A Harvard, Massachusetts firefighter used a drone to find a lost one-and-a-half year old Shiba Inu dog named Toro, who had run away from its owner into a wooded area in Devens, Worcester County.
"I saw a little white dot on my thermal-imaging camera so I zoomed in on it and saw the fur of this dog," said firefighter and drone-team pilot Robert Curran. "I couldn't believe I found him. I was like searching for a needle in a haystack."
Curran and his drone.
Curran was able to talk a friend of Toro's owner into the brush to retrieve Toro, who had become trapped when his leash wrapped around some tree branches.
Toro—safe and happy, thanks to a drone.
"We were able to get the drone up in minutes and start searching," said Harvard Police Chief James Babu, who uses the drone team to seek out criminal suspects, as well as monitor public safety during events, such as swimmers in a recent triathlon.
The original lost-dog notice that attracted the attention of Curran.
Toro's rescue by drone is yet another example of how drone teams can bring on happy results far faster and much cheaper than helicopters and human search-and-rescue squads. In fact, it's possible a significant search for Toro might not have been economically feasible if a helicopter and rescuers had to be sent into the woods.
It's not known if Toro was able to meet and thank the drone that brought him home.