Latest LICKS Award – Greg Smith

Story from Drone SAR…

Hello, I am Greg Smith, a drone pilot associated with Drone Search & Rescue for Lost Dogs.

Drone SAR is a Facebook group created and managed by Graham Burton which coordinates with non-profit organisation,

This is a short story about finding Jack.

Jack is a small terrier and was out walking with his dad. Although Jack was on a long training lead with harness he decided he wanted to take a diversion under a gate leading into a building site.

Unfortunately the gate was both too low and too high for the owner to negotiate. So they looked as best they could but no sign of him. They searched everywhere and contacted DogLost along with DroneS AR. The search was on. Poor Jack spent the night alone by the seaside. The following day the search resumed but still no sign, and at 16:00 I returned from a cycling trip. I looked at my notifications on Facebook and noticed I’ve been sent a notification from Drone SAR to do a drone search of the area. I promptly rang Maureen Jack’s mum and said I would meet up with her at the area he was lost. 15 minutes later we got together at the place where Jack was originally lost and the owner of the house close by kindly let me take off from his lawn. I quickly went up to 200-300 feet and conducted a recce along the edge of the cliffs and also scanned the surrounding open countryside around and a mile area as the light was fading. There was no sign of him in the fields, then I returned  after 25 mins to change batteries. The second flight I figured I should search building site where he disappeared. I hovered over the building site at about 100 feet and I’ve learnt just to stay in one place for up to 5 minutes as this enables me to spot any movement. I slowly moved along a load of stacks of building blocks and suddenly saw a movement I thought it was Jack but wasn’t sure as it could have been a cat,  it ran between the building blocks. (I discovered when I returned to base looking on a big screen that in fact it was a rabbit). I then followed a line around the back of the building blocks to the small road and continued along the road thinking that whatever moved may have run out around the back, then bingo on the side of the road just under a bush was a Jack. I told Maureen I’ve seen the movement and she went to the gate and looked underneath and I said can you see anything and she replied “Yes I’m looking at him”.

We could see him but still couldn’t enter because of the gates with the whole site sealed off. Also Jack was tangled up on his lead. I promptly rang my son who left home and within 10 minutes arrived, slipped straight under the gate and retrieved Jack. So Maureen was a happy lady and also Jack has a litter brother called Chester, who was probably pleased as well. I have to say that was a very rewarding experience.

The real hero of this story is the rabbit as he prompted me to follow the movement that led to Jack, so many thanks Mr Rabbit.

For Greg’s efforts we will be awarding him a DogLost LICKS Award!


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