Greta, a two-year-old golden Labrador mix. (Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue via The Canadian Press)

‘Very upset:’ Escaped dog shot at Canadian airport to avoid aircraft mishap

Airport official says dog ran onto runway and forced a flight crew to abort landing attempt

A frightened rescue dog that escaped from a plane and scampered onto a runway at Winnipeg’s airport was shot dead by wildlife control after officials feared the pet might cause an accident.

Winnipeg-based Manitoba Mutts Dog Rescue says the two-year-old golden-Labrador mix, named Greta, fled from a Perimeter Aviation plane Monday after a flight from Shamattawa First Nation.

Airport spokesman Tyler MacAfee says the dog ran onto a runway and forced the crew of a WestJet flight from Las Vegas to abort a landing attempt.

READ MORE: Dog dies after airline worker has it placed in overhead bin

MacAfee says the dog started to run back toward the runway a second time and, despite efforts by two officers to coax Greta in, the dog could not be corralled and was shot to avoid another conflict with an aircraft.

Rebecca Norman, a Manitoba Mutts director, says Greta had been placed in a standard plastic kennel, but it appears she chewed through the side and jumped from the plane when the door opened.

Norman says the organization plans to meet with airport officials to discuss ways to prevent similar incidents.

“It was a bit of a shock for all parties involved,” said Norman. “I think everyone did the best that they could, given the scenario. The outcome was as it should be.”

Greta was considered a community dog that ran loose, she said, although she wasn’t feral and was still approachable.

“Dogs don’t take well to taking trips on airplanes. Any dog would be quite fearful after a flight.”

Norman said a standard metal kennel had been provided for Greta’s transport, but a volunteer in Shamattawa decided the weight was too heavy to load onto a truck, so the dog was left in the plastic kennel.

She said the rescue group has flown many dogs in plastic carriers before.

A member of a foster family that would have taken Greta before possible placement in a permanent home was waiting at the airport.

“They were very upset. This was their first foster dog with us so it was pretty traumatizing. Thankfully, she was able to take another dog that was on the flight.”

MacAfee said pets have escaped from their crates before, but this is the first time the airport had to shoot an animal.

He said they’ve looked at the option of using a tranquillizer gun.

“My understanding is that there are no airports in Canada which use that technique, but … if it’s practical and makes sense and works then, absolutely, we would look at it as an option.”

Norman said it’s wonderful the airport has offered to meet with her organization, but she’s not sure much will change “in terms of protocol.”

“Tranquilizer darts take quite a long time to work and it’s a guessing game on how much the dog weighs and how much medication to give.”

Norman also said wire kennels don’t always meet airlines’ size requirements and Manitoba Mutts has spoken to Perimeter Aviation about using carriers with heavier plastic.

There was no immediate reply from Perimeter to a request for comment.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Update: RCMP confirm body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Pets still missing after Peachland home fire

Two Pomeranians and two cats are missing after fire

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: A sunny Easter Sunday

Temperatures will peak at approximately 20C region-wide

Petition to stop new cell tower too close to Kelowna homes

An online petition was started to stop cell tower construction near Ellison Elementary School

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Regional district backs more consultation on plans to help caribou

It is feared that the caribou recovery plans could result in closure of backcountry areas

Okanagan student shows skill at provincial finals

Aidan Eglin of Armstrong won website development event at Skills Canada’s B.C. finals in Abbotsford

Kootnekoff: Easter Bunny legal woes

Several years ago, our young daughter needed to know: “Is Santa Claus… Continue reading

Okanagan fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware cats were in wood pile in yard near garbage pile fire that got away

Okanagan township’s open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

Children gather for Easter festival in Summerland

Fourth annual Easter Egg-stravaganza included activities and egg hunt

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Most Read