Dog’s tail: Villagers and drone pilots band together in search for lost puppy

drone search lost dog

To anyone who has ever loved and temporarily lost a pet, this tale will qualify for vaunted “drones for good” status. Nine excruciating days after a newlywed couple’s puppy disappeared along the coast of Cornwall in the UK, a group of helpful, hopeful drone pilots flying a volunteer search mission found the lost dog, just as their last battery was about to give out.

Rescue dog Lotty vanishes for days

That happy result of human kindness, determination, and aerial tech put to effective use occurred on August 10 near neighboring Cornish villages Cawsand and Kingsand. Nine days before, Lotty had suddenly bolted during a walk, then somehow avoided considerable efforts to find her until the drones flew their search mission to reunite the lost rescue dog with her masters. That outcome is sufficiently satisfying to reveal as a spoiler, especially given the anguish the owners experienced during the long, nerve-racking period of uncertainty over whether they’d ever see their pet again.

The Plymouth couple dropped Lotty’s leash during an August 1 walk in the neighboring coastal area, allowing the youthful canine a chance to abruptly take off (in that unexpected, inexplicable and – usually – adorable way animals do spontaneous stuff). The newlyweds scoured the region themselves before appealing for help directly to locals, through social media posts, and hanging posters seeking any information of sightings. Despite those collective efforts to locate Lotty, several days, a week, then nearly two went by without a sign. 

Anyone who has ever experienced the agony of a pet suddenly vanishing knows the utter agony and helplessness involved. Hope for a quick reunion gives way to the clashing dread of assuming the disappearance will never be solved, or will conclude with a heartbreaking discovery. 

Thanks to a local drone video business called Sky View Media, however, that tear-jerker scenario transformed into a happy ending just as time started running out. 

Drone pilots continue search for the lost dog as batteries near exhaustion

As canine-lover UK site Team Dogs first reported, Sky View Media kept watch for clement weather conditions permitting them to mount their drone search mission for the lost dog. On August 10, with persistent fog cover finally lifting, the team made it to the Saltash to Cawsand area and scoured the zone from above – without luck. As Sky View Media recounts on its Facebook page, the situation turned around just as it appeared their efforts were doomed to fail.

“After 90 minutes of searching and very quickly running out of our final fully charged battery we looked in the thick shrubs by where Lotty was last seen and with only three minutes left of flight time we spotted her,” the post says. “We took an image of Lotty and sent it to her owner, and in no time at all she had made it over to rescue Lotty.”

However, it goes on to note Lotty had become stranded in a foliage-clogged spot that was also difficult to access – the reasons why locals who had been looking for her had seen nothing. Some of those people responded to word she’d been located, the post says, by rushing over to help.

“[T]hey brought some tools to deal with the shrubs, the ranger made it over, some walkers stopped to see if they could help and it was a just a case of trying to reach Lotty and coax her out!” it reads. “Luckily, Lotty although very nervous made it out safe and relatively well and into the arms of her owner. It has been a very emotional, hot, tiring, and great day and we’re just so happy that we were able to help reunite a lovely pooch with her family!”

That example of drones for good in searching and rescuing lost dog Lotty deserves a cheer, with special props to Sky View Media taking the lead in something it could have easily ignored as none of its business. It’s also an excellent dog’s, er, tail of people suddenly coming together for common cause that we can recall the next time it feels like different positions on vaccines, masks, culture issues, or political opinions will forever pit us in mutual strife and opposition.

Photos: Sky View Media

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