not been chosen in the first place. Question Raptor: if you fail in something requested of you...would you expect a similar outcome? Human error (in my opinion) is the reason, the dog died because we could not handle that, how easy to blame something else for our errors. I am sad for people like yo


Posted on 18-03-2017 18:25 | By BennyBenson

Bollocks..todays tranquilizer guns can be very accurate even at 70 metres and considering the seriousness of animals on runways at airports, they should absolutely have equipment like this available at their disposal immediately for if/when required. Pet cargo, bomb detector, bio security and service dogs are at the airport every day, obviously it was only a matter of time before something like this happened and by all accounts they weren't prepared for it.


Posted on 18-03-2017 13:55 | By Papamoaner

You seem to think everybody on here except you, are stupid. That's arrogant. I would suggest the average experienced council dog ranger might consider what you have said, to also be stupid.

unfortunate - but the right decision

Posted on 18-03-2017 13:02 | By Raptor

Typical comments that follow an incident like this from delusional left-wing snowflakes, and the total hypocritical waste of space activist group - SAFE. These sort of people usually know absolutely nothing about firearms, running a business/service, or animal training.1. The dog was still in training - it clearly failed to make the grade when spooked by normal airport noises. Worse, it created a safety risk when it's handler failed to control it.2. The airport is a business - cost to the country and the airport from the delayed or cancelled services - in the millions of $ - literally. 3 hours was in reality overly lenient.3. Tranquiliser guns usually have very limited range - 20m or less. Bet they couldn't get that close to a spooked animal that wasn't still, cornered or contained. Hence this sort of 'solution' is stupid, like the people suggesting it.

Half cocked?

Posted on 18-03-2017 12:47 | By astex

When the whole picture is looked at you can see that many comments here are not accurate. The dog was not fully trained and escaped through an open gate when a vehicle came through. A dart gun, even if available would have been no use as the dog was never within the 30m range for that sort of weapon. Priority has to be given to the safety of PEOPLE many hundreds of who were in a hilding pattern whilst fuel was being used up. A dog being struck by a small aircraft or sucked into an engine could have catastrophic results. Sad though this is all the experts agree that this was the only option. Think of the situation where an aircraft had to declare an emergence and make a landing with a dog on the loose and that could have happened at any time during this event.


Posted on 18-03-2017 08:16 | By maildrop

Directed by airport staff, to shoot to kill! I didn't realise people could order the cops to do that? What no brain to think for selves? Frightening that people with such limited intelligence are in charge of weapons and security. I mean, aside from the lack of compassion and forethought to get a tranquiliser gun fetched early on in the piece, could they not see that it would provoke outrage and present New Zealand, again, as a bunch of brainless hicks who abuse animals? Obviously not.

YES a shame !

Posted on 17-03-2017 23:31 | By The Caveman

BUT clearly the dog was WELL SHORT of operational training. Simple commands seem to have been well and truly missing , in the dogs understanding: STOP, COME, HEAL, SIT............ And yes the dog was only six months into training. THUS the question MUST be - WHO ran the operational testing for the dog ? Under what conditions was it run? PLUS many other questions! Seems to me that MANAGEMENT allowed the dog to start work, when it did not meet what 95% of dog owners would say were necessary "responses" to BASIC commands. There are a lot of questions that AVSEC management need to answer!!! (Sorry for the dog and handler).

better then ...

Posted on 17-03-2017 15:52 | By Roadkill

A plane load of people and dogs crashing because of, guess the good decision will be ignored and the consequences also ignored of doing nothing. This PC world has gone nuts.

Over reaction

Posted on 17-03-2017 15:28 | By Papamoaner

Why don't they think ahead and have quad bikes with net guns? Dumbos!If it had been a police dog, would the police still have complied with the request to kill it?


Posted on 17-03-2017 14:50 | By Francesca

What a travesty that one of our highly trained airport dogs has been killed. Thousand of dollars and hours - gone. The handler will be inconsolable - my thoughts to all those who are now forced to deal with the aftermath of this event.

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