17/03/2017 9:05 AM AEDT | Updated 17/03/2017 10:11 AM AEDT

Police Shoot Security Dog At Auckland Airport After It Ran Through Terminal

Handlers were unable to catch the dog after several hours.

Flights were delayed on Friday while the dog remained on the loose.
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Flights were delayed on Friday while the dog remained on the loose.

New Zealand police have fatally shot an aviation security dog at Auckland Airport, after spending three hours chasing it around the terminal on Friday.

The Aviation Security Services (AVSEC) dog, named 'Grizz', escaped at about 4am, causing delays to dozens of flights. It is believed the dog at one point escaped onto the tarmac. Handlers tried to catch the dog for three hours before the police were called to shoot it.

"Police can confirm that Auckland Airport staff directed police to shoot the AVSEC dog which was loose at the airport this morning," Inspector Tracey Phillips said in a statement.

"Our thoughts are with the AVSEC dog handler involved. This is not an outcome which anyone wanted, and police were only asked to be involved as a last resort."

Many New Zealanders are questioning the use of a firearm to contain the dog, suggesting non-lethal methods could have been used.

According the New Zealand Herald, AVSEC spokesman Mike Richards said: "All efforts to capture the dog were exhausted and the airport company had no option but to request police to shoot the dog".

"The dog was not on the tarmac at the time."

He said there will be an investigation into what spooked the dog and how this might affect staff training in the future.