NEWS AND VIEWS – HAMPSHIRE, UK: This is a nice example of how a drone can be used to find a lost cat or dog. A drone provides an entirely different perspective from above which opens the door to seeing a potential area where the cat or dog might be with much more clarity. In this instance the dog was lost in a rapeseed oil field.
In some respects, the search was easier than normal because the drone operator looked for disturbances in the field. But drones are being used by professional dog and cat trackers employed by owners to find their lost pet.
In this instance, Dame Yvonne Moores, a former Chief Nursing Officer (hence the damehood) lost her Labrador puppy whose name is Maisie in a rapeseed oil field in Hampshire. The puppy was rescued after 36 hours thanks to the drone.
Dame Yvonne was losing hope of ever seeing Maisie again because from the ground, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack but, as mentioned, from above it was an entirely different kettle of fish.
The crop is shoulder high and Dame Yvonne had taken Maisie for a walk when she slipped her lead and darted into the field and got tangled up in thick vegetation.
She called for her but couldn’t see her. As it happens, the rape seed plants had become twisted around her dog’s lead which trapped her in the middle of the field.
Dame Yvonne says that they would never have found Maisie without the drone. She said that Maisie would have died without social media, new technology and the family who had the drone.
It seems that she made contact with the drone operator through social media, his name is Ryan Mullen. Initially Dame Yvonne searched with her husband Brian and then she appealed for tracker dogs but nobody would let them go into the rapeseed oil fields.
Somebody then recommended that she go onto Facebook and appeal for someone with the drone. That’s what I thought happened before finding out that it did happen that way.
It took a mere two hours before Ryan Mullen offered his services. She said that they are “super people”.
Mr Mullen was only too pleased to help. Dame Yvonne’s daughter was obsessed with finding Maisie. Her daughter could hear a faint bark while Mr Mullen was flying is drone over the field. It was getting dark at about 8 PM.
When you fly a drone, you can see what the drone sees through a wireless connection to the smartphone attached to the flying controls. And they could see on the phone a section of the field which was trampled down.
There were obviously delighted to find Maisie and waded in to retrieve her. The rapeseed oil was almost 6 feet tall. When they got to her, they discovered that the plants had wound around the lead and it was quite tight around her neck.
I expect drones to be used more often in searching for lost pets. This is a classic example.