On Thursday 13 January, the beginning of what would eventually develop into a dramatic and long-lasting rescue operation began.
Three-year-old mixed-breed dog, Millie, lets go of her leash and lets her escape into the big, free world.
loss of sight
Millie’s owner, Emma Oakes, contacted the Denmead Drone Search and Rescue (DDSR) rescue service, which sent out missing persons reports in Hampshire, England.
It didn’t take long before the first messages came from people who saw Millie running down the main road A27, which runs parallel to the south coast of Hampshire.
When the DDSR followed up on his tip, they found the dog on a muddy plain along the coast.
But Millie doesn’t want to be caught, and the rescue company loses her. The next day, a message came from Hampshire police, who learned that Millie had been observed along a swampy area of the district.
Run around the swamp
Shortly thereafter, the Coast Guard and firefighters were also involved in the operation.
– We offer to use our drone to find it, write DDSR on their drone Facebook page, where they have explained the entire search operation.
It would be another day before rescue services managed to find Millie, who was still in the swampy area along the coast.
But to get him is not that easy. Between the rescue crew and Millie was 800 meters of sinking mud.
– We sent kayaks to see if we could get close, but we couldn’t, the rescue company wrote.
– Will sink
Then Millie does something that makes the rescue operation even more difficult.
At low tide, he moved to an area sandwiched between two small rivers.
– After questioning us with locals, we found out that if Millie wasn’t moved within a few hours, she would be locked up in an area that would eventually end up underwater, the DDSR explained.
– Then he will most likely drown.
This is where the sausage drone comes into play.
One of the drone pilots came up with the ingenious idea of attaching food to the drone to lure Millie out of a dangerous area.
– After checking the rules, we found that we have 170 grams to play with. So we attached a 60 gram sausage to the drone, explains DDSR.
Then they flew the drone over the area where Millie was.
– We didn’t think it would work, but it did!
Using a sausage drone, they managed to lure Millie 300 meters away from an area that would be inundated by high tide. But despite the persistent efforts of the police and rescue services, he once again managed to slip away from his rescuers.
Run straight through
The next day, news broke that Millie had returned to her “usual” place: the main street. The rescue service is now sending two volunteers to see if they can find him.
– We saw him, and followed him at a safe distance so we could make sure he didn’t hit a busy London street. Then he ran off the main road and into a dead end and a park, where our team tried to catch him. But Millie ran past them, they said.
Another night passed, without them being able to catch the fleeting Millie.
The next day, the rescue service received a report that Millie was in an industrial area. It was feared that she would run down the main road again, and so they turned to Millie’s owner Emma for help.
Emma’s father, Tony, came to the place.
– After walking around the area for 15 minutes, Millie ran towards the owner’s father and wagged her tail happily.
Thus, the long search operation was finally over, and Millie was able to return home to her owner. The dog has also gone to the vet, who can confirm that all is well.
– Lots of love and rest are the only things prescribed, says DDSR.
– A wave of relief
Emma Oakes told British newspapers Security that he was so happy to have Millie back.
– I felt a wave of relief roll over me. It was great to be able to bring him home again, he said, adding:
– Millie loves food, and she eats everything you give her… raw carrots, cucumbers – but she prefers sausage. Meat was the best he knew, so teasing him with sausage was probably the best way to lure him in.
He says that Millie is a relocation dog, and she is quite shy.
– He likes being at home and now that he’s back, he’s just sleeping. He only sleeps and eats.
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