A trainee bomb-sniffing dog was shot dead at a New Zealand airport on Friday after he escaped his handler and caused 16 flights to be delayed. Officials say the 10-month-old bearded collie cross, named Grizz, was "spooked" around 4am and spent 3.5 hours loose on the tarmac as Auckland Airport staff tried unsuccessfully to catch him. "We tried everything, food, toys, other dogs," says a Civil Aviation Authority rep. "In these difficult circumstances the Airport's Emergency Operations Center team decided to have the dog destroyed."
Police were given the OK to shoot the dog on the outer perimeter of the airfield "as a last resort," an official tells the New Zealand Herald. "This is not an outcome anyone wanted." An animal rights activist, however, says a tranquilizer gun should have been used. CNN reports Grizz was six months from graduation, and adds this bitter pill: The Auckland Airport initially tweeted that Grizz had been captured; an hour later, it tweeted the corrected news that the dog "unfortunately" had been shot. (Read more New Zealand stories.)