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Bomb-sniffing puppy in training shot dead on tarmac

by Ellen Killoran

He was near graduation to become a security dog

A ten-month old puppy training to be an airport security dog in New Zealand’s capital city was shot dead after he got loose from his handlers and disrupted more than a dozen flights.

According to CNN, Grizz, a bearded collie, went rogue just before dawn during a training session to become an Aviation Security Explosion Detector, more commonly known as a bomb-sniffing dog. After multiple attempts to coax him back, airport officials reportedly told police to destroy him. Grizz was reportedly just six months from graduation to become a security dog.

The puppy was loose for three hours and caused 16 flight delays before he was shot dead. A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) told CNN he “didn’t believe” tranquilizing the dog was an option.

He was on an initial airport environment socialization program as part of his training … The airport Emergency Operations Center was activated and a full search was commenced. We tried everything, food, toys, other dogs, but nothing would work … In these difficult circumstances the Airport’s Emergency Operations Center team decided to have the dog destroyed.
The killing sparked a swift social media backlash and outrage from animal activists. SAFE for Animals Ambassador Hans Kriek told CNN he did not accept the explanation for why the puppy could not have been otherwise subdued.
Ultimately they have to call the police in to shoot the dog, and the police have access to tranquilizer guns, and there’s also a zoo nearby that would have one as well. So we don’t understand why they didn’t do that.
The incident is reportedly under investigation.

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."