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

Exploring the wild and unrestrained side of flamenco

Fin de Fiesta Flamenco troupe returns to Salmon Arm with Salvaje

Salmon Arm athletes hit the track in Cowichan 2018 BC Games

Results from day one with Thompson-Okanagan team are in

Taxi collides with parked dump truck in Salmon Arm

No word yet on the cause or if charges will be laid

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Racers wanted for Shuswap soap box derby

Salmon Arm 10-year-old Brody Paton is making preparations for annual Friendship Day event

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Lettter: Columnist wrong about Mexico, England

America hater, Gwynne Dyer, misrepresents and obfuscates the facts in his last… Continue reading

Letter: Roads in Shuswap’s Blind Bay being neglected

Two weeks ago we went for a drive to Notch Hill Estates.… Continue reading

Letter: Unconvinced of benefits of proportional representation

BC citizens have a very important decision coming up this fall; to… Continue reading

Update: Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Invasive species can be a matter of perspective

Column: Great Outdoors/James Murray

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

From the Archives: Fish foiled despite fantastic fight

1908 – On June 30, the day the school closed for the… Continue reading

Most Read