Rescue Dog Shot Dead on Airport Runway

Escape forced incoming flight to abort landing
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2018 1:56 AM CDT
Rescue Dog Shot Dead on Airport Runway
Winnipeg airport.   (Herb Neufeld/Wikimedia Commons)

A Canadian rescue dog's journey to her new home ended tragically after she escaped her kennel and ran loose on an airport runway in Winnipeg. Greta—a 2-year-old Labrador mix who was on her way from northern Manitoba to a home in the city—chewed through a plastic portion of her kennel and escaped when the plane door was opened. Airport officials say they had no choice but to shoot the dog after she evaded wildlife control officers' attempts to corral her and ran near an active runway, causing an incoming flight from Las Vegas to abort its landing, the Guardian reports. "It was a tough day for everyone," says airport spokesman Tyler MacAfee, explaining that Greta was loose at a busy time of day when a flight took off or landed every couple of minutes.

"It's certainly not the outcome anyone wants to see, and it's a really tough decision for someone to make to use force in that way on an animal," MacAfee tells the CBC. "But at the same time it's that balance of aviation safety." He says the airport is reviewing its policy on dealing with animals. Manitoba Mutts rescue director Rebecca Norman says Greta was friendly, but had a history of chewing through kennels. "Quite clearly, we didn't want her to be hit by a plane. That would have been more painful than the way she passed away," says Norman. She says this is the first such incident in the seven years that Perimeter Aviation has been transporting dogs for the group, and she doesn't want the public to "point fingers" over the "heartbreaking situation." (This airport escape story has a happier ending.)

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