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Dog on runway is shot and killed at airport in Canada

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Rather than put an arriving flight at risk, a Canadian airport wildlife control officer shot and killed a dog who had escaped her crate and was lingering on the runway.

The Winnipeg Airports Authority says it is looking over its wildlife policy after the incident last week, which caused one flight to abort its landing.

The dog, named Greta, was en route to a Winnipeg foster home from a northern Manitoba community, flown by Perimeter Aviation and under the care of the Manitoba Mutts.

The dog rescue has been transporting dogs to Winnipeg with Perimeter Aviation for about seven years, said Rebecca Norman, one of the rescue directors, but this was the first time one got loose on the tarmac.

Greta apparently chewed her way through the plastic crate she was held in, according to CBC.

“It was a tough day for everyone,” said Tyler MacAfee, the authority’s director of corporate communications, on Wednesday. “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 … But at the same time it’s that balance of aviation safety.”

With flights landing every few minutes at that time of day, the wildlife control officer made the decision to use lethal force.

“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,” Norman said. “And we also didn’t want … the planes to crash or people to get hurt,” MacAfee said.

Carlos Castillo, vice-president of commercial services for Perimeter Aviation, said it appears the dog chewed through a plastic portion of the kennel during transportation and broke loose as staff opened the plane door.

Workers tried to contain Greta but the dog broke free, Castillo said.

The airport’s wildlife control staff tried to corral the animal into a safe, open area, as is usually done in these cases, MacAfee said, but it evaded attempts and ran across the airfield, near an active runway.

One flight, an inbound plane from Las Vegas, had to abort its landing to avoid the dog, MacAfee said. The wildlife officer managed to get the animal away from the runway but it turned around and returned to the area.

(Photo of Greta, Manitoba Mutts)