This might be one of the more heartbreaking things you’ll read all day.
In terribly sad news, a puppy being trained to detect explosives at the Auckland International Airport in New Zealand was shot and killed on Friday.
Grizz, the 10-month-old bearded collie and german short-haired pointer mix, was only six months from graduating from his program with the New Zealand Aviation Security Service AKA Avsec when he was fatally shot by police after escaping loose on the airport tarmac.
According to a report, the pup escaped his handler after being spooked, and disrupted around 16 flights.
Inspector Tracy Phillips said of the decision to kill Grizz, saying:
“Auckland Airport staff directed police to shoot the Avsec dog, which was loose at the airport this morning. This followed considerable efforts over several hours by Avsec and airport staff to contain the dog after it was first reported to be loose at 4am. This is not an outcome anyone wanted, and police were only asked to be involved as a last resort.”
Radio New Zealand reported Grizz made a run for it when he was being loaded into a van by his handler, but escaped through an open security gate.
They say the team attempted to use toys, other dogs, food, and other handlers to get Grizz away from the tarmac before they resorted to calling the police.
But couldn’t they have used a tranquilizer?? It was said the puppy wasn’t even on the tarmac at the time he was shot, too.
Although, one Avsec spokesman, Mike Richards, added:
“All efforts to capture the dog were exhausted and the airport company had no option but to request police to shoot the dog. The handler and Avsec are naturally upset but do understand there were no other options, in the very difficult circumstances.”
He also shared that Avsec plans to “try and ascertain what spooked the dog and if this has any implications for ongoing training”.
A source told the New Zealand Herald that police staff and Grizz’s handler are “absolutely devastated”.
Ugh. We can only imagine!
R.I. P., sweet baby Grizz. Our thoughts go out to his handler and those who knew the working dog.
[Image via Avsec/Facebook.]