Jan. 21 (UPI) — Rescuers working to draw a runaway dog away from dangerous mud flats in England lured the canine to safety by attaching a sausage to a drone.
Volunteer organization Denmead Drone Search and Rescue was contacted to help when Millie, a Jack Russell terrier and whippet mix, slipped her collar while out on a walk in Hampshire, England, and ended up on mud flats that are known to flood in high tide.
Rescuers working with the local coast guard, firefighters and police were unable to reach Millie on foot or in kayaks, and they determined the dog was spooked and would flee when she caught a glimpse of her would-be saviors.
“One of the guys said, as a last resort, why don’t we try tying a sausage to a drone?” DDSI volunteer Stefani Dennis told CNN. “This was day three, she’d been there on the mud flats for two days.”
A neighbor who lives by the beach volunteered to cook sausages and attached them to the team’s drones with string.
“The string was tied around the body of the drone and around the sausage to make it dangle around 2 or 3 meters [6.5-9.8 feet] — it was very hard to gauge how close you were to the ground but it worked somehow,” Dennis said. “People were walking by and didn’t know what was going on, it was hilarious.”
Dennis said the drone-lifted sausages were successful in drawing Millie’s attention.
“She was very hungry and got hold of it at one point — and almost took the drone with her, she got about half a sausage,” she said.
Millie was successfully lured off the mud flats, but continued to flee from rescuers until her owner was able to corner her at an industrial estate.
“I think all of us cried, I was so thankful that she made it home,” Dennis said. “The way the community came together saved Millie.”
DDSR said in a Facebook post that Millie was examined by a veterinarian and found to be uninjured following her adventure.